What Merchants Need to Know About Cross-Border eCommerce

While eCommerce extends global reach, it also forces merchants and financial institutions to address complex payment issues around exchange rates, taxes, regulations, compliance and reporting. Global eCommerce presents a unique set of challenges, including growing threats of fraud and security breaches, but the next generation of eCommerce solutions will help the most savvy merchants expand their businesses across geographic boundaries.

As eCommerce extends the reach of regional business to the global marketplace, merchants are presented with huge revenue and growth opportunities. Until recently, organizations often engaged in eCommerce by building a single Web site and then driving traffic to it from around the world.

While some companies still rely on this model, the one-size-fits-all approach is increasingly being displaced by cross-border eCommerce. In this scenario, optimized, country-specific sites and eCommerce solutions are deployed for each major market. For example, iconic American motorcycle company Harley-Davidson now has 25 cross-border sites around the globe.

Country-specific sites work better to attract and service customers in those countries than the multinational approach, but they present a host of challenges for merchants unfamiliar with the territory. The challenges include maintaining information in multiple languages, greater product differentiation, customer service issues and a more complex supply chain. Additionally, the business must deal with a host of payment-related issues, including increased fraud risk, currency conversion, merchant banking relationships and regulatory requirements.

This paper is for any business that is either already engaged in global commerce or is considering expanding beyond current domestic markets. It outlines the key challenges in cross-border eCommerce with a specific focus on payments, which until now have been particularly difficult to manage for global online merchants.

The paper explains how payment processors like First Data deliver turnkey cross-border solutions that reduce cost, complexity and potential fraud risks. This model enables merchants to focus on what they do best: enhance customer value by designing and delivering great products and services, while outsourcing cross-border payment management.