Cross-border e-commerce to hit $900b by 2020

Eden Estopace
20 Mar 2017

Cross-border e-commerce is now the fastest growing segment in the retail market, according to a report published by DHL Express.

Cross-border sales volumes are predicted to increase at an annual average rate of 25% - from $300 billion to $900 billion - between 2015 and 2020. This is twice the pace of domestic e-commerce growth, DHL Express said.

The study found that online retailers are boosting sales by 10-15% on average simply by extending their offering to international customers.

By including premium service offering such as faster shipping options, retailers and manufacturers also grew 1.6 times their online stores faster on average than other players.

“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,” DHL Express CEO Ken Allen said.

In Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong, and India) and Europe (Italy, Spain, France, Germany), key markets for high-value purchases are being expanded — with growth rates up to two or three times higher than the global average driven by rising consumer education and e-tailer awareness of opportunity.

The report also noted that the $30 billion market of high-basket value transactions is evenly divided between Asia, Europe, and North America.

Allen added that DHL Express sees that virtually every product category has the potential to upgrade to premium, both by developing higher quality luxury editions and by offering superior levels of service quality to meet the demands of less price-sensitive customers.

“The opportunity to ‘go global’ and ‘go premium’ is there for many retailers in all markets,” he said.

The main challenges highlighted by consumers to cross-border purchases relate to logistics, trust, price, and customer experience.

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