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Retail Looks to Global Ecommerce Strategies for Growth, Survival

New Global-e Report Shows Strong Trading Across Regions and Verticals
With Impressive Results for Luxury Goods Market

NEW YORK, NY – July 22, 2020 – Global ecommerce has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, with cross-border ecommerce retail sales rising 101% year-over-year from January 1 through mid-June. Today, Global-e, the leading provider in cross-border ecommerce solutions, released its latest COVID-19 Cross-border Ecommerce Trading Implications report, which shows how the pandemic has impacted retail brands and merchants, and why a diversified ecommerce approach is critical amid economic uncertainty.

The report analyzed cross-border retail sales of apparel, accessory, cosmetics and footwear items worldwide from 300 of Global-e’s retail customers from January to June 2020. At the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns, U.S. consumers flocked to international retailers for online purchases, with April seeing 7% year-over-year growth and May experiencing 42% YoY growth respectively, bringing total U.S. cross-border ecommerce growth to 10.2% from January to mid-June inclusive. Meanwhile, luxury goods – which have been most affected by the pandemic as international travel and high-touch in-store experiences have all but disappeared – have relied most heavily on global cross-border ecommerce strategies to boost sales, with a 39% YoY growth in both April and May respectively.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Ecommerce purchases steadily rise each month. Cross-border online purchases worldwide have increased by 21% YoY (like for like, year-to-date until June 14). Despite slowdowns across some of the markets when the pandemic reached its peak, sales have quickly bounced back across most of the markets, with Q2 sales alone soaring by over 53% YoY. May sales rose by 42% YoY, with June showing the same positive growth trend.
  • Western Europe ecommerce has significantly rebounded since April. During the height of the pandemic, cross-border ecommerce sales dropped in February and March by 2% YoY and 11% YoY respectively, but in April and May the region saw a whopping 23% YoY and 30% YoY growth, resulting in an overall 9.5% YoY increase as of mid-June.
  • The Gulf region has experienced skyrocketing growth. While most of the world experienced a dip or flattening of their cross-border ecommerce growth in the month of March, the Gulf region’s (including United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait) growth skyrocketed throughout 2020. Ahead of Ramadan in April, YoY growth jumped from 48% in January to 115% in March, then surged to 575% YoY in April.
  • All regions have seen steady ecommerce growth since April. Global-e’s data shows similar trends across all markets, with sales rebounding and even exceeding pre-pandemic figures within six to eight weeks from initial lockdowns.

“Embracing a truly robust and diversified online strategy is paramount to retailer’s and brand’s survival – not only during the last few months, but also in the long term, as consumers worldwide become increasingly comfortable in purchasing goods from overseas,” said Matthew Merrilees, North America CEO at Global-e. “With the retail sector being one of the hardest industries hit by the global pandemic, neglecting international ecommerce opportunities is simply not an option. Rather, to capitalize on the booming global ecommerce market, it’s critical for merchants to adjust their online offering to the local needs and preferences of digital buyers worldwide, removing any barriers to purchase and paving the way for high customer satisfaction and online revenues growth.”

Global-e has experienced 200% YoY growth in signing new clients, as retailers seek out solutions to customize their online platforms for consumers in different regions. Download Global-e’s full report here.


Global-e analyzed data from over 300 global ecommerce merchants selling to over 185 countries, leveraging orders and shipping data to determine key findings.