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Online Retailers Go In Pursuit Of Europe’s Valuable Cross-Border Consumers Worth €40 Billion By 2018

June 22, 2015

A few weeks ago I was in Barcelona for the Global eCommerce Summit (GeS). One of the hot topics on the agenda, and during the coffee breaks, was internationalization. How best to evaluate and prioritize new market entry? How far do you need to go with localizing your website and the customer experience? How do you manage different market regulations and nuances?

The focus of these questions at GeS this year was the US and China. Yet, these questions also apply when considering market expansion in Europe. Forrester’s new Western European Online Cross-Border Retail Sales Forecast 2013 To 2018 shows the opportunity for eBusiness professionals, pursuing European expansion through cross-border sales, is growing. In fact, European online cross-border sales will reach €40 billion by 2018, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% over the five year forecast period.

Key takeaways from the forecast include:

  • The majority of online cross-border revenues will stay within Europe. European online consumers who buy outside their home market are more likely to do so from another European market rather than those outside Europe.
  • More retailers look for growth across borders, broadening the competitive landscape. The number of EU retailers who sell online across borders will grow by a CAGR of 12%, with 28% of European online retailers selling across borders by 2018. eBusiness pros at retailers of different sizes and categories are actively pursuing valuable cross-border shoppers and international sales to drive growth.
  • Local market context and maturity influence cross-border buying. European cross-border buyers are disproportionally from smaller, less mature eCommerce markets like Spain and Italy; online buyers here look across borders for better value and product availability. More mature eCommerce markets see greater price competition and product availability, so their online buyers have less incentive to buy across borders

To find out more about the forecast and understand how to harness the potential for cross-border sales see our Western European Online Cross-Border Retail Sales Forecast, 2013 To 2018 report.

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