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How Chinese New Year Can Affect Your Store (And What To Do About It)

In 2023, Chinese New Year (CNY) will officially kick off on January 22nd. But as an online retailer, the run-up to CNY also happens to be your busiest season. From executing holiday campaigns to preparing for 2023, you have a lot on your plate.

The last thing you want to deal with? Getting thrown off by factory shutdowns in China as the country celebrates the Lunar New Year.

What Christmas is to the U.S. and other western cultures, the Lunar New Year is to China. But when it comes to this particular holiday, celebrations can go on for weeks.

For online retailers, that presents a major problem. Chinese suppliers will shut down for anywhere from three weeks to a couple of months. Planning ahead for CNY needs to be an essential part of your business strategy.

And with ongoing supply chain disruption, port shutdowns, and increasing inflation, a plan for navigating CNY has never mattered more.

But here’s the good news. Planning ahead is totally doable. Not only that, the right planning for CNY can help you develop better inventory and supply chain practices year-round.

All About Chinese New Year Shutdowns:

  • What’s the Supply Chain Situation During CNY?
  • How Can Chinese New Year Affect Your Store?
  • How Can Online Retailers Prepare for Chinese New Year Shutdowns?

What’s the Supply Chain Situation During CNY?

If you’re in the wild world of e-commerce, you already know China is the leading supplier of goods to the U.S., with products from China amounting to nearly $506.37 billion dollars in 2021

CNY has always had a significant impact on the global supply chain. There are a few specific market conditions that may make CNY 2023 especially challenging. Let’s break them down one by one.

Drought Conditions Across China

The devastating heatwave across China, which ravaged the country over the summer, has let up, but drought conditions haven’t. 

From crop failures to wildfires to power outages, lower water levels took a major toll on China’s hydropower capacity. This led to restrictions on industrial power consumption and shutdowns across major companies.

Although the power is back up and running, there’s still a risk of disruption to global supply chains, further pointing to the fact that creating a proactive plan is absolutely crucial.

U.S. Export Restrictions

In an aim to slow Beijing’s technological and military advances, the Biden administration published new export controls recently, which included a measure to cut China off from certain semiconductor chips made with U.S. tools.

This, along with ongoing supply chain disruptions, suggests that a China+1 strategy — diversifying your production or supplier base by investing in operations in other countries — may be the way to go.

In fact, Apple is already moving toward a China+1 strategy and has diversified its manufacturing network to include countries such as Vietnam and India.

But despite the many challenges, the U.S. and other countries still don’t have the infrastructure in place to create a solid supply chain without China.

Retailers must continue to find ways to nurture relationships with Chinese suppliers while creating in-house supply chain solutions and exploring diversification options.

Higher Costs of Doing Business

To add insult to injury, U.S. retailers are now seeing a 30% cost increase when sourcing from China.

This, along with other cost increases, such as higher container prices and manufacturing rates, is making it harder to stay profitable when working with Chinese suppliers. Economists are also expecting economic growth to decelerate from 5.5% in 2021 to 3.2% in 2023, while global inflation continues to increase the cost of goods.

The key takeaway here?

Although it is getting harder to work with Chinese suppliers, you still need them as a core part of your strategy. 

Staying in close communication, focusing on creating a fair mutual exchange, and strategizing a backup plan in case a supplier falls through are three essential ways store owners can build positive relationships with Chinese suppliers — and protect their profitability

As suppliers take additional weeks (or even months) to get back to their normal operations after Chinese New Year, you may see:

  • A shortage of inventory
  • Shipping delays
  • Higher production costs
  • Reduced quality of goods

With exacerbating factors on the radar for CNY 2023, all of the above could be amplified. But there is an upside.

Accounting for these setbacks by planning could help you establish a resilient year-round supplier network. For merchants who sell in countries where CNY is celebrated, you may even see a spike in sales.

How Can Chinese New Year Affect Your Store?

Now that we’re clear on the bigger picture, let’s break down the CNY supply chain challenges in a bit more context.

What specific issues could you encounter with Chinese New Year 2023? And why should you start preparing now?

