PayPal launches tool to help retailers understand local shopping customs

Global payments firm PayPal has unveiled a new tool that is designed to inform small businesses about country-specific sales opportunities and help them grow their international footprints.

The PassPort website enables retailers to gain insight into the traditions and trends surrounding such lucrative events as the 'Singles Day' public holiday in China, 'Golden Week' in Japan and Australia's 'Click Frenzy' when millions of consumers in these respective countries head online to make a purchase.

Singles Day in China on 11 November 2014, for example, is expected to see more than $10 million spent online, according to a recent US Department of Agriculture report.

In addition to containing information on seasonal sales peaks, which includes the aforementioned holidays and events,  PassPort aims to provide updates on various other areas of interest for retailers looking to expand their horizons abroad, including cultural customs, taboos and trends; shipping and distribution logistics; currency exchange and fees; and customs procedures and taxes.

Carey Kolaja, vice-president for global product solutions at PayPal, commented: "In 2013, global trade accounted for approximately 25% of PayPal's total payment volume, so we understand the challenges and opportunities of international trade.

"We designed PassPort with our international insights to help small businesses tap into global sales opportunities as simply and seamlessly as possible."

The new solution from PayPal comes just days after it was revealed that the business's president, David Marcus, is stepping down to join social media network Facebook.

Marcus, who has held led the company for the past two years, will leave on 27 June and will take charge of Facebook's messaging products business.

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PayPal's PassPort

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