Cross-border ecommerce to account for 38% of all sales by 2023, driven by marketplaces

Image: Adobe Stock

Image: Adobe Stock

Cross-border ecommerce is set to exceed $2.1trn trillion in 2023, up markedly from $1.9trn in 2022. This 13% growth in a single year reflects the increasing success of marketplaces, which offer goods across borders, as well as the rising viability of cross-border sales as an eCommerce model.

According to a research report, Cross-border eCommerce: Emerging Opportunities, Future Challenges & Market Forecasts 2022-2026, from Juniper Research, as ecommerce models diversify, including models such as buy now pay later and click and collect, cross-border options must also keep pace, by agreeing local distribution and payment partnerships.

The research recommends that cross-border ecommerce vendors offer localised ecommerce models, or they will lose out to options that better serve consumer appetites.

Marketplace model critical to cross-border growth

The research finds that the marketplace model, where large vendors, such as Amazon or Wish.com, sell goods to users on behalf of cross-border vendors, will be critical to growth. This model represents an easy way to access a large audience, while ensuring that accepting payments and other logistical issues are seamlessly handled.

Research co-author Nick Maynard elaborates: “The marketplace model within ecommerce takes the complexity away, meaning that cross-border merchants can provide a localised service. As such, marketplaces are an excellent way to gain immediate access to an existing user base, albeit one that can be restrictive compared with having a direct-to-consumer relationship.”

The research found that physical goods will account for more than 97% of cross-border ecommerce spend in 2023, with digital goods making up the remainder. It identified the maturity of cross‑border export of physical goods as a business model as a major factor in this difference, as well as increasingly cost‑conscious end users.

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