1. Little-to-No Supplier Communication

If you’ve been through a Lunar New Year or two, you already know it can be hard to get timely updates on inventory during the weeks before and after CNY. 

Order management, production, and shipping may all be put on hold — often with no end or certainty in sight.

Monitoring China’s policies and restrictions, particularly those related to inflation and supply chain disruptions, could help you gauge the level of expected factory shutdowns and the supplier communication challenges you may be facing next year.

2. Shaky Production Environment

Production pre-CNY and post-CNY can be completely different worlds. 

In 2021, we saw a mass exodus of workers from outside China going back home during CNY due to Covid lockdowns. Unfortunately, few of them returned

Factories may be in a similar pickle in 2023, as they scramble to find enough skilled workers to get production back on track.

Chinese manufacturers could also get behind in production, causing them to rush jobs and potentially reduce the quality of products. Suppliers and manufacturers across the supply chain may also have a hard time procuring raw materials for products, leading to even more production delays.

3. Unprecedented Shipping Delays

Immediately after the festivities, suppliers are likely to be swamped with pending orders. An overload of shipments could lead to delays, mix-ups, or even misplacements.

The best thing online retailers can do?

Account for potential delays, be transparent with customers, and make sure you have the right amount of inventory for your best movers.

How Can Online Retailers Prepare for Chinese New Year Shutdowns?

By now, it’s pretty clear that e-commerce sellers are up against a lot when it comes to planning for CNY. But it’s not all doom and gloom!

Let’s dive into some of the practical measures you can take to keep your inventory and sales on track during one of the world’s longest holiday breaks.

Stay Ahead of the Game

One big advantage e-commerce sellers have when facing the challenges of CNY is that we know it’s coming.

CNY might vary by a week or so every year, but count on these challenges as part of your planning. By spending a little extra time refining your inventory forecasts, you can also stay one step ahead of shutdowns and shortages. 

This leads us to our next tip: stock up! But only if you need to.

Stock Up! (If You Need to)

Now that you know what to expect with CNY 2023, you can use your sales and inventory data from previous years to estimate the amount of buffer inventory you’ll need in order to stay in stock while supplier factories are closed.

But proceed with caution. Don’t let factory shutdowns push you into panic-stocking

Take a look at any excess products you might already have in stock to prevent needless ordering and stale inventory.

Rely on sound sales and inventory data to order the right amount of buffer stock ahead of time. From there, you can establish a network of new or temporary backup suppliers in case additional quantities are needed.

But there’s another caveat here. With early discounting promotions causing fewer holiday sales this year, you’ll need to balance your inventory data from previous Q4s with this holiday season’s sales projections.

Coordinate with Suppliers

Chinese New Year is similar to Christmas. There are grand festivities and a huge migratory population during this time of year. 

For brand owners, this can mean only one thing: Disruptions in supplier communication.

The truth is, it would be nearly impossible to expect smooth communication with your suppliers during this busy holiday season. Be sure to get on the same page about communication expectations well before January 22. 

After that time, expect suppliers to go dark during CNY. Be sure to ask in advance for a clear date for when they’ll resume regular operations.

Consider Temporarily Switching Suppliers

While this might not be the ideal solution, it’s an option to consider. 

Like most sellers, you’ve likely worked hard to build your network of reliable Chinese suppliers. Deviating from those hard-won relationships is probably the last thing you want to do. But with port shutdowns and supply chain challenges now happening on a global scale, it doesn’t hurt to have options.

For example, you could think about taking on a local supplier on a short-term contract basis and resuming operations with your previous supplier once the uncertainty of CNY has died down. 

Just be sure to look into your contract obligations with your existing suppliers before taking steps toward making a switch. 

If you’re not able to (or don’t want to) switch suppliers, consider other shipping options. Some international shipping companies try to maintain normal operations during CNY and may be able to fulfill your deliveries on time.

While it can be challenging to switch suppliers on short notice, taking advantage of borderless payment solutions like the SellersFunding Digital Wallet can help you make timely payments in your supplier’s local currency and help make the transition smoother on both sides.

