Cross-border trade has gone through five great changes over the past couple of years and Chinese sellers are set to benefit, according to John Lin, Vice President and Managing Director of eBay Greater China.
In an article published in Chinese e-commerce outlet Ebrun.com, John analyzed how China’s cross-border trade (CBT) has evolved in recent years in response to improved logistics, the diversification of buyers and increased demand for better service.
The first big change is a move from single- to multi-channel CBT, which John believes poses new opportunities for eBay. Sellers will be able to take advantage of eBay’s investment in advanced IT systems and overseas warehouses to grow their businesses. In addition, while in the past many sellers attracted buyers solely via the eBay platform they can now also generate traffic using search engines and social media.
The second change to CBT relates to an increased investment in logistics. “Some forward-looking sellers have invested in building an overseas warehouse so they can sell across more categories through multiple channels,” said John. “Faster delivery and a convenient return mechanism do a great deal to improve the buyer’s shopping experience.”
Thirdly, thanks to the development of these overseas warehouses, more and more sellers are expanding from light and cheap products such as fashion and accessories weighing less than 400 grams to heavy and expensive ones, such as furniture and industrial products.
The fourth change is the entry of enterprises such as manufacturers and large retailers into the CBT industry. Large corporates have intensified competition and driven innovation in the market because they are able to invest more in overseas warehouses and manage their businesses with sophisticated IT systems and professional staff.
This increased investment by larger sellers has led to the fifth and last big change in CBT: new cash flow services for smaller sellers. Small and medium enterprises can apply for loans from third-party providers to fund the growth of their stores. In addition to loans, third-party providers offer a range of services to sellers such as help to clear customs, increased storage and insurance.
John remains optimistic about the prospect of Chinese sellers in CBT, as globalization drives growth. “If you sell good-quality and cost-effective products, there will always be a market for you. That’s why ‘Made in China’ producers are so widely recognized by foreign consumers.
“Cross-border exporters today can sell directly to consumers all over the world. We will continue to work with them in partnership to be world leaders in global shopping and creators of innovative products.”