X-Border Payments Optimization Index™ - March 2017

X-Border Payments Optimization Index™ - March 2017

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Smaller World, Bigger Opportunity

Every November 11, since 2009, Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce platform, holds a global shopping festival full of discounts and events. In 2009 this meant 27 merchants trying to raise awareness about online shopping.1 2016’s festival involved tens of thousands of merchants and a three-week festival spread out over China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, culminating in a gala in Shenzhen starring Katy Perry.2 Plans for next year’s festival include involving Southeast Asia and potentially other markets.3 The festival isn’t all fun and performances, though: It’s Alibaba rolling out the glitz and glam to attract customers across the globe. Alibaba knows that the future lies in being able to span oceans and cross borders.

Global online shoppers are expected to grow 50 percent from 2013 to 2018, or from 1.079 billion to 1.623 billion, according to a report from the United Nations.4 Online shoppers now live in a world with no limits. They can open their computers or mobile phones and buy whatever they want from whatever country they want with one caveat: The merchants from that country are able to handle a global customer base.

Merchants are now faced with the problem of catering to customers who speak all languages, use all currencies and want goods shipped anywhere in the world. Savvy merchants like Alibaba will understand this is something that should be embraced and a large global customer base means more pro ts.

But where are merchants really when it comes to being prepared for shoppers from all around the world? In this quarterly edition of the X-Border Payments Optimization IndexTM, we conducted in-depth research on 212 merchants based in 10 countries, out of which 189 quali ed for our analysis. We measured nearly 60 different attributes relating to ease of use, access to information, paying, shipping and more.

Longtime readers of our Index, take note. We made a couple changes to this report’s analysis. Our sample includes eight fewer merchants than last quarter, we added 15 additional variables and we made a slight change in the way we assigned scores to Pages to Checkout, Total Time and Total Clicks. For more details, peruse our Methodology section.

This quarter we’ll be analyzing merchants from Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. Our report is divided into three sections. First, we’ll look at which factors are necessities for globally conscious merchants and which ones are just icing on the cake. Second, we’ll compare our scores with the Alexa ranking, which gathers browsing statistics of internet websites. Finally, we’ll dive into the detailed results.

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