Don’t Let Chinese New Year Slow You Down

With poor weather conditions, new regulations, shipping backlogs, and inflation, there’s a lot to keep up with this Chinese New Year — but you don’t have to let it slow you down.

By working to secure inventory early, establishing additional supplier relationships, and putting a clear plan in place to keep sales on track, you’ll be able to maintain business as usual during one of the world’s biggest holiday shutdowns.

At SellersFunding, we’ve seen how the needs of even the largest e-commerce brands can change from year to year. With our all-in-one e-commerce funding solutions — including our fast and flexible working capital and cross-border digital wallet, we help brands keep their sales on track, even during hectic seasons like Q4 and CNY.

Planning ahead can get you where you want to be in 2023. Learn more about how flexible e-commerce funding can help you secure the inventory and supplier relationships you need. Watch this quick two-minute demo.

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Amazon listing hijacked

What to Do If Your Amazon Listing Gets Hijacked

Imagine logging into your seller account in the morning, only to be hit by the following customer reviews:

“Do not purchase this product, it’s a total fake.” “Warning: This product is a dupe!” “The product I ordered fell apart in a day.”

Confused? Well, we hate to break it to you, but you got hijacked. Or more specifically, you had your Amazon listing hijacked

Here’s what probably happened: A fraudulent seller noticed your product was selling well, decided to make a counterfeit, and sold it for less on Amazon. 

Enticed by the low price, shoppers then bought the product from the hijacker instead of you (usually without even realizing it). Then they received low-quality products and marched right back onto Amazon to leave a scathing review of your listing.

Your hijacker profits. You and your customers both lose. 

Unfortunately, in the world of e-commerce, it happens to the best of us. But while Amazon listing hijacking might seem out of your control, there are ways to take action and regain power over your product listings.

The Truth About Amazon Listing Hijacking

  • What Is Amazon Listing Hijacking? (And Why It’s Just as Scary as It Sounds)
  • The True Cost of Hijacked Amazon Listings
  • First, Who Exactly Are These Amazon Listing Hijackers?
  • 3 Proven Ways to Give Hijackers the Boot 
  • Protect Your Listings from Future Hijackings

Selling on Amazon isn’t for the faint of heart. Before diving in, make sure you’re clear on the A to Z of Amazon Seller Accounts, including all the benefits and drawbacks of growing your brand on the world’s leading marketplace.

What Is Amazon Listing Hijacking? (And Why It’s Just as Scary as It Sounds)

According to JungleScout’s State of the Amazon Seller survey, 48% of Amazon sellers reported feeling concerned about hijackers, and for good reason.

Here are just a few of the ways Amazon listing hijackers can damage a growing brand:

  • Lower prices on counterfeit products means you lose customers.
  • By taking over popular listings, they also hijack your chances of winning the Buy Box.
  • High returns and bad reviews could get you suspended from Amazon.

Not to mention, it also takes a lot of time to resolve these issues. And Amazon Customer Service is notoriously complicated.

When asked about their biggest challenge, one seller interviewed by JungleScout put it like this: “Hijackers and Amazon glitches that have gotten my listing or account suppressed multiple times. I have spent more hours this year dealing with non-issue ‘issues’ than I have for product research.”

Amazon’s seller payment schedule can be tough to navigate. Fortunately, there’s an answer for that too. With SellersFunding’s Daily Advance, sellers can access up to 90% of incoming sales in as little as 48 hours. Find out how SellersFunding’s Daily Advance helps sellers see an average 75% increase in growth.

The True Cost of Hijacked Amazon Listings

Unfortunately, hijacked listings don’t just come with a time cost. 

When a hijacker successfully takes over your listing for an extended period of time, there are many damaging consequences and they all lead to decreased profits and conversions.

Negative Reviews

In a market where 94% of customers don’t buy from a business with bad reviews, hijacked listings delivering low-quality counterfeit products can deal a powerful blow to your brand.

This is even more true in the post-pandemic shopping era where customer interaction with reviews has skyrocketed by 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Losing the Buy Box

It’s no secret the majority of Amazon sales are made through the Buy Box

Unfortunately, even if you manage to compete with a hijacker on price, you still may not be able to keep the Buy Box. That’s especially true if a hijacker has been selling counterfeit products in other markets on Amazon where you’re not yet active. 

