New user guidelines are intended to simplify and promote international trade, at least within the EU in the vein of the cross-border trade trend.
The Worldwide Search study conducted by OC&C Strategy Consultants illustrates why international online trade is becoming more attractive to both customers and merchants. Customer reasons include not just technological options but expanded selection, both qualitative and authentic (79% find this a motivating factor), and lower prices (80% of customers save when shopping internationally).
Merchants benefit from comparatively low costs accompanied by a considerably larger sales market if they offer worldwide shipping as well as the advantage of a pre-existing infrastructure and limited risk.
The Modern Spice Routes study conducted by PayPal states that 42% of online customers have ordered cross-border goods at least once, while an additional 22% are highly interested in doing so. Men under 30 are a customer base that is particularly strongly represented. Clothes, shoes, and accessories as well as beauty and personal products are especially popular.
However, 60% of respondents are critical of high shipping costs and complicated returns, especially with regard to costs, fees, and payments as well as buyer protection. Approximately 70% were concerned about identity theft and fraud in cross-border online payments.
The largest exporter of e-commerce goods is Great Britain, at more than 869 million euros, followed by the US at 132 million euros.
German products are currently purchased primarily in France (432 million euros) and the Netherlands (175 million euros). However, at 13 million euros, Germany is far behind the forerunners; 14% puts them in 7th place of favorite international sales countries (in comparison: the US is at 45%).
Both studies concur that a massive increase in international e-commerce trade will occur by 2020. This means that German merchants need to do some serious work on their international strategy in order to be able to participate competitively.
The first requirement for a successful international strategy is demonstrated by the study by SDL, There is Only One Language. Focusing on millennials, it shows that 82% of respondents are more likely to buy a product if the product material is in their language and that 56% are of the opinion that language is more important than price. This native language preference is founded in a better customer experience and increased personal trust.
A variety of payment options and reputable payment methods, such as PayPal and Klarna invoicing, can minimize customer concerns with regard to payments and fraud, thus increasing trust in the online store.
In addition to localization of the internet storefront, the website, and marketing materials, these things can help build a cultural and linguistic connection with the customer, which strengthens both customer loyalty and brand, and promotes sales.