This AuctionBytes article by Lissa McGrath is a couple of months old, but I find it to be quite fascinating.
During this past holiday shopping season, about 70% of eBay’s website traffic came from beyond the United States’ borders. Wow! Obviously, the international Internet is the real deal in 2007. I haven’t spent any time independently analyzing this traffic data, but if true, it provides a fascinating view of how the eCommerce marketplace is evolving.
Clearly, as an eBay merchant, you need to be thinking about how you are going to convince an international shopper to make the leap of faith to buy from you. You are located thousands of miles away from your prospective buyers. Often, an ocean separates the shopper from your geographic location. It isn’t like they can stop by to visit your store or shake your hand to make sure you are a good person or legitimate merchant. This has to be stressful for an international shopper, and I am sure you will agree. Merchants have to make sure they are doing everything they can to enable that shopper to trust them and feel safe buying from them. These shopper concerns have to be real and significant.
In addition, the competition for U.S. buyers appears to be getting tighter, and so the same issue is relevant for U.S. shoppers.
The huge percentage of foreign traffic is not an issue unique to eBay. It also appears to be significant for all of the major eCommerce companies including Yahoo, Google, Time Warner, Microsoft, Amazon, and IAC. Therefore, multi-channel merchants are not immune from the challenges outlined above.
How do you get online shoppers, both international and domestic, to trust you? As a professional merchant, you need to spend some time thinking about this question. It is important for your success online.
I will keep an eye on these traffic figures over the coming months. Again, very interesting data.