With more time and reviews on their side, the hijacker is simply better positioned to hold the Buy Box in the eyes of Amazon’s algorithm.

A BIG Drop in Sales

Even if a customer buys a product from a hijacker, it’s still your listing that gets a bad rap. 

If your hijacker drops the ball on product quality or fulfillment, your performance index suffers which could even get you banned from Amazon

Clearly, hijacked Amazon listings are a drain on your time, energy, and sales. So what can you do about it?

Looking for more proven ways to protect your Amazon profits? Don’t miss our complete guide to a healthy ROI for Amazon sellers.

First, Who Exactly Are These Amazon Listing Hijackers?

The first item of business is to know who you’re dealing with. Whether it’s a competitor, troll, or automated scammer, an Amazon listing hijacker is a seller who has a counterfeit product listed under your brand’s name

Because both your product and theirs look the same (oftentimes, they’ll copy your exact listing), customers may not be able to tell the difference.

It’s important to note, resellers and hijackers are not the same (although both could position their products under your listing). Resellers sell versions of your products they have acquired through arbitrage, whereas hijackers sell counterfeit products.

How Hijackers Find Your Vulnerabilities

While nothing can completely protect you from being targeted by hijackers, there are some things that could increase the likelihood of a listing being hijacked.

Here are some of the potential weak spots to look out for:

  • Low inventory: It’s easier for a hijacker to come out on top when you run out of inventory and a customer is looking to buy your product.
  • Limited branding on packaging and products: If your products consistently come with your own branded packaging, customers may be able to flag the listing when receiving a counterfeit product. But without branded packaging, customers may be less able to tell the products apart.
  • Skipping the Brand Registry program: Amazon’s Brand Registry program lets you “trademark” your brand using the Amazon IP accelerator, which can help weed out the hijackers.
  • Promoting hard-to-believe marked-down products: Actively promoting big discounts makes it easier for hijackers to list low-cost products under your listing.

At risk for going out of stock on Amazon? The struggle is real, but the impact on your business doesn’t have to be. These practical steps will help you stay in stock and protect your Amazon profits.

3 Proven Ways to Give Hijackers the Boot 🥾

Now that we’re clear on the real damage Amazon listing hijackers can do, let’s look at ways to get hijackers out of your business and listings once and for all.

#1. Report them, report them, report them. 

If you’re already enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry and IP Accelerator, you can use your trademark documents to file an official complaint against the hijacker. 

By reporting them, you may also qualify for Amazon Project Zero, which can help you detect and remove counterfeits from your listing. To be eligible, you need to be registered with Brand Registry with at least a 90% acceptance rate of all the infringements you’ve reported. 

You can also enlist the help of the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit which is dedicated to supporting sellers and customers in their battle against hijackers. The unit even provides legal support to businesses that want to take the issue up with law enforcement. 

#2. Send a cease-and-desist letter.

When it comes to listings hijackers, a little confrontation can go a long way.

Consider writing a strongly-worded cease and desist (C&D) letter to your hijacker letting them know you’re aware of what’s going on and that if they don’t pull their products from your listing, you’re not afraid to escalate the situation.

Remember to also include information proving that the product is your intellectual trademarked property that you have full rights to. This will immediately let them know that by law, you have the upper hand. 

But it’s important to note, this approach may also come with a downside, as business attorney Casey Hewitt shared with Helium 10

“If you send a Cease and Desist threat to another brand, it might make the people at the brand more likely to sit on their hands until you actually take the legal action threatened. If you are sending out lots of C&Ds that may be false or contain false claims, you could be opening yourself up to open-ended legal liabilities. Especially if you are doing something like sending counterfeit claims without making test purchases.”

Sending a C&D letter is a proven approach for dealing with Amazon listings hijackers, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You’ll need to test the counterfeits and ensure your C&D is 100% legit before sending, which brings us to #3.

#3. Buy the counterfeit product and collect proof.

As Casey mentioned, test purchases are essential to backing up your claims. To make sure it’s a hijacker and not a reseller, buy the product and compare it to yours. 

