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Belarusians turn to cross-border shopping

Consumers from Belarus are increasingly shopping across the border. As a matter of fact, citizens from this Eastern European country ranked fifth (and thereby leaving behind the US and Canada) in terms of online purchases during China’s Singles Day on November 11. Together, Belarusians spent nearly 3 billion dollars abroad annually, while domestic producers continue to lose their local markets.

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That’s what Belarus Digest wrote this week, brought to us by The Paypers. At first, we couldn’t believe the statistics about Belarusian spending during the 11th of November (which is also known as Single’s Day in China and is used by the Alibaba Group to boost online sales), a day that drew in more sales than America’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined last year.

Belarusians and cross-border shopping
But based on information from Alizila, which is the official ecommerce news and commentary blog from the Alibaba Group, it seems this is right after all. In the top eleven buyer countries, ranked by gross merchandise volume, for AliExpress we see Belarus ranked fifth, even before the US, France and the UK.

And according to Belarus Digest, shopping tours in neighboring European countries remain a favorite weekend trip for many Belarusians. Even Russia also became a popular shopping destination, as the rouble’s devaluation made Russian products more affordable.

Two-thirds of Belarusians use the Internet
And based on research from IAC, almost two-thirds (62%) of Belarusians used the Internet this autumn and around 50% of them were mobile Internet users. And as PayPal started operating in Belarus in June, online shopping should be getting more accessible to Belarusians.

“It appears that Belarus witnessed a rapid growth in online shopping over the past year. The trend may be here to stay. Threads that discuss online shopping attract the largest readership on onliner.by – the most popular Minsk Internet forum”, says researcher Vadzim Smok on Belarus Digest.

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