This guest post is written by Michelle Mondonedo from Easyship. Easyship is an all-in-one shipping management tool that automates everything from in-cart checkout to delivery, helping eCommerce sellers ship worldwide in minutes.
In today’s world, taking your business worldwide isn’t a choice – it’s a necessity! eCommerce, technology, and logistics are advanced enough; once you find the right target markets, it’s very possible to reach your business goals and be successful in eCommerce.
The following countries have the metrics to prove that cross-border eCommerce is successful, and as a bonus, they are not too complicated to ship to.
It’s worth noting countries like China, India, Brazil, and Russia show amazing potential for eCommerce, but are not on this list because fulfillment still proves challenging.
For example, Chinese customs is very strict with imports and shipments are prone to delays. A huge challenge in shipping to Brazil, India, and Russia is the need for the recipient to have proper identification to accept overseas packages.
That being said, here are the top eCommerce countries you should consider selling to:
1. United States
The US is the largest market for eCommerce business in the world, so investing and expanding your business there could be a wise move. The tax threshold for imports is pretty generous at US$800 which makes it less likely that customers would have to pay additional tax or duty for overseas shipments. In 2017, North America saw 12.3% sales growth in retail eCommerce, equaling US$432 billion.
Japan is one of the fastest growing eCommerce markets in the world. They rank 4th in having the most eCommerce sales worldwide, spending a total of US$111 billion in 2017. Apparel totaled 11% of all eCommerce sales in 2016 and the online apparel industry continues to see steady growth. There is also an increasing demand for handmade marketplaces such as Etsy.
The UK is one of the biggest eCommerce markets with a promising growth rate of 17% every year. Many UK consumers prefer products from the US and other European countries. Popular eCommerce categories include fashion, sporting goods, travel, and household items.
Germany is the top eCommerce market in Europe. Analysts estimate 12% growth through 2017, faster than any other Western European country. Popular eCommerce product categories include fashion, consumer media, and electronics. In terms of payment options, invoicing, credit cards, and online payment methods such as PayPal are preferred.
France saw almost US$50 billion in retail eCommerce sales in 2017. French millennials are very tech savvy, and on average they made at least one online purchase every month. Popular eCommerce categories include fashion, cultural products, and health & beauty products.
Italy saw US$16 billion in retail eCommerce sales in 2017, and this sales growth is expected to increase by 7.4% in 2018. Though internet penetration is only at 60%, it’s eCommerce market is still considered to be growing quickly. Popular eCommerce categories include clothing, consumer electronics, and media.
Canada is another emerging and fast-growing eCommerce market with the B2C market getting more popular. Per Statista, eCommerce retail is predicted to reach CAD$29 billion by 2021. Canadians are the most diversified cross-border eCommerce purchasers; however, it’s worth noting that a low tax threshold (CAD$15) will mean that your customer will most likely have to pay additional tax & duty to receive your shipments.
Though Mexicans are just starting to adopt eCommerce, the numbers show that the eCommerce scene is really starting to take off. An estimated 42 million online shoppers spent over US$9 billion in retail eCommerce in 2017. Personal electronics is the most popular category, followed by fashion, and there is a high demand for foreign goods.
9. South Korea
South Korea has a stable economy, with eCommerce adding value to GDP and economic growth. In 2017, they saw US$46.5 billion in retail eCommerce sales and is expected to see 8.5% growth in 2018. By 2021, Koreans are predicted to spend over US$1000 online. Fashion, toys, and hobby/DIY categories remain popular.
Spain is another strong contender in the eCommerce, seeing US$20 billion in retail eCommerce sales in 2017. The average Spanish consumer spends US$724 online, and this is expected to steadily increase in the next few years. Fashion remains the top eCommerce category, with toys, hobby, and DIY following after.
Before you open your store to the world, make sure you prepare your business by doing the following:
- Set up a WorldFirst online seller account to ensure you can receive international payments
- Determine if the destination country will charge any duties and taxes on your shipments
- Plan your international shipping and fulfillment strategy
We hope these insights inspire you to take your eCommerce business globally!
Disclaimer: These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice. Please consider FX derivatives are high risk, provide volatile returns and do not guarantee profits. We have no commercial affiliation with any organisation or commercial interest regarding the venues mentioned in this article. The information is only provided as gathered and should be verified before, using your own judgement.
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