Take side-by-side pictures to document the differences. 

Pay special attention to packaging, branding of the product, and the material and colors. All of these elements can help you make a clear and undeniable case.

How to Protect Amazon Listings from Future Hijackings

Anyone who’s been through it will tell you, it can be hard to stay ahead of a determined hijacker. 

After all, even Amazon’s own listings get hijacked. But thankfully, there are practical measures you can take to safeguard your listings in the future.

Amazon’s Transparency program can be a great way to reduce the number of counterfeit products circulating in the market. Under this program, each item your brand sells is equipped with a unique transparency code scanned by Amazon before packing. This means you can rest easy knowing the chances of customers buying hijacked goods is low.

As mentioned, the Amazon Brand Incubator Program and Project Zero are also great opportunities for increasing your leverage against hijackers. They are particularly if you’ve already gone through the process when building your Amazon Storefront. You can also include certain offers like money-back guarantees or product bundles that your hijackers won’t be able to offer. Taking preventative measures like these can help you save time and money. Not only that,  you’ll be able to sleep better knowing your listings are much less likely to get hijacked.

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Cross-Border E-commerce: Why the Next Big Opportunity Is Global

In the world of e-commerce, growth is an ever-moving target. If you’ve ventured into new marketplaces, launched a multi-channel strategy, and are looking for the next profitable path forward, you’re probably thinking about expanding your e-commerce presence across borders.

Global expansion presents a $1 trillion opportunity for e-commerce brands. However, launching in a new market brings all kinds of unfamiliar challenges. 

Unlike selling in your home country, where you know the people, customs, rules, and regulations, you’re leaping straight into the unknown each time you launch a new store in a new territory.

Still, for an increasing number of e-commerce brands, expanding internationally is worth it.

If you’re ready to take your brand across borders, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll share the latest insights on the size of the cross-border e-commerce market, plus practical tips to help you make your mark on a global scale.

What We’ll Cover:

  • What Is Cross-Border E-commerce?
  • What’s the Size of the Cross-border E-commerce Market?
  • The Biggest Cross-Border E-commerce Markets to Enter Right Now
  • 6 Surefire Tips for Successful Cross-Border Expansion

What Is Cross-Border E-commerce?

Cross-border e-commerce eliminates geographic barriers, enabling consumers to access products no matter where in the world they are. E-commerce merchants can launch a cross-border strategy through their existing sites, platforms, or marketplaces, or even set up new ones for specific regions.

From international e-commerce marketplaces like Shopify Markets to fully-customized headless commerce, today’s brands have a plethora of options when it comes to executing international expansion strategies.

For example, DTC brands like Warby Parker and J.Crew execute international e-commerce directly through their websites. Other brands partner with third-party retail platforms like Alibaba or Amazon. Some even partner exclusively with one platform, like those in the Amazon Exclusives program.

If you’re a brand with an established marketplace presence and you’re thinking about selling direct-to-consumer, you might be wondering if the pros outweigh the cons. We’ve got the complete rundown in our (free!) e-book All About DTC: Benefits, Drawbacks, & Opportunities for Marketplace Sellers.

What’s the Size of the Cross-Border E-commerce Market?

The size of the cross-border e-commerce market has grown significantly since its initial boost in 2020. All signs point to a continued upward trajectory over the next several years. Vantage Market Research reports that the total market, valued at about $793 million in 2021, is expected to reach a staggering $304 billion by 2028 — a  compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.1%.

PayPal’s 2022 Borderless E-Commerce Report found that in almost every country surveyed, more than 40% of shoppers currently make cross-border purchases.

In some countries — like Canada and Brazil — that number is significantly higher (63% and 72%, respectively), and 42% of overall survey respondents said they are more comfortable shopping cross-border now than they were in 2020.

The opportunity looks promising from a holistic market perspective as well. McKinsey predicts that cross-border e-commerce merchandise value will reach $1 trillion by 2030 (more than triple its current valuation of $300 billion) — and that’s a conservative estimate.

Why is cross-border e-commerce important for growing your brand?

Smart DTC brands and e-commerce players are taking advantage of this current and projected growth trend.

