Cross-border e-commerce a launchpad for retailers: Q&A with Charles Brewer

Shipping, delivery  logistic concept. Earth and cardboard boxes

To say cross-border e-commerce is taking off like a rocket would be an understatement. With a growth rate of about 25% per annum and a market size expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020, the opportunities are tremendous.

We asked DHL eCommerce CEO Charles Brewer to share some insights into the booming trend of cross-border e-commerce. With over 32 years of industry experience, covering multiple global regions and disciplines across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and Africa, Charles is a proven expert in supply chain, international shipping and e-commerce.

Check out his responses below.

1. What do you believe are the biggest cross-border e-commerce challenges retailers are faced with today and for years to come?

The global e-commerce phenomenon has brought about an array of opportunities as well as a number of new challenges for retailers. One of which being that consumers now have increasing expectations with e-commerce, and it’s never been easier to lose a shopper!

Online shoppers will abandon their shopping cart due to any single hiccup during the online shopping experience. Research has shown that around 86% of consumers abandon their cart due to the lack of delivery options, complex returns policy, lack of payment options and security concerns. A negative delivery experience will deter consumers from coming back.

Brands and e-tailers that offer the consumer more convenience, more choice and more control, with visibility in the delivery process, will win in this highly competitive and fast growing sector.

2. What is the importance of connecting logistics and warehousing to a retailer’s broader strategy?

Fulfillment and last mile delivery is the new battleground. Consumers want to order what they want and have it delivered seamlessly to any location, on any day, and at the time of their choice.

We see a couple of trends amidst this landscape:

  • The on-demand economy is here to stay and today’s online consumer sets the rules of where, when and how they receive their order.
  • ‘Retail’ can no longer rely on simple brick-and-mortar. The most successful brands and retailers will be those that orchestrate a good mix of delivery options and move products as close to the consumer as possible.
  • Delivering a great delivery experience is no longer a luxury, it is a must-have. Consumers will return to a retailer that consistently provides a great delivery experience.
  • Over the next few years, we will see more and more technology development, innovation and automation — from autonomous vehicle deliveries, such as drones and self-driving vehicles; to big data, robotics and chatbots.

One thing is for sure — the e-commerce industry is evolving at breakneck speed and it is going to be a ride to remember so strap yourself in and let’s deliver!

Want more insights into cross-border e-commerce? Join our webinar on May 3 where Charles Brewer and Quintiq APAC general manager Kris Kosmala will answer the biggest questions on this trend.

This post was previously published on LinkedIn.