Global cross-border e-commerce will triple from $300 billion in 2015 to $900 billion in 2020, accounting for about 22 percent of all e-commerce sales, according to a recent study from international shipper DHL. The report—The 21st Century Spice Trade: A Guide to the Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunity—said reaching out to an international audience with its products will increase an online retailer’s sales by 10 to 15 percent. While logistics, trust, price and customer experience all present hurdles that must be addressed, the report said merchants should not be intimidated by opening overseas markets.
“Shipping cross-border is much, much easier than many retailers believe, and we see every day the positive impact that selling to international markets can have on our customers’ business growth,” said Ken Allen, CEO of DHL Express.
The survey asked retailers in different categories about their expectations for growth in cross-border transactions. While merchants in many verticals expect significant growth, more than a quarter of respondents in the beauty and cosmetics (32 percent), pet care (30 percent), multi-category (29 percent), food and beverage (27 percent) and sporting goods (26 percent) categories felt their share of cross-border transactions would grow faster than average. Manufacturers leveraging cross-border to sell direct to consumers expect the most growth in cross-border share.