Lululemon, for example, expanded into Asian markets earlier this year and has experienced  35% YoY growth in revenue from countries outside of North America. After finding success domestically, top Chinese brands like Perfect Diary and POPMART are making plans to grow their international presences. Marketplaces are getting in on the action too, with Walmart ramping up its tools and resources to help sellers expand internationally.

The execution details vary, but a clear theme is emerging consistently across industries, regions, and marketplaces — it’s time to go global.

The Biggest Cross-Border E-commerce Markets to Enter Right Now

The cross-border e-commerce growth opportunity is huge, but success depends on multiple variables, including product-market fit, timing, and marketing efficiency. Knowing which markets to enter and when can make or break your profitability.

So which markets are the hottest right now? To find out, we considered potential markets in three ways:

  1. Total share of retail sales
  2. Total e-commerce dollars spent
  3. E-commerce growth rate

Unsurprisingly, China tops the list when it comes to total share. According to Insider Intelligence research from this year, China’s e-commerce accounts for nearly half — 45.3% — of total retail sales in the country. Just below China on the list are the United Kingdom (35.9%), South Korea (30.1%), and Indonesia (28.1%).

But markets in these countries vary greatly in size, which is why it’s also important to consider the opportunity from the perspective of total consumer dollars spent on e-commerce. From this perspective, the United States is the closest rival to China, with consumers spending $1.05 trillion to China’s massive $2.879 trillion (even though e-commerce only accounts for 16% of total sales in the US).

Finally, growth rate is the best way to identify emerging markets and capitalize on opportunities ahead of competitors. According to Statista data from this year, 9 out of 10 of the fastest-growing markets are in Asia and Latin America (Australia is the only exception at #6).

The top 5 fastest-growing markets (and their YoY growth rates) are as follows:

  1. Singapore (36%)
  2. Indonesia (34%)
  3. Philippines (25.9%)
  4. India (25.5%)
  5. Argentina (25.3%)

Rounding out the list is the aforementioned Australia, followed by Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico, and Brazil.

There are two key insights to take away from the research here. First, China and the United States are the leaders of the e-commerce pack when it comes to total market share and money spent. That said, they’re more established and could be harder to break into amidst a crowded e-commerce landscape.

If you’re looking for big potential, it’s all about Asia and Latin America. Investing successfully in these regions will likely set you on a path for substantial growth in the years ahead.

6 Surefire Tips for Successful Cross-Border E-commerce

1. Learn the Market

Not all products are created equal in any market or region. Before launching a new international store, be sure to research current demand for your product(s) in that territory, taking into account other important considerations like culture and consumer behavior trends.

2. Know Your Local Competition

Other e-commerce brands won’t be your only competition in cross-border markets. Expand your research to consider local providers of products that directly or indirectly compete with your own. Keep in mind that strong competition doesn’t necessarily mean a market isn’t right for your brand; it just means you need to understand the landscape and differentiate effectively.

3. Learn the Tax Laws

This one is mandatory. International tax laws are complex and the consequences of not following them (knowingly or not) can be serious. To streamline your tax compliance and avoid issues as you expand into cross-border markets, the best strategy is adopting an expert tax solution that can manage this for you. Through the SellersFunding-AVASK Global Growth Program, sellers can access compliant international payment capabilities, plus get the tax and policy knowledge they need in order to scale confidently.

4. Find the Right Payments System

The benefits of choosing the right international payments tools are twofold: 

  1. A global payments and collections solution makes back-end processes more cost-effective and efficient.
  2. Streamlined payments make the customer experience seamless and sales-ready.

On the customer-facing side, PayPal, Worldpay, Stripe, and Amazon Pay are all well-established options. To easily accept global payments and pay international suppliers in their local currencies, solutions like the SellersFunding Digital Wallet can help you keep it simple and low-cost.

5. Prepare Your Supply Chain

Global supply chains have seen no shortage of disruption over the past few years, and the challenges become even more complex when operating across borders. While some issues are unavoidable (for example, brands can’t control labor or supply shortages), you can avoid bigger problems with smart planning. Don’t assume what works in one area will be the same in another. 

