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E-com leaders hope high from foreign online sales: study

Nov '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Online businesses see a world of opportunity for cross-border sales and executives are ready to take action, according to the Visa Global Merchant e-Commerce Study (Visa GME Study), which found 87 per cent of all e-commerce leaders surveyed believe expanding cross-border is one of their company’s biggest growth opportunities in the years ahead.

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, according to a press release from Visa.

Today, two in three businesses (66 per cent) that sell online are already selling cross-border. These sales account for nearly a third (31 per cent) of those businesses’ revenue. Even with the significant revenue from cross-border sales, more than half (51 per cent) of companies who already sell to international customers need help to optimize their international online sales, the study found.

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 per cent), this peak time is critical for e-commerce merchants around the world. 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 per cent) of the respondents. Other global events are also a factor; trade policy is cited most frequently by US (34 per cent) and Chinese (54 per cent) leaders, while uncertainty in Europe is a concern for a clear majority (64 per cent) of UK leaders.

Two in three businesses that do not sell cross-border plan to do so in the near future, with 90 per cent eyeing the next three years.

The international expansion journey can be a daunting venture. A vast majority of those who haven’t expanded internationally (87 per cent) haven’t even made attempts to do so. Top challenges cited are accepting and processing foreign transactions (37 per cent) and shipping issues (42 per cent).

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.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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