Cross-border e-commerce continues to provide significant growth opportunities for retailers and manufacturers with an international online product offering.
According to a 2017 report by DHL, cross-border retail volumes are predicted to increase at an annual average rate of 25 per cent between 2015 and 2020, from $300 billion to $900 billion, twice the pace of domestic e-commerce growth. Steve Burd, the vice-president of sales for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, said in a statement that this highlights a “boundless opportunity for African businesses looking to take a piece of the cross-border e-commerce pie”.
The express logistics firm works with thousands of e-commerce customers around the world, many of which are at start-up phase.
“We are, therefore, well aware of the perceived hurdles involved when considering to trade across borders.”
He said the cost of express shipping, unfamiliarity with customs procedures and processes, and returns rates are some of the common areas which domestic e-commerce customers consider to be a challenge when deciding where to trade internationally. Others are basket values and when one’s business is doing well locally. The firm’s eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex brings stakeholders in the fintech and e-commerce sectors together, according to Burd.
On the cost of express shipping, he said that there is “no risk in offering your customers an express delivery option.
“Customers want choice, not only in their product selection, but also when and how they receive it. In our experience, customers are willing to pay a fair price for a faster, more efficient service,” he said.