Get to know the supply chain ecosystem in your new target market. Become familiar with the established shipping and delivery networks and how you can optimize them for your own business.

You can also invest in supply chain visibility with the right software solutions and IoT technology for seamless tracking. When supply chain delays inevitably occur, providing proactive and accurate updates is crucial for meeting the needs of global customers.

6. Know Your New Customers

Consumer cultures and preferences can vary greatly by region. When you expand into new cross-border markets, get to know your new potential customers and speak directly to their needs. This could mean anything from adjusting your marketing messaging to using different communication channels, and ensuring your website is optimized in shoppers’ native languages.

A Whole New World Is Open for Business

Cross-border e-commerce is the next frontier in retail. Brands must embrace it if they want to grow into the future.

And with modern e-commerce payment solutions, there’s no reason you can’t scale affordably. 

With simplified foreign exchange, SellersFunding puts 37 currencies at your fingertips in one central, low-fee platform. Combined with flexible e-commerce funding to fuel your international expansion, you’ll have everything you need to build a thriving global brand.

Learn more about how solutions like the SellersFunding Digital Wallet can simplify the way you pay and get paid as you grow your global e-commerce business.

Want the Best E-commerce Tech Stack? Here’s What You Really Need to Think About.

In this day and age of all things automated, building the best e-commerce tech stack for your business is anything but easy. With a wide range of tools and platforms available, you may feel overwhelmed by the countless choices available to you.

Here’s the key: When it comes to choosing the right tech tools for your business, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

While it can be tempting to be an early adopter and jump on every new tech recommendation, the truth is that some patience and research will benefit most businesses. Merchants need to think carefully and take their own strategic approaches to choosing the right tech tools for their businesses. One stack does not fit all.

Let’s look at some core areas of e-commerce businesses so that you can confidently choose the tools and systems that work for you.

Building Your E-commerce Tech Stack

  • What Is an E-commerce Tech Stack? (And Why You Need One)
  • What Should You Think About When Building Your E-commerce Tech Stack?
  • Core Areas to Consider When Building a High-Performance E-commerce Tech Stack

At SellersFunding, our e-commerce clients always come first. With our all-in-one funding solutions, we support brands worldwide to grow sustainably and at speed. Get in touch to learn how we can help your store win.

What Is an E-commerce Tech Stack? (And Why You Need One)

An e-commerce tech stack is a suite of software tools merchants use to run the front and back ends of an e-commerce business.

From vendor management to order fulfillment, the right e-commerce tech stack can help carry you through every stage of selling, as well as make your business operations seamless, efficient, and scalable.

Let’s take a look at some of the priorities to keep in mind when building your e-commerce tech stack.

Need a way to easily track your store’s selling performance? Discover how our Sellers Signals solution streamlines all of your store’s core data for the complete picture of performance.

What Should You Think About When Building Your E-commerce Tech Stack?

When you sit down to brainstorm your e-commerce tech needs, it’s important to keep your priorities and growth stage in mind.

Before you do anything else, grab a notepad or open up a Google Doc and start thinking about your tech stack must-haves.

Here’s a quick checklist you can use to guide your brainstorming:

  • Cost: What’s your overall tech budget? Most software is subscription based now. How much can you afford to spend per month? How much can you spend per year?
  • Business Stage: What current business stage are you in and how can the right tools help you reach the next level? For instance, do you need to automate last-mile deliveries? Do you need tools that can help you reduce cart abandonment?
  • Processes: What does your current operational framework look like? How much time are you spending on repetitive processes that could be replaced with automated ones? Which processes do you absolutely need a human for and which ones can you replace with a tool?
  • Responsibilities: What responsibilities does your team have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually? How can tools help support your team to achieve each responsibility? For instance, can a collaboration tool eliminate information silos? Can automated shipping reminders help your team fulfill delivery requirements on time?

Next, consider your non-negotiables.

For instance, is 24/7 customer support a must before you’ll commit to using a tool? Do you need tools that offer tailored onboarding? Do you require certain integration capabilities?

Once you’ve completed your notes, read over them from top to bottom. Refamiliarize yourself with your specific needs and non-negotiables. Then move on to the next section.

