Cross Border Commerce

How To Chip Away At Boundaries Within The (Cross) Borders

As the world gets smaller, with more than 2 billion consumers worldwide connected to the Internet via smartphones, opportunities for merchants to increase their online sales continue to grow. Yet, merchants continue to disappoint those consumers and the latest X-Border Payments Optimization Index™, powered by Digital River, proves the point. In fact, when comparing this quarter compared to the last, the average score increased by 2 percent. We’ll tell you why.

This edition of the X-Border Payments Optimization Index, powered by Digital River, includes in-depth research on 192 merchants across 10 countries, including Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain. What we found was a slow but sure chipping away at the issues that have gotten in the way of optimizing the cross-border experience for most of those shoppers.  

But, let’s not kid ourselves. With the average merchant site score of 57 (graded on a scale of 1 to 100), there is still a ton of progress to be made.

The U.S. remains atop the leaderboard at a paltry 66, which may not be a marginally passing grade here, and certainly leaving a lot opportunity for improvement and optimization. The flip side of that coin is that there is a lot of room for merchants to improve their bottom lines. 

These are the categories where the U.S. still shines:

  • Mobile site optimization – an important box to check
  • Breadth of payment acceptance – ditto
  • Reward offerings – surprisingly important for reasons we reveal in the report
  • Not requiring a user profile to checkout – a best practice for every online merchant

The Index also reveals that China continues to push forward in its rise to cross-border dominance; it came in a close second place to the U.S. with a score of 65.  

Additionally, the overall score distribution of sites studied is narrowing. The Top 10 sites declined, while the Bottom 10 improved. This shows that it’s not easy to maintain all the features and functions needed to attract a cross-border shopper.

Other highlights of the study include: 

  • Number of languages: The number of top sites offering 6 or more languages continues to be high at 60%
  • Number of currencies: 80% of the best sites offer six or more currencies – a top result that continues to be strong since last quarter
  • Country-specific address fields: 60% of the best sites tailor the address fields to the customer’s specific location, easing data entry and ensuring products arrive seamlessly.

What else should you know about X-Border Payments and eCommerce? Check out the Index!


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New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

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