Back in 2013, a year after when FiftyOne acquired international ecommerce company Borderfree from Canada Post and adopted the Borderfree name, someone in a Multichannel Merchant editorial meeting made the following statement:
“Borderfree won’t be around very long. Cross-border ecommerce is the next big thing, and a bigger vendor who wants to grow their global game is going to acquire them.”
I will not take credit for Chief Content Director Ellen Shannon’s quote. Though I nodded my head in agreement. And I will say she was spot-on.
Yesterday, Pitney Bowes stepped up to the plate and acquired Borderfree for $395 million. Borderfree’s cross-border ecommerce solutions will be used to complement and expand Pitney Bowes’ existing ecommerce capabilities, which help clients grow their businesses internationally by reducing the complexity of cross-border ecommerce.
Of course, we don’t know exactly how everything will unfold, but we do know this will create a best-of-breed business for retailers who are looking to expand sales across the U.S. border.
Borderfree has made a big splash, despite a huge third-quarter earnings drop. That’s basically because Borderfree has done a great job getting U.S.-based retailers’ in the global ecommerce game. In the fourth-quarter, Borderfree rolled out some new technology, and signed on 25 new storefronts to its platform.
The Pitney Bowes acquisition is a sign that global ecommerce is not just a bandwagon retailers are jumping on. U.S.-based retailers without a cross-border plan have reported that upwards of 10% of their ecommerce sales are shipped to non-U.S. addresses.
The problem is, ecommerce retailers are not taking advantage of global ecommerce, and embracing the cross-border consumer. They need to look at the numbers – and listen to the success stories of Borderfree and Pitney Bowes clients and others who are finding success in cross-border ecommerce – and decide if it’s the right move for them.
More than half of MCM Outlook 2015 survey respondents (53.8%) said their ecommerce sites are not set up for global business. Of those respondents who said their sites are ready for cross-border, just 62.5% said they offer international payment offerings. What’s more, just 21% said they have localized sited for specific target countries, and just 25% are using a third-party service provider to market to cross-border consumers.