60% Of Retailers Cite Currency Differences, Fraud Fears As Biggest Barriers To Global Commerce

While more than half of global online shoppers already have purchased goods from outside their home country, less than half of U.S. retailers ship outside the country. Only 48.2% ship to Europe, 47.2% ship to Asia-Pacific and 42.4% ship to the Middle East/Africa, according to a joint study from BlueSnap and Kount.

What is keeping U.S. retailers from capitalizing on this global shopping opportunity, which reaches as high as $3 trillion? As many as 60% cite currency and payment differences as the top two obstacles to international e-Commerce expansion, and an identical 60% pointed to the enhanced need for fraud prevention.

Additional obstacles that plague U.S. retailers include:

  • Customs duties (52%);
  • Local regulations and laws (50%); and
  • Fulfillment (43%)

Surprisingly, both language (36%) and customer service (27%) ranked relatively low on the list of concerns, suggesting that more companies are getting over the language barrier to interact with cross-border consumers and are hiring more localized customer service employees.


Given that 16.4% of global commerce already takes place online, and the report anticipating it will surpass brick-and-mortar sales by 2036, retailers are mindful of the need to focus on cross-border e-Commerce despite the present barriers. The survey found that 67% of retailers agree international e-Commerce is a critical source of future growth, and 52% concur that global e-Commerce is suitable for their company because they have many international customers and followers of their brand and products.

The payments barrier may be a major issue for many retailers since they often use several payment processors to handle purchases from global consumers — 61% of retailers identified managing technology integrations with multiple vendors as a somewhat important issue. The BlueSnap/Kount study found that less than 38.59% of retailers engaged in global commerce work with only a single payment processor, and 33% are connected to at least three.



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