Global e-commerce adoption is melting borders, opening opportunities for brands. Three in five U.K. citizens bought something on an international site last year, and cross-border e-commerce is growing faster than the overall e-commerce market, accounting for an estimated $900 billion by 2020.  How can brands tap into this opportunity?

Before launching a cross-border channel, brands need to understand their competitive positioning within the domestic market, according to L2’s Cross-Border E-Commerce report. For example, U.S. brands should determine how Amazon affects their sales performance, then assess opportunities abroad based on global recognition and visibility, as well as where visitors to their U.S. site are shopping from. Brands should also analyze drop-off and cart abandonment trends to learn where marketing tactics and site design can be improved.

localization

Once brands have chosen where to expand, the study advises researching distribution partners, including carriers and suppliers, and noting any country-specific regulations. In some countries, marketplaces should be considered, as these provide ready-made platforms with pre-existing e-commerce capabilities. With the spread of cross-border e-commerce, establishing a local selling platform allows brands to entice out-of-market shoppers – key to widening their distribution.

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