VISA Study Shows Online Merchants Expect Growth Through Global Sales


Online businesses see a world of opportunity for cross-border sales and executives are ready to take action.

According to The Visa Global Merchant eCommerce Study (Visa GME Study), eCommerce leaders globally view international expansion and finding new cross-border customers as critical to driving growth, particularly heading into the prime holiday shopping period.

A vast majority of all eCommerce leaders surveyed (87 percent) believe expanding cross-border is one of their company’s most significant growth opportunities in the years ahead.


66 Percent of Online Businesses Already Sell Cross-Border

Today, two in three businesses (66 percent) that sell online are already selling cross-border. These sales account for nearly a third (31 percent) of those businesses’ revenue.

Even with the significant revenue from cross-border sales, more than half (51 percent) of companies who already sell to international customers need help to optimize their global online sales.

“The data is clear; cross-border is a major growth opportunity. But it’s not easy, especially for small businesses. As a global platform that sees millions of transactions daily, Visa helps merchants find new customers, verify their customers’ digital identities, and create secure, seamless experiences.”


Suzan Kereere, global head of merchant sales and acquiring, Visa

End of Year Holidays Mean Sales Worldwide

With the end of the year holiday season accounting for more than a quarter of annual revenues for the vast majority of businesses surveyed (86 percent), this peak time is critical for eCommerce merchants around the world.

The Visa GME Study also revealed eCommerce leaders remain bullish about penetrating new markets to stay competitive during this crucial period.

Despite the opportunity, some expressed concerns about a range of factors. Looking at the 2019 holiday season specifically, increased competition is considered to be the greatest risk by more than half (52 percent) of the eCommerce leaders surveyed.

Other global events are also a factor; trade policy is cited most frequently by U.S. (34 percent) and Chinese (54 percent) leaders, while uncertainty in Europe is a concern for a clear majority (64 percent) of U.K. leaders.

“No two retailers, regions, or consumers are the same. So it is critical that merchants understand the landscape. Data is at the core of that,” said Kereere. ”Merchants need to understand who their current and prospective customers are and where they are coming from. Then tailor their value prop to those specific needs. Visa can help them do this.”

Additional Key Findings Include

  • Seamless Experience: Whether purchasing goods domestically or internationally, customers want a similar experience. Leaders cite the most important factors as: quick delivery (44 percent), easy checkout (41 percent), and convenient payment methods (41 percent).
  • New Markets: Two in three (66 percent) of businesses that do not sell cross-border plan to do so shortly, with 90 percent eyeing the next three years.
  • Buckle Up: The international expansion journey can be a daunting venture. A vast majority of those who haven’t expanded internationally (87 percent) haven’t even made attempts to do so. The top challenges cited are accepting and processing foreign transactions (37 percent) and shipping issues (42 percent).

Do you agree with the Visa GME study that cross-border sales are ready to explode?

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READ MORE: How Coronavirus Could Impact Global eCommerce?

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