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.