Having a solid international strategy is a must when trying to grow your ecommerce business. International shipping is a great way to see where the biggest areas of opportunity exist for your brand.
We’ll explain why now is a great time to start going global with your business and which international borders to pay close attention to.
The growth of international shipping
Expanding your business globally is always an exciting milestone. But it’s an especially smart move to make right now, given the current ecommerce landscape:
- One-third of online shoppers have purchased goods from another country
- Cross-border sales have grown 25% YoY, outpacing domestic sales
- International sellers have roughly 12.5% more volume compared to domestic shippers
- About 20% of online sales are cross-border and worth over $200 each
But tackling international boarders can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to understand the shopping behaviors of consumers in each new country, but you also have to navigate the logistics – from finding the right carrier to setting up cross-border returns.
Given this, you may want to start with a handful of shipping paths and expand from there.
To help you prioritize which countries to target first, EasyShip conducted research to identify the most popular cross-border paths. Since it would be challenging to cover them all, here are three of the best ones to pay attention to for U.S.-based online brands:
1. United States – Canada
This one shouldn’t be surprising! Canada’s proximity to the U.S. makes it a perfect stepping stone into global ecommerce. In addition to being our neighbors, there are other reasons to support why Canada is a great market to break into: the country has a high-income economy with customers who are open-minded to purchasing new products.
Canada is also one of the top three markets when it comes to cross-border shopping, which means their consumers are already very comfortable with purchasing products internationally.
As a Canadian, I have to shop internationally for most online purchases. Understanding the logistical experience for Canadian shoppers is crucial, especially the return experience. We remember the poor experiences and don’t shop their again (Loop is solving this).
2. United States – Australia
This is another common international border, according to Easyship’s research. Australia is currently the 10th largest ecommerce market in the world by revenue and is valued at $33.1 billion. More significantly, 21% of Australian shoppers’ most recent purchases were from the U.S., making it the second most popular country that Australians purchase from internationally.
Australia is an especially great market to tap into now because, despite the pandemic, their ecommerce market is expected to see a growth rate of 8.9% in 2021. If we look at last year’s data, this makes a lot of sense. Out of 5.2 million households shopping online in April 2020, more than 200,000 were new customers and online purchases grew 6.8% compared to the end of 2019.
3. United States – United Kingdom
Europe has historically been the leading recipient of U.S. shipments. But of all the European countries, the U.K. was one of the first to embrace ecommerce – a trend that has continued through today.
That’s why the U.K. accounts for 10.74% of global ecommerce buyers, putting it on par with countries like Australia and the U.S. Similar to Australia, the U.K. market hasn’t been negatively impacted by the pandemic. In fact, data from Easyship shows that the U.K. experienced an influx of U.S.-based shipments in 2020.
Of course, navigating the state of ecommerce in the U.K. is a bit tricky right now as a result of Brexit. The bottom line, according to Shopify, is that any sales to and from the U.K. will likely be subject to new regulations, customs, and duties. While we still believe there are huge opportunities for ecommerce brands in this market, businesses will just have to continue to monitor the situation and adjust accordingly.
Loop is going international for our brands
Over the past few years, as the trend of shipping across international borders has experienced huge growth, we’ve also seen increasing demand for Loop to support international returns.
That’s why we’re thrilled to share that we’ve taken this feedback and are rolling out international returns functionality for returns on our platform. With this new functionality, our customers will be able to generate return labels and customs forms to easily receive returns across international borders.
We’re so excited to begin offering early access to cross-border returns. If want to register and learn more check out our cross-border returns page.