Is China One of Your Top Global Shopping Destinations?
In a recent release from PayPal, it revealed that China now beats the U.S. as a top global shopping destination. "For the first time in the survey's three-year history, China is the most popular cross-border online shopping destination for global online shoppers (21 percent of all online shoppers interviewed claimed to have shopped cross-border from Chinese websites in the past 12 months), followed by the U.S. (17 percent) and U.K. (13 percent)."
Also according to the release, the search for a good deal is what is driving the current cross-border shoppers. "Seventy-six percent of global consumers polled who shop cross-border cited better prices as a reason for shopping in another country instead of the country where they live." Another reason for having made purchases internationally.was "gaining access to items not available in their own country" (selected by 65 percent)
But free shipping (selected by 46 percent of global online shoppers) and a secure way to pay (44 percent) are the top factors that could drive more cross-border shopping in terms of what would
make online shoppers more likely to buy from a website in another
The release makes the point that the distinction between these insights is what is important for merchants - "to retain a current cross-border shopper, better pricing is key." But "to motivate a shopper who may have never shopped cross-border before, free shipping and a secure way to pay are paramount in converting them."
Do you find your buying habits following this pattern? In the past, some buyers were hesitant to purchase items from China, wary of the quality, or, in the case of luxury goods, if the items were authentic. In my recent shopping on eBay looking for winter coats, I noticed a lot of the coats were listed from China, and had very desirable prices including free shipping.
What about the other countries in the survey results? Do you stick to the U.S. for the most part in buying on sites such as eBay, and do you find yourself shopping more from the U.K., which was third in the survey results?
EBay Revamps Its Discussion Boards
EBay recently redesigned its discussion boards, announcing it on October 27. In eyeballing the page with the discussions, what struck me was it seemed to be very streamlined, with fewer topics on the top level, including fewer of the category discussion boards which I had found very helpful.
In announcing the change, eBay explained, "The Community discussion boards have been a staple of the eBay marketplace since the beginning. The boards have evolved with us, but in recent years, they’ve lacked important features that you’ve told us you want. Today, we deliver those new features:
"A more personalized experience that serves up the content and conversations that are most relevant to you.
"A recognition program that rewards your valuable contributions via ranks and badges
"Enhanced user profiles that allow community members to quickly see the person behind the post, enabling more transparent interactions and meaningful connections.
"A knowledge base built by you – our community members – featuring user-generated content curated by the Community team.
"More engagement from eBay employees across the company - weighing in on relevant conversations."
The top level of the Community boards is now more graphic in its interface; there are featured discussions for Seller News and the Weekly Discussion with eBay Staff. On a positive note, there are also a list of "Popular Discussions" on the top level, and eBay is rewarding top contributors by featuring some of their posts on the right side of the screen.
According to Ina Steiner in a post at the EcommerceBytes Blog, the worst thing about the new boards is "hovering over titles of threads no longer shows an abstract."
I'd like to see more of the item categories on the top level, back to the way it used to be. In the new design, there are only eight categories listed on that level, including Electronics, Product Discussions, Fashion, Collectibles & Art, Motors, Home & Garden,
Sporting Goods, and Toys & Hobbies.
What do you think of the new eBay discussion boards, or do you miss the way the old boards used to be? Do you think the recognition program will increase users' posts, and would it incentivize you to post? What do you think are the best and worst things about the new boards? Post a comment here!
How Do You Think a Marketplace Fairness Act Would Impact You as a Buyer?
EBay recently hosted a roundtable with sellers including the owners of eWastedirect and sunrisegolfshop. Among the items discussed with U.S. Rep Eric Swalwell were the Marketplace Fairness Act, which these sellers said would force them to "seriously curtail" their business or close them entirely.
I hadn't heard about the Marketplace Fairness Act in a while, which aims to make certain sellers, such as those making $1,000,000 gross sales, collect sales tax in all states which require a sales tax, regardless of whether the seller has a "nexus" or "physical presence" in that state or not.
One million dollars may sound like a lot, but when you consider that is gross sales, and is before taking out a seller's costs, you could be talking about quite a few sellers who don't necessarily have a high profit margin.
Obviously online sellers will for the most part be against this, as it may bog them down in a quagmire of paperwork regarding the sales taxes, and collecting it.
But how do you feel as a buyer having to also pay a sales tax to a place where you previously did not have to? Would that impact your purchase choice, or would you take it all in stride?
According to this entry at the TaxJar blog, sellers would likely struggle trying to figure out which of the 10,000 sales tax destinations their customer was in. And, suggests the blog, the seller may even decide to stop selling into certain states. Now, that this might mean for you as a buyer is you no longer have access to purchase that item online, at least from that certain seller.
The Marketplace Fairness Act certainly does seem a quagmire from my perspective. And one wonders how the large online selling sites would handle it, and whether the costs to figure that out and implement it would also ultimately get handed down to the consumer.
How do you feel about the Marketplace Fairness Act as a buyer? Is it the idea of paying some amount more money in tax that bothers you, or the whole concept, or are you for the tax? Post a comment here!
Would You Buy or Sell on Facebook Marketplace?
EBay, Craigslist and the other online marketplaces have some new competition...Facebook Marketplace, just announced by Facebook. In the announcement, Facebook noted people have already been using Facebook as a place to buy and sell, mostly using the Groups feature, so this is making the online buying and selling official and one more way to access items by fellow Facebookers.
"Facebook is where people connect, and in recent years more people have been using Facebook to connect in another way, buying and selling with each other," said the announcement: "This activity started in Facebook Groups and has grown substantially. More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month — from families in a local neighborhood to collectors around the world."
They further said, "today we’re introducing Marketplace, a convenient
destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your
community. Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and
find a new home for the things you’re ready to part with. We’ll
continue to build new options and features to make this the best
experience for people."
To use the feature, it said, just "tap on the shop icon at the bottom of the Facebook app and start exploring." The items will be local to you, from users in your community, so some have compared it to more of a Craigslist than an eBay, as there will most likely be local pickup.
What do you think of the idea of buying and selling via Facebook? Do you do it now? Do you use the Groups feature or do it another way? Is this something you think you will use? Post a comment here!
PayPal OneTouch and Easier Ways to Pay this Fall
PayPal had already announced OneTouch, where you can activate a one-time login at their site, and stay logged in through your online session at various sites to pay with "just the click of a button." Now they are also helping to bring "Cardless Cash" to people at ATMs in some 70,000 locations via PayPal subsidiary Paydiant, and a partnership between FIS and Payment Alliance International. People will be able to use their mobile devices to get money at these ATMs without having to use their cards.
Apparently, OneTouch is growing rapidly. According to Arnold Goldberg, vice president of global merchant product and technology at PayPal, One Touch may have 36 million users by the end of this year. With OneTouch, once you log into PayPal for the first purchase, you can stay logged
in on that same device for up to six months. Subsequent purchases can be
made with just “one touch,” so you do not need to repeatedly log in to
your PayPal account.
Meanwhile, you may be seeing more payment options from smaller merchants when shopping, thanks to new integrations by PayPal, Amazon and Apple with ecommerce platforms that provide store-hosting solutions, according to this article in EcommerceBytes.
For me, it always made sense for merchants and platforms to provide the fastest checkout possible. Amazon's "one-click" checkout has been one of its advantages and one reason shopping on the site is so fast and convenient. And I also like to see merchants offering the most payment options possible, from PayPal to ApplePay to the Google Android payment system.
But is there such as thing as too many payment buttons? What payment service or services do you prefer? And will you be trying out PayPal OneTouch? Post a comment here!