Cross-Border eCommerce Set To Explode By 2020

Cross-border eCommerce — internet purchases from merchants in other countries — is gaining in popularity in China. A quarter of the Chinese population will be shopping either directly on foreign-based websites or through third parties, like Alibaba’s Tmall Global and’s JD Worldwide, by 2020, according to eMarketer.

That emerging trend represents a big opportunity for global entrepreneurs, said Cleveland Brown, CEO of Payscout, a global payment processing provider, in a press release on Tuesday (Oct. 18).

“We encourage small to medium-sized businesses in particular to prepare themselves for taking advantage of the growing Chinese appetite for goods from abroad,” Brown said, noting that cross-border digital shopping in China, according to eMarketer’s figures, grew by more than 70 percent in 2015 alone. This is partly due to a higher standard of living in China, along with a greater exposure to foreign products, the company said.

In addition to cross-border Commerce, Payscout said the global business-to-consumer eCommerce market, which was $230 billion in 2014, will balloon to $1 trillion in 2020. Payscout cited a report from global consulting firm Accenture and AliResearch, Alibaba Group’s research arm, for the data. In the report, researchers forecasted cross-border eCommerce will see compound annual growth of 27.4 percent over the next five years, double the rate of worldwide B2C shopping as a whole, Payscout said.

“By 2020, more than 900 million people around the world will be international online shoppers, with their purchases accounting for nearly 30 percent of global B2C transactions. By then, according to the Accenture-AliResearch report, China will become the largest cross-border B2C market. Over 200 million Chinese consumers are expected to be cross-border shopping within five years, with a transaction volume of imported goods purchased online reaching $245 billion,” the company noted in the press release.