Millennials & Gen-Z Report Social Media as Top Channel for Discovering International Brands

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) retail is increasingly becoming popular, according to a survey commissioned by Global-e Online Ltd., a provider of direct-to-consumer (D2C) cross-border e-Commerce solutions.

The survey, which polled 9,000 consumers from nine markets who made an online retail purchase outside their country, showed that 58% of respondents preferred ordering directly from a brand’s website to other channels. 

The study, titled Cross-Border e-Commerce Shopper Survey- a Dive into Consumer Behavior and Preferences, also revealed that Millennial (54%) and Gen-Z (55%) consumers used social media as their top channel for discovering international brands.

Instagram was the favored platform to engage directly with brands and make a purchase (62%). However, TikTok is on the rise, with over half of Gen Z consumers (60%) choosing it as their preferred channel.

About 75% of the polled shoppers said they purchased from a brand after engaging with it on at least one social network. 

The survey, conducted by Censuswide, also reported that only 40% of respondents bought from marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, and 35% from local resellers. The respondents also indicated that the main drivers of cross-border shopping are product price (47%), a wider variety of products (37%), and better quality (28%).

Additional key findings in the report include:

  • About 43% of respondents would shop again directly from an international website from which they had already made a purchase if the shopping experience was easy
  • Respondents would shop cross-border for different categories, including clothing & accessories (61%), electronics & tech (30%), health & beauty (30%), and jewelry & watches (26%).
  • About 50% said they would abandon their carts if the shipping cost were too expensive, followed by delivery time too lengthy (42%) and unclear return policy (26%). About 25% would not place an order without the final cost of their purchase.
  • About 53% said they used a mobile device on their most recent cross-border online purchase.