Cross-border e-commerce refers to the transnational and international exchange of commodities through online stores run by retailers and brands where customers can buy items and have them shipped outside the base of the sellers.
The size of the worldwide B2C cross-border e-commerce market in 2021 was US$ 765.73 billion. By 2030, the size of the worldwide cross-border B2C e-commerce industry is anticipated to reach US$ 6,209.29 billion, expanding at a compounding yearly growth rate (CAGR) of 26.2% from 2022 to 2030.
The B2C e-commerce market in the Middle East and Africa is anticipated to increase by 22.38% yearly to reach US$104.1 billion in 2022. While it is anticipated that the B2C e-commerce sector in India will grow to $98.4 billion by 2023. The main product categories in this industry that are booming are entertainment & education, consumer electronics, home furnishings, personal care & beauty, healthcare & nutrition, footwear, food & beverage, and others. Apparel and accessories now hold the biggest market share.
To remain competitive and secure a piece of the cross-border pie, retailers will have to keep up with the developments in their sector. A key component in this is enhancing the client experience- from shopping to shipping.
Let’s dig into some of the trends that are growing in popularity and relevance when it comes to creating a great customer experience.
1. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is used in most cutting-edge technologies, including intelligent chatbots, customized product suggestion engines, and voice searches. AI enables internet merchants to provide a more individualized shopping experience.
Sellers may utilize it to improve forecasting, order tracking, and post-sales support.
70% of online business owners believe that AI for E-commerce will enable them to customize their online stores, therefore creating a better user experience. This technology will be more crucial for the e-commerce industry as users' and customers’ expectations are becoming at par with the online platform giants who are using this technology such as Amazon. Artificial intelligence can help create more relevant and personalized suggestions for customers that might aid their purchasing decisions.
2. 24/7 customer service
In 2023, customer service will be a linchpin for both e-commerce businesses, especially those that are catering to international consumers transacting from different time zones. Customers want assistance - immediately - when they have questions about selecting a size, tracking a shipment, or obtaining a refund, therefore retailers must prioritize this. That entails making it simple for users to find assistance via their preferred channel, be it live chat, social media, or the phone.
3. Use of chatbots
With our first two points, the use of chatbots in e-commerce has also skyrocketed recently. By 2027, 25% of businesses will use chatbots as their primary customer care tool, according to Gartner. Chatbots are beneficial to businesses as it helps in saving money, provide better customer service, engage with customers through a variety of channels at scale, provide 24/7 customer assistance, and expand worldwide without adding more overhead.
4. Social Commerce
Social media-based direct purchasing and selling of goods and services is referred to as social commerce. Compared to current e-commerce models, social commerce has a bigger room for expansion. During the years 2022-2028, this sector is anticipated to expand consistently by 22.8%. Customers heavily rely on their social media feeds for shopping, recommendations, and straightforward e-commerce sales. One study claims that 48% of consumers are now inclined to make a direct purchase from TikTok.
Transparency in product and delivery has always been a must for consumers. When customers are unaware of a shipping delay, 69.7% say they are less inclined to make another purchase from that merchant. Integrating the right technology with your e-commerce storefront or marketplaces can help generate the proper data and real-time updates which can then be shared with customers for them to track and be updated about their online orders.
Green commerce is expanding. Following the pandemic, 52% of customers began to value sustainability. Consumers are now willing to spend more to purchase sustainable products, even in times of financial uncertainty.
Recommended read: Sustainable e-commerce is the future
Without addressing the problems that need to be solved, no study on retail trends for 2023 would be complete. In 2022, there was a big global upheaval that is making it difficult for shops worldwide. Retailers must be adaptable and agile in the years to come. Utilize technology, be innovative, and keep up with retail trends to find solutions to these demands.
8. Buy now, pay later (finance)
Unbelievably, problems with payment processing cause eCommerce businesses to lose a lot of potential customers. Cart abandonment rates skyrocket when an online retailer makes it too tough to pay for an item. Buy now, pay later schemes have been seen to quite improve the payment process for customers since they do not have to worry so much about the transactions at the moment.
Over the last few years, BNPL (buy now, pay later) has been extremely popular. Due to the pandemic's financial instability, there was an increase in apps that allowed customers to spread payments out over monthly installments. This was advantageous for both individuals and businesses. By offering cheaper upfront costs, brands may attract more customers, and consumers can purchase more expensive goods without breaking the bank in one go.
There are numerous developments and lots of emerging tools for cross-border e-commerce businesses to create a lasting consumer impression, and a great virtual transaction with customers while setting a competitive advantage apart from the growing number of sellers globally.
The key to a successful shopping-to-shipping experience for your consumers relies heavily on a deep understanding of consumer behaviors, especially as you are catering to consumers from different geographies and cultural backgrounds. Addressing different shopping behaviors will have to be localized and personalized to ensure better conversions.
Partnering with an experienced local and regional specialist, like RSA Global, takes out the risks of doing costly trial and error trying to understand the market, especially if you are new to it and wanted to test the demand. Serving a wide audience entails having an even wider and stronger network.
To know more about how RSA Global can help you reach and serve your e-commerce market in the Middle East, India and Africa, visit: https://www.rsa.global/ae/e-commerce-logistics