GO GLOBAL. BE LOCAL.

White Papers

Oct-2016

White paperUSA now prime location for UK retailers in global e-commerce, finds research from Global-e

A survey of 250 British retail decision-makers released today by Global-e, the cross-border e-commerce specialist, reveals that the majority (59%) of British retailers consider the US to be the most important retail e-commerce market. However, less than half (44%) of UK retailers currently sell to shoppers in the US and relatively few have plans to do so in the future. Just 13% of British retailers are currently planning to start selling to shoppers in the US. The US is one of the largest and most sophisticated e-commerce markets in the world. Online sales reached $341.7 billion in 2015 – a… Read More >

A survey of 250 British retail decision-makers released today by Global-e, the cross-border e-commerce specialist, reveals that the majority (59%) of British retailers consider the US to be the most important retail e-commerce market. However, less than half (44%) of UK retailers currently sell to shoppers in the US and relatively few have plans to do so in the future. Just 13% of British retailers are currently planning to start selling to shoppers in the US.

The US is one of the largest and most sophisticated e-commerce markets in the world. Online sales reached $341.7 billion in 2015 – a 14.6 per cent increase on 2014’s $298.3 billion – and this growth is only set to continue over the next three years. By 2019, the North American e-commerce market will soar by 59 per cent to $579.9 billion, making it bigger than the e-commerce markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa combined, and second only to Asia Pacific in global rankings.

The US has become all the more attractive to overseas retailers since a new bill was introduced earlier this year to raise the level at which import taxes are applied from $200 to $800. It is now considerably cheaper, and in most cases tax-free, for US shoppers to purchase from foreign merchants online. Coupled with the pound at an all-time low in the wake Brexit and the dollar performing so well against other currencies, now is the optimum time for British retailers to target US consumers.

The Global-e study has found that British retailers appreciate the US opportunity – of all British retailers that are either targeting or intend to target US shoppers, over half (51%) are motivated by the opportunity to grow sales for their business. Worryingly, however, almost half (48%) of the retailers that are targeting or planning to target US shoppers, are doing so with their existing UK offering with no localisation whatsoever. It’s no surprise, then, that retailers who have launched e-commerce activity in the US have faced difficulties in doing so. For instance, two fifths of retailers pointed to shipping and customs issues as a difficulty (42%). Over a quarter of UK retailers experienced in catering to the US market said that they had faced difficulty with laws and regulation complexity (state vs federal) when selling to US shoppers (28%). Retailers also point to vary shipping options (49%), taxes and duties calculated in final price (39%), local returns (32%) and local currency (28%) as improvements to their US site they would like to address.

Nir Debbi CMO and co-founder of Global-e, said: Now is an opportune time for British retailers to do business in the United States. US consumers’ appetite for cross-border shopping is growing rapidly. Following the new rules, they can now buy more for the same price from abroad which is great news for foreign retailers selling into the US. Particularly for British retailers, where post-Brexit shock has caused the American dollar to surge against the British pound.”

As online shopping becomes quicker, safer and more convenient than ever before, North America’s growing e-commerce market represents a significant opportunity for trusted international retailers to boost sales. Indeed, American consumers are increasingly shopping across borders, with over half (54%) of frequent online shoppers have bought at least one item online from a retailer based outside of the United States according to research conducted by Comscore,.

Although there is no language barrier to contend with, US shoppers often feel unconfident about making a purchase if the online store doesn’t offer prices in US dollars, provide local returns, multiple shipping options at attractive rates, and guarantee no additional taxes or costs upon delivery. According to Global-e’s data, 99 per cent of US customers prefer to pay in US dollars, when given the option by a foreign retailer and conversion rates are increasing to over 90 per cent with a localised offering.

“Retailers should take into consideration the local competition and remove major barriers in order to realise the full potential of the US e-commerce market. Most retailers fail to offer overseas customers their local payment methods, localised pricing or multiple shipping options at attractive rates and local return options – which impacts conversions abroad. Retailers must streamline the customer experience by providing localisation, this needn’t mean building a standalone website from the outset or negotiating deals in every market. Retailers can achieve this high standard without investing heavy time and money into the process by working with specialist partners to achieve the personalisation the consumer expects.” Added Nir Debbi.

