How retailers can tap into international spending

Last updated on June 3, 2024

Cross-border shopping, in both online and offline formats, has never been easier. While global shoppers have countless retail choices at their disposal, it can be challenging to keep shoppers engaged and satisfied throughout the entire shopping journey, up to the final checkout step.

Learn how integrating global payment solutions, like Asian mobile wallets, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), currency conversion, and Tax Free shopping, can instantly transform your business into a destination for international shoppers.  

Consider the needs of shoppers across the globe

Changes in shopping habits during the pandemic, together with the emergence of new payment technologies, have forever altered the retail landscape. To expand your reach across borders, it’s vital to understand the expectations of today’s shoppers.  

What do international shoppers want from the retail experience?

As shown in our May 2023 Global Shopper Sentiment Report, which surveyed 7,500+ shoppers from 19 different countries, consumer expectations vary based on culture, age, and personal preferences. Despite this diversity, the report highlights three clear trends.

  • Choice

It’s clear from the report that modern consumers want to shop on their own terms. Globally, almost half (48%) say using their preferred payment is key to having a great online shopping experience and an overwhelming majority (86%) say it’s important when shopping in-store.  

This desire for choice extends beyond payment methods into many areas of the retail experience, from delivery and collection options to currency choice. Consumers today are less willing to settle. If a shopping journey doesn’t meet their expectations, they'll abandon it for one that does.

  • Cross-channel connectivity 

Another trend highlighted in the report is the desire for connected shopping experiences seamlessly transitioning from online to in-person when needed. For example, nearly 40% of consumers in the US and 38% in China express a strong preference for a Reserve & Collect option. Additionally, almost one in five shoppers worldwide prefer to research items online but make their purchase in-store (i.e. “Webrooming”). 

  • Convenience  

Yes, the retail experience must be connected and adaptable—but these qualities are meaningless if the journey isn’t quick and easy. ​​For example, despite a strong interest in Tax Free shopping, 40% of Chinese consumers say a lack of guidance from retail staff prevents them from using the service. If a feature isn’t convenient, customers can’t experience the benefits. 

Use global payment solutions to attract international shoppers

So, how can retailers provide the choice, cross-channel fluidity, and convenience that global shoppers want? Here are five effective strategies.

1. Provide multiple payment options, including Asian wallets 
The more payment options you provide, the more likely it is that shoppers can use their first-choice method. In addition to a range of card types, integrate digital wallets to provide further choice and convenience for your customers.  

Think beyond Europe and North America when choosing which wallets to accept. For example, integrating AliPay+ and WeChat Pay, Asia’s two main payment methods, gives you instant access to their userbase of 1.6 billion Asian consumers. It’s one of the quickest, easiest ways to boost your presence in the global market. 

What are the most popular Chinese payment methods? 
- Click here to learn more about how China’s most popular mobile wallets work

2. Incorporate Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options like Klarna

Online shoppers love using Klarna, and offering this payment option in-store can replicate that same positive experience, increasing overall customer satisfaction. By incorporating Klarna, retailers can achieve a 118% higher average order value (AOV), a 20% increase in conversion rates, and a 45% increase in purchase frequency.  

Klarna not only allows customers to spread the cost of purchases over time without additional interest but also provides valuable shopper sights. BNPL ensures you can reach and engage with a growing community of users, predominantly (70%) Gen Z and Millennials, making your business more competitive and attuned to modern spending habits. 

Want to learn more about how BNPL? 
- Click here to find out how to use BNPL for your business

3. Connect your shopping channels through an Order Management System  

With Planet's Order Management System, you can effortlessly fulfil online orders from your brick-and-mortar locations, ensuring scalability and convenience for both your business and your shoppers. This means you can offer Click and Collect, order tracking, and Endless Aisle capabilities, allowing customers to shop however they prefer while enjoying a cohesive and personalised experience. 

4. Integrate Dynamic Currency Conversion 
We all want financial certainty, particularly in the present circumstances. Your customers are no different. For instance, no one likes finding out that something cost more than they thought days after the event. 

That’s why DCC is so great. It lets your customers know how much they’re paying at transaction time. Peace of mind - no nasty surprises.  They'll be more relaxed and happier because they are paying with their own familiar currency.  

On top of that, for every DCC transaction, you’ll be earning money that would otherwise have gone to the banks. Setting up DCC is simplicity itself, and with our years of experience providing DCC with our payment solutions, coverage has never been broader.

Find out how you can offer over 140 currencies and earn additional revenue with DCC? 
- Click here to read our full guide

5. Make it easy for tourists to shop Tax Free

Give shoppers from abroad the opportunity to take advantage of your country’s Tax Free shopping scheme by automating Tax Free form issuing from your POS tills. This added convenience for your customers helps set you apart from competitors and boosts your reputation among shoppers from abroad.  

How Planet can help

Planet’s end-to-end payment processing and order management platform allow both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retailers to optimise the shopping journey for international customers.  

Rather than dealing with various providers for Asian wallets, Klarna, currency options, Tax Free, and other services, retailers can rely on Planet as their single partner to offer a wider range of choice to customers and simplify their tech stack.

We also provide merchants with ways to better serve international shoppers from Asia by offering the most widely used and preferred payment methods. With extensive cross-border experience and expertise, we understand what today’s shoppers are looking for and will help you deliver it.  

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