Cross-Border Spending Lifts U.S. Retailers

Black Friday saw the greatest spike of the year in international shopping activity, with cross-border spending at U.S. retailers more than quadrupling (+330 percent) compared to the average shopping day in 2013, according to data released by Borderfree, a market leader in international cross-border ecommerce solutions. Cyber Monday – the first Monday following Thanksgiving – also showed a significant boost in international growth, with cross-border spending at U.S. retailers more than tripling (+232 percent). Cross-border spending remained elevated throughout the entire holiday season, averaging an increase of 53 percent compared to the average shopping day in 2013.

The holiday shopping season kicked off earlier for international shoppers – on October 7 – and ends earlier as well so shipments can be guaranteed for Christmas delivery (cut-offs for international holiday deliveries started on December 13). The savviest U.S. retailers understood these nuances and launched promotions aimed at the international consumer segment earlier this year.

“The doors are open for international shoppers to access the iconic American brands they love, and U.S. retailers are honing their ability to reach these shoppers and provide an experience on par with that of domestic customers,” said Borderfree CEO Michael DeSimon. “The significant uptick in cross-border spending throughout the holidays, especially over Cyber Weekend, illustrates the significant opportunity for U.S. retailers, who are steadily becoming more aware and actively courting an international audience.”

“International marketing is critical for U.S. retailers looking to capture a slice of global demand for American products and can raise a brand’s profile among consumers,” Mr. DeSimone continued. “Among our U.S. retail partners that launched targeted international marketing campaigns this holiday season, several saw sales gains of 50 – 100 percent.”

Top countries by growth and sales

The top countries for U.S. retail sales during the holiday season were:

  1. Canada
  2. Australia
  3. UK
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Russia
  6. Singapore
  7. Switzerland
  8. South Korea
  9. Saudi Arabia
  10. Germany

U.S. retailers saw the highest growth in China, with 279 percent growth in same-store sales this holiday season compared to the previous year. Other top countries for year-over-year sales growth were South Korea (91 percent), Israel (78 percent), Sweden (74 percent), Mexico (67 percent), Spain (56 percent) and Russia (49 percent).