Research methodology

Global-e commissioned Censuswide to survey 250 senior decision makers at retail businesses in the UK. The survey carried out online and undertaken in May 2016.

Please fill in the form to receive your copy of the full report.
Feb-2016

White paperUK Retailers Failing to Capitalise Upon China’s Fast-growing E-commerce Market

Almost half of UK’s top online retailers are not capitalising on the great opportunity present in China’s e-commerce market, while most retailers are failing to offer pricing in Chinese Yuan, adjusted content, Chinese local payment methods or import tax calculation, Global-E research reveals   Research by Global-e, the cross-border e-commerce specialists, reveals that although more than two-thirds (71%) of the UK’s largest online retailers are selling internationally, almost half (45%) are completely ignoring China’s burgeoning e-commerce market, with just 55% of retailers offering shipping to China. However, despite many retailers shipping internationally, the shopping experience offered to shoppers overseas, and… Read More >

Almost half of UK’s top online retailers are not capitalising on the great opportunity present in China’s e-commerce market, while most retailers are failing to offer pricing in Chinese Yuan, adjusted content, Chinese local payment methods or import tax calculation, Global-E research reveals

 

Research by Global-e, the cross-border e-commerce specialists, reveals that although more than two-thirds (71%) of the UK’s largest online retailers are selling internationally, almost half (45%) are completely ignoring China’s burgeoning e-commerce market, with just 55% of retailers offering shipping to China. However, despite many retailers shipping internationally, the shopping experience offered to shoppers overseas, and particularly in China, varies wildly.

 

China’s total e-commerce market is expected to increase by 50% to $6.5 trillion by 2020 with online transactions accounting for nearly half of that growth. The country is confident about their international e-commerce potential too with China’s Centre for International Economic Exchanges predicting the nation’s international online retail will account for 30 – 40 per cent of total world trade by 2025.

 

While many UK retailers, such as Selfridges and John Lewis have taken steps to make the shopping experience in-store more welcoming for high-spending visitors from China, Global-e found that relatively few retailers have made similar improvements online. This is despite recent research by WorldPay revealing that 44% of people in China shop on overseas websites.

 

Global-e’s study, which assessed more than 150 of the UK’s largest online retailers, found that just one in ten (10%) retailers that ship to China offer shoppers a Mandarin language option. Across all retailers, just under a fifth (17%) offer non-English language options, with retailers that offer international language options offering 5.7 languages on average.

 

More than a third (36%) of retailers offer prices in other currencies, however Global-e found that just over a quarter (26%) of UK retailers that ship to China present prices in Chinese Yuan, while just 22% accept Chinese local payment methods, such as AliPay, UnionPay and TenPay. Of retailers that do accept Chinese payment methods, 42% offer a single option, barring some prospective customers from making a purchase.

 

Furthermore, almost all (98%) of retailers that ship to China do not provide full duties calculations and prepayment, which means that shoppers may be stung by unexpected charges or taxes. Not only does this put the retailer’s reputation at risk, these companies will be unlikely to generate brand loyalty in China.

 

Nir Debbi, Co-founder, CMO at Global-e, says: Shoppers expect more from the online retail experience but very few retailers can claim to offer “global shopping.” Our research shows that retailers are falling short in serving both Chinese shoppers and other overseas by not providing the seamless shopping experience they offer here in the UK, Most retailers fail to offer local payment methods, localised pricing or taxes and duties calculation. To boost conversions abroad and harness untapped opportunities, retailers need to remove the frictions in the customer experience by providing effective shipping and returns, localised pricing, local currencies and payment methods with guaranteed landed cost. However, delivering a localised shopping experience doesn’t have to mean building standalone websites or negotiating deals in each market. Retailers can work with specialist partners to achieve this level of personalisation, reducing the time and money spent on cross-border commerce.”

 

Research methodology

Looking at the 2015 Internet Retailer Top European 500 list (which includes the 500 largest e-commerce sites in Europe), Global-e analysed and evaluated the provision of shipping options, currencies supported, language and tax calculation by more than 150 of the UK’s biggest retailers; in general and also specifically for the Chinese market. The following verticals were excluded: marketplaces, groceries, flowers, travel and energy and telecom providers.

Please fill in the form to view the full report.