The Cross-Border eCommerce Opportunity Unfolds
In last year’s global eCommerce predictions report, we wrote that in 2015, cross-border eCommerce would become "more seamless and less apparent to shoppers". We’ve started to embark on this path: Today consumers around the world have access to growing selection of products as more retailers make their offerings available to shoppers in other countries. My colleague Michelle Beeson recently documented that cross-border sales in Europe alone will reach €40 billion by 2018.
Retailers that haven’t yet started to ship cross-border—and those that have only dipped their toes in the water—now have a variety of different solution providers that can help them take their brands into new markets. Analyst Lily Varon and I just published a report that looks at the trends and leading vendors in this space with a focus on solutions targeted at US-based merchants. It’s now common to see retailers working with different partners including:
International parcel carriers. A number of retailers elect to manage their international shipping options directly with an international carrier such as UPS or FedEx. In some cases, a cross-border option is an extension of the existing relationship between the merchant and the carrier; in others, merchants will seek out a new partner specifically to help with cross-border shipments.
Third-party vendors. Many retailers today realize they are ill equipped to piece together all the different parts of a cross-border eCommerce solution including the calculation of landed costs (the final cost to the shopper including duties, taxes and shipping), international fulfillment, fraud prevention and the localization of areas such as language and payments. Third-party vendors like Bongo International (FedEx), Borderfree (Pitney Bowes), Borderlinx, International Checkout, Pitney Bowes ClearPath, TG eCommerce and UPS i-parcel offer solutions that help tackle these challenges.
Global marketplaces. Finally, we spoke with executives at a range of different marketplaces for this report, from US heavyweights eBay and Amazon to leading players in other markets like China’s Tmall and JD.com and Latin America’s MercadoLibre. All of these players serve millions of online shoppers and offer solutions that help US merchants sell to consumers in other countries.
We welcome your thoughts on our report and on cross-border eCommerce trends overall. And for those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to get to know Lily, be sure to read her blog and follow her on Twitter for more great global commerce technology research!