A new study conducted by the research firm Ipsos MORI has found that Israelis are the world’s second largest online shoppers per capita, behind Austria. Experts said the data show direct consequence of rising living costs in the country and recent laws that have encouraged shoppers to turn to the Internet. CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg reported this story from Tel Aviv.
Percent of Israelis who:
Bought online last year: 72%
Bought from foreign sites: 82%
Source: Ipsos MORI
For first-time mother Maya Tanner, every cent counts. Like most parents her age, she knows that baby goods can cost a fortune. Hoping to save, Tanner has gone online.
“From the moment he was born, I wanted to buy him things and I saw that the prices in Israel are high. I went on the Internet and saw a dramatic difference, even half the price. I recently bought a baby bag. On the internet it was $25, in Israel I would have paid twice as much, if not more,” Tanner said.
She is one of a growing number of Israelis buying more online.
According the Ipsos MORI study, more than two-thirds of Israelis purchased goods online, mostly on websites in the U.S. and China.
“I think it’s not only that it’s cheaper. Looking at logistics, in Israel, SMB, small and medium businesses, are not yet well-equipped in terms of logistics to handle the request the of the Israeli customers,” said Amir Etzioni a board member of the Israeli Internet Association who co-conducted the study.
Israel is has a relatively high cost of living but many residents said salaries simply haven’t kept up. Red tag sales at brick and mortar stores can’t compete with online deals.
Last year, the government introduced a new law scrapping an 18 percent value-added tax on goods bought online for less than $75. The move gave a big boost to the number of users buying from Israel, hoping to get the same things they can get here, without paying extra.