Where Do You See Cross-Border Ecommerce Going in 5 to 10 years?

Cross-border B2C ecommerce volume is rapidly rising, but where do you see cross border retail going in five to 10 years?

That was the question I asked Jill Finger Gibson, Principal Analyst, Ecommerce, Digital Clarity Group, and Craig Reed, Senior Vice President, Global Ecommerce, Pitney Bowes, during the September webinar “Creating Your Roadmap to Cross-Border Success.”

Cross-border B2C ecommerce transactions made up 14.6% of total B2C transactions in 2014, and is estimated to be 16.3% of those transactions in 2015, according to a report from global consulting firm Accenture and AliResearch, Alibaba Group’s research arm. By 2020, cross-border ecommerce will make up nearly 30% of all B2B ecommerce transactions.

Jill Finger Gibson
Jill Finger Gibson

Gibson said hat in five to 10 years, cross-border ecommerce is going to reach the point where we’re going to drop the words “cross-border” and just call it retail.

Gibson said that in some merchants just look at ecommerce as “where are they going to sell,” and do not have specific cross-border destinations in mind. They instead see a sale as a sale, and need to provide the same experience to the customer regardless of destination, and don’t put localization, translation, and cultures into consideration.

“That’s something retailers need to look at,” Gibson said. “[Cross-border] seems more complicated and different, but it’s really not. It’s really managing the customer’s expectation and what you do to provide them with a great experience.”

Craig Reed
Craig Reed

Reed said the retail industry has made cross-border transactions possible, but is really going to evolve into making those transactions probable. And that means understanding buyer behavior at a very granular level.

“One-size fits all, ship it to the customer and they’re happy doesn’t cut it,” Reed said. “[Merchants] really have to figure out how to customize the experience and bring it down to the user level the right device, the right message, the right product, the right channel.”

For more cross-border ecommerce insight, register for the September webinar “Creating Your Roadmap to Cross-Border Success,” which can be viewed on demand.

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