Online sales of goods between countries will almost triple over the next five years as more people shop on the Web and merchants seek consumers across globe, a study commissioned by eBay Inc.'s PayPal found.

Cross-border Internet commerce between Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, U.K. and U.S. will jump to $307 billion in 2018 from $105 billion this year, according to a Nielsen study published today. The top categories of goods that will be traded include clothing, shoes and accessories, followed by health and beauty products, and personal electronics, the report says.

EBay, the world's biggest online marketplace, has been seeking growth abroad by adding staff in emerging markets to compete in countries that are showing big increases in online commerce. About a quarter of marketplaces revenue and more than half of PayPal's sales came from international operations last year. PayPal is investing more of its time promoting cross- border commerce with China, according to David Marcus, the unit's president.

"If you look at the Chinese opportunities — there are 40 million small businesses in China and only 5 million of them are actually exporting goods online," Marcus said in an interview. "So there's a huge upside opportunity."

The Chinese were some of the biggest shoppers for American goods, with 84 percent of them currently buying from U.S. websites, the report says. Nielsen Holdings NV analyzed the buying habits of more than 6,000 consumers in the six markets over the past 12 months.

An estimated $106 billion worth of international transactions will take place via mobile devices in 2018, up from $36.4 billion this year, the study says.

The U.S. was the top exporter to markets abroad, with 45 percent of those surveyed saying that's where they shopped, followed by the U.K., at 37 percent.

PayPal was the top method of cross-border payment in the markets surveyed, with 79 percent of respondents saying they've used it in the past year.

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