The IPC e-commerce cross-border shopper survey 2017 took place in 31 countries*. The target group for the survey were frequent cross-border online shoppers, who have bought physical goods online at least once in the last three months and have made a cross-border online purchase in the past year.

Overall, 70% of these respondents said that their most recent cross-border purchase had been delivered by the post and 51% of them said that they had received direct mail from e-retailers. On the next pages we will delve more closely into the mail advertising cross-border consumers receive.


Of those respondents who received advertising mail from e-retailers in the past year, they were asked to name up to five e-retailers that have sent them printed advertising mail or catalogues in the past year.

The most commonly mentioned e-retailer was Amazon (14%), followed by Ikea (7%), eBay (6%), Alibaba / AliExpress (5%) and Zalando (4%).

As would be expected, there were large country variations.

  • For example, the most commonly mentioned e-retailers in Austria were Universal (22%) and Otto (21%). Other commonly mentioned names included Ikea (10%), Amazon (9%), H&M (8%), Versand (8%), Bon Prix (7%) and Conrad (6%).
  • In the neighbouring country, Switzerland, the e-retailers list was vastly different: Zalando led the list with 14%, followed by Ikea (9%), La Redoute (8%), Amazon (7%) and Peal (5%).
  • In China, the most commonly mentioned e-retailer who sends advertising mail was Amazon (28%), followed by (21%), eBay (6%), Alibaba / AliExpress (16%) and Lynx (11%).

In summary, the results confirm that in most markets, most e-retailers (also the biggest ones) are including mail advertising in their efforts to increase sales conversion and to grow their market share.


Action as a results

On average in all 31 markets, of the respondents who received advertising mail from e-retailers, half of them (51%) visited the e-retailer’s website as a result. A significant 44% made an online purchase as a result of this direct mail from the e-retailer. Furthermore, 19% shared this mail with someone, and 14% engaged with the e-retailer via social media after receiving this advertising mail.

Compared to the average, Chinese e-commerce consumers tended to be more influenced by the advertising mail they receive. 68% of them made an online purchase as a result of receiving advertising mail from e-retailers (vs. 44% on average) and 61% went to an e-retailer’s website (vs. 51% on average). In terms of response differences by age, older respondents tended to be more likely to take action in response to direct mail, but not always. In Canada, for example, the 16-34 age group was most likely to make an online purchase or share the advertising piece with somebody and in Germany this age group was most likely to engage with the e-retailer via social media. On the other hand, in Brazil, the 55+ age group were most likely to go to the e-retailer’s website.

In summary, there’s a high response rate to mail advertising across all markets surveyed, with certain local differences. On average, older demographics are slightly more likely to take action on advertising mail they receive.


* Countries covered by the IPC Cross-border E-commerce Shopper Survey : Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.