STAMFORD, CT, September 25, 2012•Just in time to kick off the holiday shopping season, a new report from Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) with 4,000 consumers surveyed in France, Germany, the UK and the US indicates which products Old St. Nick is likely to purchase most frequently online. Books, clothes, magazines, shoes and electronics hold the top five slots globally. Health supplements, pet supplies, gardening products, Do-It-Yourself products and crafts ranked last of the preferred items for online purchase.

Certain online shopping trends stand out in the Pitney Bowes report Consumer Trends in Online Shopping and Shipping. Online purchase of every type of product is on the rise over the last 12 months and books and clothes are leading the way with a healthy 25% of respondents reporting that they had more of these items delivered to their homes in the past year.

According to comScore, Inc., "for the first 56 days of the November-December 2011 holiday season, $35.3 billion was spent online — an increase of 15% over the corresponding days in 2010, and a new record." The migration to digital e-commerce globally is also fueled by mobile trends. Personal devices with branded apps are changing consumer buying behavior dramatically.

"Consumers continue to delight in having clothes and electronics arrive at their doorstep," said Craig Reed, Vice President Global E-commerce, Pitney Bowes. "Cross border e-commerce shopping and shipping solutions are expanding retail's reach this year. It is critical to create a predictable seamless experience for each consumer from the online shopping cart to the moment they open the package at home."

E-commerce marketers looking to capitalize on these global trends should prepare for the season with the right technologies that meet these consumers online or in store.

Tips for the E-commerce Holiday Season

1. For the consumer in any country, the shopping cart experience must be seamless. E-commerce solutions now automatically calculate cross-border fees, end to end shipping and local taxes. They also filter out products that are prohibited from being sold in certain locales by import and export regulations.
2. Use a multi-channel approach for holiday campaigns. Direct mail, call centers, websites, live chat, texts, social media and email should all be leveraging the same customer data and communicating in a similar tone.
3. Pace your communications for a two-way conversation to build customer loyalty. Timing and acknowledging previous touch points build intimacy.
4. Make returns and customer service easy. Consumers will remember and return.
5. Measure your cross-border success as new technology solutions contribute to the emergence of this revenue-generating trend.

About Pitney Bowes
Delivering more than 90 years of invention, Pitney Bowes provides business communications software, mailing systems and services that integrate physical and digital communications channels. Long known for making its customers more productive, Pitney Bowes is increasingly helping other companies grow their business through advanced customer communications management. Pitney Bowes is a $5.3 billion company with 29,000 employees worldwide. Pitney Bowes: Every connection is a new opportunity™.