Online cross-border trade seen growing fivefold by 2020

A worker packs a box at Amazon's logistics centre in Graben near Augsburg December 16, 2013. — Reuters pic
A worker packs a box at Amazon's logistics centre in Graben near Augsburg December 16, 2013. — Reuters pic

BERLIN, Jan 20 — The value of online exports in six of the top e-commerce markets will grow fivefold to US$130 billion (RM431 billion) by 2020, with Britain currently generating the biggest online trade surplus by selling more goods abroad, research showed today.

The study by London-based management consultancy OC&C and US search engine Google estimated the value of cross-border online trade in the United States, Britain, Germany, the Nordics, the Netherlands and France at US$25 billion for 2013.

E-commerce is expanding at breakneck pace, with online retail sales in Europe seen doubling by 2018 to 323 billion euros (RM1.452 trillion), market research firm Mintel forecasts.

“Over the next decade, online retail will become even more international. This represents a great opportunity for retailers by providing a new, capital-light approach to grow rapidly,” OC&C partner Anita Balchandani said in a statement.

Britain, the most advanced e-commerce market in the world, generated the biggest online trade surplus in 2013 of more than US$1 billion, OC&C estimated, followed by the United States with a surplus of US$180 million and Germany on US$35 million.

While OC&C said US online pioneers eBay and Amazon were the top international players in pure e-commerce, German online fashion retailer Zalando and British rival ASOS were next in their ranking.

ASOS said on Jan. 14 that retail sales rose 38 per cent to 335.7 million pounds in the four months to Dec. 31, helped by a jump of 69 per cent in Europe even as growth in the United States and Australia slowed.

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA topped the OC&C ranking of traditional players using e-commerce to speed their international expansion, followed by fashion retailer H&M and US cosmetics seller Avon Products Inc.

German sportswear maker Adidas led the OC&C ranking of brands which have used e-commerce to build their international standing, followed by France’s Louis Vuitton and Hermes, and Britain’s Burberry. — Reuters

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