Nearly half of U.S. consumers made a cross-border purchase from an overseas merchant last year, according to the 2017 Pulse of the Online Shopper report from UPS and comScore, up 4% from the prior year, indicating a growing interest in overseas goods.

“The unique products they can find (in other markets) is a very important reason for this growth,” said Louis DiJianne, director of consumer goods, apparel and retail at UPS. “The greater availability of goods on marketplaces and their pricing is taking a larger role in consumer buying decisions, and there is more competition from overseas.”

Marketplaces are a big part of the growth in cross-border commerce, the report found. Nearly all avid U.S. online shoppers (97%) made purchases on marketplaces in 2016, up from 85% in 2016, according to the Pulse report. Eighty-one percent of them cited price as the most important factor when searching for and selecting products online. Of those who purchased from an overseas retailer, 43% were driven by lower prices on U.S. marketplaces and 36% said they wanted unique products not found from U.S. retailers.

Given this increased interest, UPS and comScore will come out with a global version of their annual Pulse report later this year, DiJianne said.

The growth in mobile as a critical ecommerce channel was also called out in the report, which UPS and comScore unveiled at IRCE 2017 in Chicago. While total discretionary retail spending was up 2.5% and ecommerce grew 14% in 2016, according to…