Meeting the desire for good deals is no longer limited by geographical boundaries. Although cross-border trade dates back centuries, actually enabling people to shop across borders remains complex. Both buyers and sellers can face challenges, including regional nuances, and language, shipping and payment disparities.
Last year was a shining example of how eBay is a leader in enabling global trade. Cross-border commerce represented approximately 20 percent of eBay’s business in 2014
Jennifer Chang, Head of Buyer Experience, Cross Border Trade and Geographic Experience at eBay, explains how eBay is approaching this landscape and is finding new ways to connect the dots and remove traditional barriers to accelerate growth.
“We are innovating with machine translation,” Chang explained. “We have translated eBay to make it available for Russian customers, into Spanish for the Latin American market and into Portuguese for the Brazilian market.”
Additionally, eBay is partnering with Russian Post and the China Post to make shipping easier and more cost-effective in the Russian and Chinese markets. eBay’s creation of a one-step Global Shipping Program makes 70 million eBay listings available to international buyers.
With the rise of mobile technology and the rapidly changing global commerce market, cross-border trade has also become an important business driver for small to midsize business owners.
For United States-based eBay seller Nick Martin of The Pro’s Closet, approximately 40 percent of his business comes from international customers. Over 90 percent of U.S. businesses using eBay Marketplaces are trading across borders. On average, these businesses sell to 30 countries, which is 10 times more countries than the average for traditional U.S. companies.
“Our business is 100 percent on eBay and we process all of our payments through PayPal,” Martin explained in a recent Forbes article. “The relationship has allowed us to access customers worldwide that are familiar with the marketplace. eBay allows us to sell internationally, which otherwise would have been impossible for someone trying to start a small business online.”
Martin is not alone. With cross-border online shopping expected to hit $307 billion by 2018, the market is ripe for growth. eBay already has more than 155 million active buyers and remains focused on tailoring the shopping experience based on customer desires or cultural preferences.
Chang reiterated, “We know that what a customer wants in Russia is different from what a customer wants in China. And so the shopping experience needs to be different. We’re doing that at eBay by bringing different merchandising and deals based on the region that the customer is in, ensuring that language is no longer an issue and giving customers a way to pay that’s most comfortable for them.”