Cross-Border E-Commerce In Numbers

22 October, 2018

With a population of over 500 million, and an estimated 269 million online shoppers, 16% of which buy cross-border - Europe represents a great opportunity for online retailers looking to expand.

The State of International E-Commerce

Being a cross-border retail company gives you a number of advantages over the competition, such as allowing you to sell seasonal goods all year round, make sales 24 hours of the day, take advantage of exchange rates to undercut the competition and expand your customer base to include those in other countries.


Did you know?

35% of shoppers say thier Smartphone will become thier main purchasing tool.

Across the world, consumer trends are changing - with an increase in internet and smartphone usage across the world, cross-border e-commerce is growing rapidly across the globe.

Consumer Trends

  • Younger Consumers Lean To Online

More than ever, younger consumers are taking their purchases online. 33% of women, and 40% of men between the ages of 18-34 say that they'd like to purchase everything online - something that offers a great competitive advantage to businesses will to take steps to offer that service.

  • Online Sales Grow Strongly

Online sales accounted for 17.4% of all retail sales in the UK in 2018, up from 15.9% in 2017. 139.3 million people in Latin America are set to shop online in 2018, with sales to that region estimated at being worth 87 Billion dollars. With countries like Mexico expected to see continued e-commerce growth rates of around 20%, online sales are growing globally.

  • Global Opportunities

E-commerce markets across the world are growing faster than ever. The market in South East Asia will reach a worth of 200 billion dollars by 2025. With 600 million consumers, and 260 million online, it is already the largest market in the world, with many consumers shopping cross-border.

  • Local Opportunities

The fastest-growing e-commerce sector in France is cross-border purchases, with 19% of all e-commerce sales being made on non-french sites, mainly for Germany, Belgium and the UK. This represents an excellent opportunity for exporters in the UK.

There are a number of challenges a cross-border e-commerce retailer faces when selling their products into other countries.

Challenges Of Cross-Border E-Commerce

  • The Language Barrier

With 40% of British businesses not recognising the importance of communicating with customers in their native language, the language barrier between UK-based businesses and their international customers can often lead to issues, which in turn can lead to poor experiences, a loss of consumer trust, negative reviews and a lack of repeat international purchases.

  • Promoting Your Products

Your marketing and advertising will also have to be adapted for your cross-border selling efforts. Not just in terms of translating it, but also ensuring that you promote it in places that are used by local customers, and that it follows the cultural norms of that country.

  • Logistics Issues

Exporting goods internationally comes with extra costs, as well as extra paperwork, which many businesses consider to be a barrier that keeps them from selling cross-border, particularly into countries that require complex customs declarations. Asendia are able to help with this, as an expert cross-border shipping provider.

  • Payment Issues

Similarly, taking payments from international customers, paying duties and confirming with foreign regulations can be a burden for businesses looking to sell overseas. Making sure customers aren't surprised by additional charges or duties is key.