Brands and retailers know all too well how rapidly the state of e-commerce is evolving. For domestic online merchants, keeping up with technological innovation and increasingly higher consumer expectations is difficult. But for cross-border e-commerce retailers, meeting these challenges is even harder. There are numerous friction points along the customer journey that become barriers to making cross-border e-commerce purchases.

To gain more insight into some of these barriers and how they differ according to where and what you sell, Flow commissioned a multi-market research report. The goals of this extensive research study were:

  • To better understand the current landscape of e-commerce websites, from both the supply-side and demand-side, for the Top 11 global markets: Australia, Brazil, China, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, UK, and the U.S.
  • To evaluate in more detail all aspects of the e-commerce experience, in order to establish “best practices” in each market.
  • To unearth opportunities for brands and retailers in high-demand areas that are not currently fulfilled by e-commerce sites in each of the respective markets.

To make sure the report is as comprehensive as possible and provides the most value to our cross-border retailer customers, the methodology for this project was divided into two phases:

  1. Supply-side research: The first phase of the project included crowd-sourced data collection across 122 variables for 137 websites in 11 markets (10-15 websites per market). The retail websites we studied were spread across several business models, such as brand.coms, department stores, and marketplace sites. We researched variables ranging from homepage features to product description pages, to shopping cart and checkout.
  2. Demand-side survey: The second phase included an in-depth survey, administering 44 questions related to consumer attitudes and behaviors when shopping online. The sample was defined as global consumers in the Top 11 markets, ages 18-54, who had shopped for apparel online in the past year. Each market had a total of 385 respondents.

The data from both phases was analyzed and reported at a 95% confidence level. For the demand-side phase, the survey questions we asked of global consumers covered four major areas:

  • Cross-border shopping behaviors (e.g., categories, barriers, expectations, etc.)
  • General shopping behaviors (e.g., apparel shopping, promotions used, etc.)
  • Customer service and shipping expectations (e.g., delivery windows, free shipping, out-of-stock handling, etc.)
  • Retail website user experience and checkout preferences (e.g., product display page, currency display, payment, navigation, etc.)

With the information contained in our whitepaper, Global Research Report: Cross-Border E-commerce Trends, brands and retailers get a timely, reliable insider’s view into how to best utilize cross border e-commerce stores in each market where they do business.

In this increasingly competitive era of international retail, data is more important than ever. Our report can help cross-border retailers make better-informed decisions about which countries to sell into, what product catalogs they should and shouldn’t include in each market, and what customers expect when it comes to checkout, alternative payments, shipping and more. Take the next step in your international e-commerce journey and download the white paper today.