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Cross-Border Commerce in Focus

Posted on 3.06.2016

Cross-border sales are expected to account for approximately 15 percent of total global e-commerce sales by 2018 according to the latest data from the X-Border Index powered by Digital River.

The Index analyzes 192 merchants across 10 countries, including Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. What’s more, the Index looks at nearly 60 attributes, including pricing, security, payment types and shipping options. According to the data, even though cross-border commerce presents opportunities, merchants remain unprepared on how to welcome international shoppers. In fact, the average merchants scored 57 on a scale of 100 when it came to optimizing their sites for global shoppers. Although 57 is a better score than last quarter’s average score of 55, it shows that merchants still have a long way to go to be optimized for shoppers across the globe.

Additional data shows that even though the U.S. claimed the top spot for the fourth consecutive time when it comes to cross-border commerce, China is also becoming a leader, with the U.S. scoring 66 and China scoring 65. For instance, Chinese merchants are making their borders more accessible by offering free shopping, displaying six or more currencies, displaying their sites in six or more languages and tailoring address fields to shoppers’ locations. The U.S., however, is outpacing China when it comes to optimizing sites for mobile use, accepting a variety of payment options, offering rewards programs and allowing checkout without a user profile.

Lastly, the X-Border Index sheds light on things that cross border sites can do to improve, including making their site available in six or more languages, offering six or more currencies and pre-populating address fields that are country-specific.

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