5 Global E-Commerce Trends to Keep on Your Radar
E-commerce is simultaneously making the business world seem smaller while also exploding its geographical footprint, with online shopping enabling brands to deliver their products and services across the world. As globalization accelerates, delivering exceptional e-commerce is becoming more complicated, making it imperative for companies to keep pace with relevant trends — whether they want to go global or already have. For brands looking to optimize their global e-commerce strategy, as well as their digital supply chain, here are a few key trends to be aware of.
Go global or go home
The growth of the global market, paired with the popularity of e-commerce, creates a trend on its own — one that brands can no longer ignore. The rapid expansion of global e-commerce has opened doors to several new markets all over the world, making it simpler than ever for brands to move into new markets. Each country and region offers its own nest of possibilities depending on different local demands, allowing brands to specifically target the markets they want to enter based on the products they offer. For example, companies that sell beauty and personal care consumables should consider entering countries such as South Korea and China, and brands that sell consumer electronics should target Brazil and Germany. For companies with other offerings, these countries qualify as the top 10 e-commerce markets in the world.
E-commerce is moving east
While the U.S. was once deemed the e-commerce capital of the world, there seems to shift in supremacy across hemispheres. By 2020, it’s expected at the U.S. stake in global e-commerce sales made will be 16.9%, down from 22.2% in 2015. This decrease doesn’t necessarily signify a decline in the American e-commerce market, as much as it points to major growth elsewhere in the world. According to Statista, only 16% of e-commerce now lives on Western continents, with North America raking in $988 billion and Europe earning $272 billion yearly, while 84% of e-commerce exists in the East, with Asia accumulating more than $6 trillion alone. Keeping this change in mind can help inform the direction brands take as they expand globally and as they map out their supply chains — choosing to move into the thick of the e-commerce market, or perhaps opting for a less commercially congested area.
Online shops must cater to international consumers
Domestic shoppers are looking beyond borders for their e-commerce experiences. According to a study by Neilsen, 57% of online shoppers made a purchase from an overseas retailer in the past six months. As e-commerce continues to bring different nationalities together, brands need to make sure their online platform is equipped to cater to different needs and high consumer expectations, such as website translation. In fact, Common Sense Advisory reports that 75% of survey respondents want to buy products in their native language, with 59% of respondents claiming to rarely or never buy from English-only websites. While full website translation can be a demanding undertaking, brands can meet international consumers in the middle by solely focusing on translating a site’s navigation features and some content that would be considered more important. Such a task would likely warrant support from a third-party provider, but would likely be worth the investment in user experience in the long run.
Easy check out or get out
When it comes to e-commerce, an easy checkout is a must for a top-notch user experience but can be complicated when brands are interacting with international buyers. In a Penton Research study of international shoppers, 92.2% of respondents said they prefer to shop on sites that price in their local currency. More surprisingly, 33% said they are likely to abandon a purchase if pricing is listed exclusively in the U.S. dollar. These dynamics demand that brands’ e-commerce platforms are not only simple to use but that they also cater to several different currencies. According to Neilsen, credit cards (53%) and digital payment systems (43%) are the most commonly used e-commerce payment methods, but cash on delivery is particularly common in developing markets. To adapt to global and regional specifications, brands may benefit from certain financial management services to bridge any related complexities or regulations.
Companies also have to combat high expectations around checkout ease-of-use — such as one-click purchasing that allows shoppers to select “buy” and breeze through an automated checkout process based on saved preferences. Implementing capabilities like these will help companies to elevate their brands and secure customer loyalty.
Speedy delivery, anytime, anywhere
Consumers have always wanted lightning-fast home delivery, but today’s shoppers expect it — and usually at an affordable price. According to a recent McKinsey study, younger consumers are more 30% more likely to choose same-day or instant delivery instead of regular delivery. Twenty-five percent of consumers are even willing to pay significant premiums for immediate delivery. While these trends apply to both domestic and international supply chains, the stakes rise as soon as brands go global. The cost of global parcel delivery, excluding pickup, line-haul, and sorting, amounts to approximately $86 billion, with China, Germany, and the U.S. accounting for more than 40 percent of the market. Brands that want to stay competitive need to make sure that longer last miles don’t delay delivery time or impact the consumer experience.
Global e-commerce has made the world any brands’ oyster — as long as they have the right partners and capabilities on their side. To learn how ModusLink can help companies overcome global complexities and elevate an exceptional e-commerce presence, download this brochure. For more information on the capabilities that can propel brands internationally, visit our solutions page.
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