We are seeing an increasingly competitive environment, with operators providing innovative, high quality services at lower prices. Consumers expect a seamless cross-border delivery and returns experience. For example, in the UK, there are a range of major national operators that deliver cross-border services, alongside hundreds of smaller operators looking to increase market share.
A recent Royal Mail study into the international ambitions of small UK e-retailers found that 35 per cent of small businesses think Europe holds the most potential to generate new sales for their business. 28 per cent think the USA and North America are the most promising markets.
In 2016, European B2C e-commerce grew 12 per cent to €510 billion, with 42 billion parcels sent annually. This growth is uneven across Europe, due to varying economic performance and e-commerce adoption. The largest B2C parcels markets outside the UK are Germany, France and Italy.
Outside the EU, Chinese e-commerce marketplaces Tmall and AliExpress are strengthening international cross-border services. Alibaba has reported that the value of goods sold on its marketplace on Singles’ Day (11 November) rose 32 per cent to almost $18 billion, compared with $14 billion last year. Launched in 2009, Singles’ Day now runs every 11 November, and has become the biggest global shopping event.
Source: Royal Mail