[INFOGRAPHIC] 2013 Trends in Cross Border Trade

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1.     Appeal to new customers

  • Where domestic competition is strong and new customers hard to retain, internationalisation offers a potential solution for growth;
  • As seasons change and fashions come and go, retailers may encounter a more interested and engaged customer base for specific products;
  • This is especially true for retailers selling product ranges that have not traditionally been available outside the domestic market.

2.     Choose an under-served market

  • Gain advantages over local competition in terms of site sophistication, user experience and customer service;
  • Better buyer experience can help a retailer secure a strong foothold for the brand to build upon in the new market;
  • Determine whether your products will appeal to foreign markets and if you have the systems in place to jump ahead of the competition.

3.     Overcome seasonality

  • Moving into markets in a different hemisphere can be a solution for shifting excess stock once the domestic season ends;
  • For fashion sellers, as summer ends in the Northern Hemisphere, it is beginning in the South – so you may be able to elongate your season;
  • This can free up storage space faster and improve margins by removing the need to sell excess stock at discounted prices.

4.     Find similarities across markets

  • While consumer behaviour can vary widely between cultures, there are markets that are more appropriate for ease of access than others;
  • UK retailers, for example, can find Australia a good fit due to the shared language, and Spain due to the large number of British ex-pats;
  • Expanding their offering to other countries can test the waters of international expansion with customers of a similar nature.

5.     Leverage improved infrastructure

  • Worldwide emergence of a streamlined supply chain is enabling global commerce;
  • Fulfilling a product to an international buyer is now as easy as fulfilling to a local customer;
  • International methods of payment and cost-effective language translations allow retailers to communicate effectively with new audiences.

All of these factors have empowered retailers to embrace international expansion. Marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon can be great vehicles for initiating your expansion plans. 61% of eBay Marketplaces revenues already come from outside the US, and eBay is aiming to double its user base to 200 million-plus by 2015 [2].

CBT in Europe is booming. Europeans retailers are looking to expand into Asia (17%), North America (21%), and South America (13%) [1]. CBT in the US continues to grow at a rate of 15%, increasing from $192 billion in 2011 to an expected $379 billion in 2017 [3].

EBay and Amazon are investing considerable resources into developing capabilities that make CBT easier and more profitable for sellers. Sales on international eBay sites have already surpassed those on the US site – 55% of total gross merchandise volume (GMV) and 58% of total listings belong to international eBay sites [4].

Retailers in mature markets are looking more than ever to enter and succeed in emerging markets. Developments in technology, logistics, and communication are helping retailers overcome obstacles to CBT and gain share in foreign markets. EBay and Amazon are making it easier for international buyers to buy your products.

What does this mean for you? All you need are the tools to maximize the visibility and exposure of your inventory to foreign buyers. CBT solution providers offer translation, localisation and multilingual communication that will get your inventory moving in foreign markets.


1. ChannelAdvisor, International Trends in E-Commerce – Part 1. http://ebaystrategies.blogs.com/ebay_strategies/2013/07/international-trends-in-e-commerce-part-1.html

2. Cable News Network. What’s next for eBay. http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/04/18/ebay/

3. Forrester Research Inc data, presented by Scot Wingo at Catalyst Americas 2013. International Trends in E-Commerce – Part 1. http://ebaystrategies.blogs.com/ebay_strategies/2013/07/international-trends-in-e-commerce-part-1.html

4. Ryan Miller. Make the most of international trading on eBay. http://www.webretailer.com/articles/ebay-cross-border-trade.asp


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