Ecommerce as the New Spice Trade
Posted on March 26th, 2017

Consumers are increasingly comfortable with the idea of buying from retailers and manufacturers abroad, and every seventh online purchase is a cross-border transaction, according to a DHL report on cross-border ecommerce opportunities. That means the parcel and express industry needs to develop strategies to satisfy the expectations of two important groups: the e-tailer,who is looking for reliable, cost-effective shipping, and the discerning customer, whose service expectations continue to rise.
Cross-border e-tailers find they can boost their sales by an average of 10 to 15 percent by selling internationally. The DHL report gives particular focus to what it labels “the new spice trade,” metaphorically connecting today’s online purchases to the high-value, coveted goods of centuries ago, whose high value justified the cost transporting them across borders and along lengthy trade routes. The report finds that 20 percent of cross-border purchases are worth more than $200 and provide high profit potential. The market of high-basket-value transactions, estimated at $30 billion, is relatively evenly divided between Asia, Europe and North America.
DHL issued the report, The 21st Century Spice Trade: A Guide to the Cross-border E-commerce Opportunity, in December 2016. It based the report’s findings on a proprietary survey of retailers and manufacturers the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and Singapore. It received over 1,800 responses to the survey and conducted more than 60 in-depth interviews with retailers and manufacturers and with industry experts on cross-border e-commerce.
To access a copy of The 21st Century Spice Trade: A Guide to the Cross-border E-commerce Opportunity, click here.

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