Covid-19: Cross-border e-commerce sales increase during pandemic

The data, collated by Global-e, indicates booming markets that could help companies recover post-crisis

Cross-border e-commerce sales have increased by more than 10% from January to April, new data has revealed.

E-commerce solution provider Global-e tracked the growth of cross-border orders based on 350 merchants selling to international markets during the pandemic.

Countries in The Gulf took harsh measures with strict Covid-19 lockdowns and large scale disinfection operations to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Out of the four regions measured – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait – Qatar experienced the largest hike in cross-border imports, with an increase of 844% from March to April 2020.

Kuwait’s results were not far behind with a spike of more than 760%.

Meanwhile, in Italy – one of the hardest hit countries in Europe – cross-border sales increased by more than 40% in April, after taking a hit in February and March when quarantine measures were first introduced.

According to the firm’s co-founders, these results could point companies in the direction of booming markets in order to help their recovery post-pandemic.

“It is already clear that Covid-19 is having a huge impact on how consumers shop worldwide and many retailers have become completely dependent on their online stores,” said Amir Schlachet, Global-e’s CEO and co-founder.

“Cross-border e-commerce will play an important part in retailers’ recovery as it enables retailers to serve demand from countries where shoppers have returned to normal after passing the peak of the pandemic.

“Even with lockdowns lifted and bricks-and-mortar stores reopening, many shoppers are continuing to shop online, suggesting the recovery of high street retailers is slower and may never fully recover pre-crisis.”

Meanwhile, Nir Debbi Global-e's CRO and co-founder said the increased demand in e-commerce means it is critical for brands to simplify their shopping journey for international customers.

“This needs to be tailored to individual markets and adjusted to local shopping preferences,” said Debbi.

“In the current climate, it is also important to ensure that communication with international customers is clear and in conjunction with a streamlined customer experience; from letting customers know that you are open for business to being informed on delays as a result of lockdowns and supply chain interruptions due to the pandemic.”

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