PayPal unveils the modern spice routes

Insight into cross-border

With the global economy still struggling, businesses and exporters can help increase their revenue by waking up to cross-border sales opportunities as revealed by new PayPal and Nielsen data.

The report titled ‘Modern Spice Routes: The Cultural Impact of Cross-Border Shopping’ analyses cross-border online shopping and spending behaviour in six major markets — the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, mainland China and Brazil. It maps for the first time the new spice routes — those corridors of online trade between consumers buying directly from merchants in different parts of the world. The research report and video testimonials are available for download at

The report reveals amazing insights about cross-border shoppers, and their payments preferences, to enable businesses and exporters to take advantage of this multi-billion dollar opportunity:

“Cross border trade is nothing new. Our local stores are filled with goods from around the world. What is new is how easy it has now become for consumers to shop online directly from merchants around the world and the massive opportunity that represents,” said David Marcus, President, PayPal. “The emergence of these ‘modern spice routes’ is great news for businesses the world over. Our message to merchants is if you are looking for new ways to grow your sales, especially in an economic downturn, start selling directly to 94 million cross-border shoppers in these 6 markets and own a piece of this $105 billion market. For consumers, paying for items in a different currency or country has never been easier and we help make it safer with our buyer protection policy* available in 193 markets worldwide.”

Mike Walsh, an independent futurist, has analyzed the research findings. He says: “Throughout history, wherever goods have been traded, their exchange has had a cultural, as well as a commercial impact. And while in ancient times spices and silks from the East influenced the food and fashions of the West, today’s picture is more complex, with micro-cultures springing up side by side as individuals express themselves in different ways by shopping in a virtual, global marketplace.”


Wake-up call for US businesses to sell and export online to cross-border shoppers

The research shows that cross-border shopping demand for American products from the other five surveyed markets is worth $23.2 billion in 2013 and expected to grow to $83.4 billion by 2018. American businesses can use cross-border e-commerce to meet overseas demand from key markets this year as follows:

PayPal’s own data, released for the first time, shows that online exports on its global payment platform continue to grow strongly as traditional export sectors for many economies slow down. Cross border trade today is about a quarter of PayPal’s total payment volume with new online export corridors fast emerging.

New Cross Border Shopping Tribes Identified

Be Safer, Not Sorry

The research also highlighted the top concerns for consumers buying from overseas merchants:

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