Cross border e-commerce continues to provide significant growth opportunities for retailers and manufacturers with an international online product offering. According to a 2017 DHL report, cross-border retail volumes are predicted to increase at an annual average rate of 25 per cent between 2015 and 2020 (from $300 billion to $900 billion) â€“ twice the pace of domestic e-commerce growth.
The Vice President of Sales for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, Steve Burd, who disclosed this in a statement, said the projection highlights boundless opportunity for African businesses looking to take a piece of the cross border e-commerce pie.
Burd said as the market leader in express logistics, DHL Express works with thousands of e-commerce customers around the world, with a lot of them at start-up phase.
â€œWe are therefore well aware of the perceived hurdles involved when considering to trade across borders.â€
He pointed out to five common areas which domestic e-commerce customers consider to be a challenge when deciding where to trade internationally.
These include cost of express shipping, returns rates, basket values, the customerâ€™s business is doing well locally, and unfamiliarity with customs procedures and processes.
â€œWeâ€™ve found that the return rates are actually much lower on international shipping. Businesses could always do it on a trial basis and measure the benefits over losses and adjust their strategies accordingly.
â€œWe have found that basket values often increase with the introduction of express shipping. Customers tend to buy more to justify the premium shipping costs,â€ he added.