If the year 0 for eCommerce was 2020, it is true that what is happening in the old continent with digital commerce is not really a surprise but rather the acceleration of a process that has already been underway for some years, thanks to Europe’s high digitisation rate (around 90% of all its inhabitants), the highest in the world.
In 2019, cross-border eCommerce in the EU reached €110 billion, a growth of 14.4% compared to the previous year. 2020 far exceeded this figure, standing at a turnover of €146 billion, but it is in the near future, between 2021 and 2022, that a real jump is expected, with an estimate of around €245 billion.
These figures demonstrate the strategic nature of the sector and lead us to make a number of considerations. First of all, doing cross-border eCommerce in Europe means giving a brand the opportunity to reach a much wider range than sales in its own country, and this also means more potential buyers. More people means more engagement and more engagement means a higher conversion rate and more revenue. Cross-border trade also builds brand authority, which becomes effectively international. In addition, a brand that for a number of reasons is not appreciated in its own country may be appreciated in other places because people tend to buy products online that are not available in their local markets. Finally: eCommerce is the future. Getting there before others means that we have a better chance of getting to know this type of market and succeeding.
As well as opening up great possibilities, however, cross-border eCommerce presents us with a number of new challenges that we must learn to manage. From logistics to tax issues, from language preferences that vary from country to country, to the choice of payment methods: there are many things to take into account when approaching a market other than your own, and the possibility of standing out in that market lies in the difference between knowing them (and using them correctly) and ignoring them.
Learn from the 21 years of experience behind Go Global Ecommerce, the short guide that will help European brands unravel the main knots they have to deal with if they decide to enter the European cross-border e-commerce market.