10 eCommerce trends for Australian businesses in 2024

Isabelle Comber10 mins
E-commerce
10 eCommerce trends for Australian businesses in 2024
In this article

Cross-border eCommerce is booming in Australia, with so many incredible brands taking their products and services to the world online. 

Despite an uncertain global economy, consumers aren’t pulling back when it comes to shopping internationally. In fact, 2024 is presenting more opportunities than ever to boost your eCommerce business – especially when it comes to global customer bases. 

Of course, business growth takes savvy. Understanding consumer trends is absolutely essential if you want to win more business this year. That’s why we’ve surveyed over 3,000 consumers in more than 6 key markets about the customer experience they’re looking for in 2024. 

From our research, we’ve handpicked ten illuminating trends. To get the full scope of eCommerce in 2024, download your free copy of our Cross-Border eCommerce Report. To get a top line view of trends that will colour your year in eCommerce, read on.

1. International spending is due to rise over the next 6-12 months

Did you know that international eCommerce spending is expected to surge this year? A whopping 54% of global consumers are expected to increase their international online spending over the next 6-12 months. 

It’s the latest signal that a major opportunity is coming for retailers, reinforcing estimates that the cross-border eCommerce market will reach USD$7.9 trillion by 2030. 

Currently, international revenue from Australian merchants amounts to roughly AUD$18bil, making up 29% of transactions from the industry. There’s room for growth, and an appetite from international consumers to fuel it.

2. Currency presentation matters

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you’re browsing online, are you really going to want to do the maths of currency conversion for every single product you’re looking at? Sounds exhausting!

Failing to consider currency is incredibly disruptive to the customer experience. In fact, 93% of consumers claim that this impacts their decision to follow through at the checkout. Presenting a robust and dynamic purchase experience is crucial if you want to win a new customer, and this starts with displaying prices in their home currency.

3. Digital wallet use is booming

Prior to 2024, physical cash already felt like a relic of the past. Now, tangible credit and debit cards are similarly fading in popularity. 

Digital wallets are taking over. A significant proportion of consumers locally (37%), in the UK (33%) and the US (27%), now prefer to pay via global digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. 

Almost half of consumers in China (48%) – a key market for Australian businesses - prefer to pay via digital wallets including local options such as AliPay and WeChat Pay.  

4. Influencers are more influential than ever

No longer just helpful for product visibility, influencers are now a key way to create brand trust. 75% of consumers say that endorsement from international influencers is likely to impact their trust in overseas merchants and their overall purchase decisions when shopping on social media channels.

Considering the purchase pathways from influencer channels can help you maximise the opportunities that they present.

5. Logistics and returns will dictate customer retention

Logistics has been a long-time bug bear of eCommerce businesses. Unfortunately, the need for merchants to have effective logistics and returns is only becoming more crucial. 

When it comes to brand reputation and retention, 47% of consumers say that lengthy refund processing times present a challenge when shopping online from international merchants. Meanwhile, 43% of consumers cite the cost of return shipping as an issue.

6. Uniqueness and quality wins over cost

When it comes to your product or service, make sure that you champion what makes you, you! 

Our research signals that shoppers are driven by the greater choice and quality of products offered by overseas merchants. In China especially, this is a top motivating factor. In Singapore, product quality, price, and diversity of choice are all driving factors. 

We believe this suggests that international shoppers are looking for unique and wellmade products. Australian retailers should feel encouraged to take pride in their niche, and make quality and originality a key theme in their cross-border marketing.

Vinomofo is a great example of an e-retailer with personality! Learn more about this booming wine business and how they’ve used Airwallex to expand into new markets.

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7. Product discovery opportunities are diversifying

Gone are the days of selling via only one website. Savvy eCommerce businesses will create a range of pathways to their products. 


Our research found that, when buying from overseas merchants, consumers in all 
 markets are likely to shop from a range of channels, including direct from merchant websites, global marketplaces such as Amazon and Alibaba, niche marketplaces, 
 and social media platforms.

8. If you’re not on social, you’re likely losing customers

If you’re not marketing your products on social media, and creating direct payment pathways, you’re missing a key opportunity with Australia’s main markets.

Access to deals and special offers, as well as speed and ease of purchasing, are key motivations for shopping cross-border via social media. For consumers in China, Hong Kong and Singapore, interactive online selling, such as ‘live shopping’ on TikTok, was highlighted by consumers as one of the main reasons for shopping from overseas merchants.

The popularity of the short-form video app is soaring, especially in China, where 49% 
 of respondents are using this platform to make purchases online from international merchants.

9. Customers expect to use their preferred payment types

Isn’t it just so frustrating to know that your customers have spent the time adding your products to their cart - only to have them ghost you at the checkout? 

77% of consumers say they are likely to ditch their cart if their preferred payment method is not available. This means if you’re not offering local payment methods like Alipay, WeChat Pay, and Grab Pay, you could be missing out on accessing huge new customer bases. 

Looking to offer more payment methods? It’s easier than you might think

10. Hidden fees are impacting customer trust

Hidden costs, such as currency conversion and international fees, can tarnish even the most perfect eCommerce reputation.

35% of consumers claim they are unlikely to return to a merchant after being charged hidden fees. That’s not to say that they won’t accept fees altogether, most expect to pay 1-2% in foreign exchange fees when buying from international merchants. 

Transparency with customers around fees is a great place to start, but reducing or removing fees altogether is ideal. Merchants can gain a competitive advantage by leveraging multi-currency payments technology to reduce currency conversion fees and pass savings on to customers.

Leveraging every eCommerce consumer trend could be a full-time job in itself. But eCommerce business owners don’t need to go it alone. Airwallex helps thousands of Australian retailers tackle common challenges of international financial operations. 

“Our powerful global infrastructure removes the historical barriers associated with cross-border growth,” says Luke Latham, Airwallex’s Managing Director, ANZ. “Our seamless UX is underpinned by the world’s most comprehensive, cost-effective and efficient money movement network in the world - with tools that can service local payment acceptance, transaction processing, FX conversion and digital wallets amongst others - you don’t need to look any further to accelerate your global ambitions”

Discover how Airwallex can boost your eCommerce business in 2024. Get started with your free borderless account now

Sources: Koen Van Gelder, ‘Cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce market value worldwide in 2021 and 2030’, Statista, 11 July, 2023

State of Cross-border eCommerce: Key Trends of 2024 Report, Airwallex, Edgar, Dunn & Company

Disclaimer: This information doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. If you are a customer of Airwallex Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 487221) it is important for you to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the Direct Services, which is available here.

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Isabelle Comber
Business Finance Writer

Izzy is a business finance writer for Airwallex. She specialises in thought leadership that empowers businesses to grow without boundaries.

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