By Aimee Chanthadavong

Co-founders James Harris & Ei Sabai Nyo setup the website Online Shopping USA earlier this year, taking advantage of the growing consumer trend of buying more products from international online websites

The website, which operates through affiliate partnerships, offers US-based merchandises from brands including Gap, Prada, Estee Lauder, Ksubi and Adidas to Australian shoppers.

Speaking to RetailBiz, the duo said they realised that many Australians wanted to shop online to take advantage of the strong Australian dollar but were unsure about where to start.

“There is still an education role to play in helping customers understand the benefits of shopping overseas as well as a community role engaging with bloggers and other retail websites. We feel that we've been supported by our audience of shoppers because we're offering a good service that helps them save money,” they said.

Clothing, shoes, gadgets, skincare and make-up are the sites’ most popular product categories where recently a skincare product that retailed for over $700 in Australia was bought at $225, which was a 65 per cent saving.

According to Harris and Nyo, this online shopping trend is only expected to continue, particularly for female shoppers with disposable income who are prepared to shop for brand items sold at discounted prices or products that aren’t available in the Australian market.

“The influences are the ability to purchase brands at a much cheaper price overseas and more stores offering free shipping. Customers are learning that by buying multiple items and consolidating the order into a single delivery, the cost of shipping comes right down,” Harris and Nyo said.

Online Shopping USA also admitted that social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been handy marketing tools.

“Twitter allows us to send updates very quickly to an enthusiastic audience. It also allows two-way conversation for any feedback or recommendations from that audience that we'll then incorporate on the site,” Harris and Nyo said.

“Facebook is slowly growing in popularity and our activity can go viral very quickly as friends ‘like’ our products or recommendations.”