Internet powers cross-border shopping bonanza: PayPal
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AFP) - A study released on Monday showed that Internet-powered shopping across national borders has created "modern spice routes" holding wealth for local merchants who tap into the booming trend.
Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Germany, China, Britain and the United States (US) will see a combined total of US$105 billion (S$133 billion) in "cross-border online shopping" this year and that figure should nearly triple to US$307 billion in the next five years, according to Nielsen research commissioned by Internet financial transactions service PayPal.
"Traditionally, the small merchant was left out," PayPal president David Marcus said of local shops competing globally for customers.
"Here comes the Internet, and small merchants can basically make the world their backyard market." More than 25 per cent of transactions handled by PayPal involve cross-border purchases, with the Silicon Valley-based service tending to matters such as currency differences, buyer satisfaction, and optimising websites for smartphones, according to Mr Marcus.