Cross-border e-commerce is one of the fastest growth opportunities in retail, according to a DHL Express report. Accordingly, cross-border online retail is predicted to grow at twice the rate of national e-commerce until 2020. Hence there are significant growth opportunities for retailers and manufacturers with an international online product offering.
The report is based primarily on research and in-depth interviews conducted by a leading global management consultancy, as well as more than 1,800 responses to a proprietary exporter survey of retailers and manufacturers in six countries.
It casts a light on the evolving face of e-commerce, with both supply and demand becoming more sophisticated Manufacturers are increasingly taking advantage of e-commerce to move to direct retail models – bypassing the ‘middleman’ and offering their products online to the end customer – and expect to grow 30% faster in cross-border e-commerce than other retailer groups. Customers in many markets are also becoming more discerning, citing product availability and trust, as well as attractive offers, as the motivating factors for shopping with overseas online retailers.
The main challenges highlighted by consumers to cross-border purchases relate to logistics, trust, price and customer experience. At the same time, online retailers can take a number of relatively easy steps to identify, cultivate and service demand from abroad.
The report noted that the e-commerce trend has given birth to a new eco-system of facilitators and off-the-shelf solutions (such as payment providers and programs that localize a website’s check-out experience for the visitor), helping retailers to adapt their offering to the digital world and to transact with customers in foreign markets. Global logistics partners can provide support in identifying the right trade-off between centralised and local warehousing and fulfillment.