Online businesses see a world of opportunity for cross-border e-commerce sales and executives are ready to take action. According to The Visa Global Merchant E-commerce Study, e-commerce leaders globally view international expansion and finding new cross-border customers as critical to driving growth, particularly heading into the prime holiday shopping period.
A vast majority of all e-commerce leaders surveyed (87%) believe expanding cross-border is one of their company’s biggest growth opportunities in the years ahead.
Today, two in three businesses (66%) that sell online are already selling cross-border. These sales account for nearly a third (31%) of those business’ revenue. Even with the significant revenue from cross-border sales, more than half (51%) of companies who already sell to international customers need help to optimise their international online sales.
End of Year Holidays Mean Sales Worldwide
With the end of the year holiday season accounting for more than a quarter of annual revenues for the vast majority of businesses surveyed (86%), this peak time is critical for e-commerce merchants around the world. The Visa GME Study also revealed e-commerce leaders remain bullish about penetrating new markets to remain competitive during this key period.
Despite the opportunity, some expressed concerns about a range of factors. Looking at the 2019 holiday season specifically, increased competition is considered to be the greatest risk by more than half (52%) of the e-commerce leaders surveyed. Other global events are also a factor; trade policy is cited most frequently by US (34%) and Chinese (54%) leaders, while uncertainty in Europe is a concern for a clear majority (64%) of UK leaders.
The full study, which will be issued in January 2020, dives into merchant attitudes, behaviours and perceptions of cross-border e-commerce for 10 global markets.
- Seamless Experience: Whether purchasing goods domestically or internationally, customers want a similar experience. Leaders cite the most important factors as: quick delivery (44%), easy checkout (41%) and convenient payment methods (41%).
- New Markets: Two in three (66%) of businesses that do not sell cross-border plan to do so in the near future, with 90 percent eyeing the next three years.
- Buckle Up: The international expansion journey can be a daunting venture. A vast majority of those who haven’t expanded internationally (87%) haven’t even made attempts to do so. Top challenges cited are accepting and processing foreign transactions (37%) and shipping issues (42%).
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