Cross-Border E-commerce Statistics That Prove Its Prominence

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My Khanh Pham

My Khanh Pham

Expanding Your Online Store: Embracing Global Opportunities with ConveyThis

If you limit your sales efforts to just one country, you’re missing out on a significant market opportunity. Nowadays, consumers from all over the world purchase products online for various reasons, such as competitive pricing, availability of specific brands, and unique product offerings.

The idea of being able to connect and sell to individuals from every corner of the globe is truly fascinating. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges, particularly in the realm of communication, which happens to be one of the key aspects of online marketing, especially in the context of multilingual marketing.

If you’re involved in e-commerce and contemplating expanding your business internationally by offering shipping and payment options to customers abroad, you’re making a wise and sustainable decision. However, you must take additional steps to adapt your business to the world of cross-border e-commerce. One essential step is to embrace multilingualism (which can be easily achieved on any website or e-commerce CMS with ConveyThis) to ensure that your products are accessible and comprehensible to customers in different countries.

Still unsure about going global? Take a moment to review the statistics we’ve compiled below. They might just change your perspective.


The Global E-commerce Market: A Look at Growth and Profitability


In the context of the global outlook, the international e-commerce market is expected to surpass the $994 billion mark in 2020, concluding a five-year period of robust growth.

However, this growth also has a personal impact: in a recent global study, research company Nielsen found that at least 57% of individual shoppers have made a purchase from an overseas retailer in the last six months.

This clearly has a positive impact on the businesses from which they are buying: in this study, 70% of retailers confirmed that branching into e-commerce has been profitable for them.

Language and Global Commerce: The Importance of Native Language for Shoppers

It’s a no-brainer: if a buyer cannot make out the specifics of a product on its page, they’re unlikely to click “Add to Cart” (especially if “Add to Cart” is also unintelligible to them). An apt study, “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy,” elaborates on this, providing empirical data for support.

It’s worth noting that the majority, or to be exact, 55% of individuals globally, prefer to conduct their online shopping in their native language. It’s natural, isn’t it?

Graph – 55% of people prefer to buy in their own language Source: CSA Research, “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” As you strategize your international expansion, you must consider the specific markets you aim to penetrate. Unsurprisingly, language also factors into this decision, though to varying degrees based on the culture and market characteristics.

So, which customers are more likely to purchase a product if it’s displayed to them online in their mother tongue?

Consumers from certain countries tie for the lead, with 61% of online shoppers confirming their active preference for a shopping experience in their native language. Internet buyers from another country are closely trailing: 58% would prefer their shopping journey in their native language.


Multilingual E-Commerce: The Current State of Affairs


Despite the increasing demand for localized e-commerce solutions, the volume of multilingual e-commerce is still lagging.

graph: percentage of multilingual e-commerce sites Source: BuiltWith/Shopify Only 2.45% of US e-commerce sites offer more than one language—the most widespread being Spanish, which accounts for 17% of this total.

Even in Europe, where cross-border trading is much more typical, the figures remain low: merely 14.01% of European e-commerce sites provide languages other than their native one (the most frequent, unsurprisingly, is English) coupled with a rather low 16.87% of e-commerce sites in other countries (where English also reigns as the most common translation language).

Unlocking ROI: The Power of Website Localization

The charts tell the truth: there is a significant shortage of multilingual e-commerce options for many consumers worldwide, despite a high demand for foreign goods available in their native language(s).

Return on investment for website translation Source: Adobe The Localization Standards Association (LISA) published a recent study stating that an equivalent of $1 spent on localizing a website brings an average of $25 in return on investment (ROI).

What does this mean? Essentially, more people buy more products when they can comprehend what’s written on the product page. It makes a lot of sense—and can also earn your business a good amount of money.


Ready to get started?

Translation, far more than just knowing languages, is a complex process.

By following our tips and using ConveyThis, your translated pages will resonate with your audience, feeling native to the target language.

While it demands effort, the result is rewarding. If you’re translating a website, ConveyThis can save you hours with automated machine translation.

Try ConveyThis free for 7 days!

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