Core Areas to Consider When Building a High-Performance E-commerce Tech Stack

First things first. When you’re on the hunt for the right tools, you’ll need to keep two essential types in mind:

  1. Front-end customer-facing tools
  2. Back-end server-facing tools

Your front-end tools will help you take care of customer-facing processes, such as purchases, customer service requests, and shopping cart integrations. Your back-end tools will help you support server-facing processes, such as fleet and route management, inventory management, and database management.

For high-growth brands looking to create more balance between the front and back ends, we recommend looking into headless tools.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, headless commerce allows companies to be more flexible by separating the front end and back end of their e-commerce experiences. This differs from traditional e-commerce in that data and functionality changes only need to be made in a single back end, with all front ends having immediate access to those changes.

With traditional e-commerce tech stacks, changes made to the back end must also be made to the front end. That’s quite a bit of back-and-forth synching for busy merchants.

While this might be okay for a growing store that needs an all-in-one platform to reduce costs and effort, for high-volume multichannel sellers, a headless framework could be the better way to go.

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for headless versus traditional solutions, let’s consider what kinds of tools you should include in your e-commerce tech stack.

E-commerce Platforms

The number-one tool you’ll need to run your business is, of course, an e-commerce platform.

Your e-commerce platform is essentially the heart of your business. It’s the central hub that runs just about every aspect of your store(s).

When looking for the right e-commerce platform, consider your unique needs and anticipate growth and future needs as well.

For instance, do you need complete customization capabilities? If so, your advanced tech knowledge may be a great match for WooCommerce, which allows for limitless customizations, including funding integration with SellersFunding.

Are you looking to sell across multiple channels? In that case, you might opt for a platform like Shopify.

Do you need a platform that comes with built-in features and high-level SEO capabilities? If so, you might consider looking into BigCommerce.

While each platform has its loyalists and evangelists, the best option will always depend on your unique business model and structure. And your comfort level. Remember that this platform is the core of your operations. Make sure you love it and can fully utilize it.

Top platforms to consider:

Inventory Management Tools

If you’re overstocked and underselling, you’re leaving money on the table. If you’re understocked and sold out, you may run into heavy losses and customer experience issues.

For these reasons and more, it’s essential to use inventory management tools that can help you keep a close eye on both your supply and demand.

As with your core e-commerce platform, your choice of inventory management system may depend on your current operational framework. For example, Fluent Commerce is an inventory management solution that helps you source from the best location every time. With a variety of fulfillment optimization features, you can also respond quickly to changes in demand or delivery capacity.

If you’re looking for a solution that can let you sync inventory across all of your sales channels — and automate order fulfillment and reporting — you could look into a solution like Flieber or Multiorders.

Top systems to consider:

Order and Payment Processing Tools

Your order and payment processing tools need to operate seamlessly if you want to create a standout customer experience.

From speed to ease of use, your customers need a way to check out that doesn’t cause bottlenecks or frustrations.

To give your customers the best likelihood of completing their orders (and we know it’s all about those conversions), it’s important to present them with a variety of payment options.

Offering payments via PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and pay-later apps, such as Klarna, can help you give customers the flexibility they need to complete their purchases. Sometimes these payment solutions come baked into your e-commerce platform, other times they need to be integrated. Again, you’ll need to take the time to figure out which approach works best for you based on your current audience, growth stage, and resources. If you have clients looking to offer their customers payment options, check out our Partner Program.

Top tools to consider:

Product Information Management Tools

Product information management tools help you store, organize, and handle your materials, content, and data so you can use them to market and sell your products.

By keeping all of your product content in one hub, you can tear down information silos and make your entire product-catalog data accessible to all who need it.

When looking into product information management tools, it’s important to get your hands on ones that can help you get the right product information to the right channel, quickly and effectively.

Look into these much-loved, highly rated tools for product information management:

Ready to Build the Best E-commerce Tech Stack?

At the end of the day, every e-commerce business can and should look different. But no matter your business model or revenue goals, a well-designed tech stack can help you reach the next level.

If you’ve been looking to get your hands on a bundle of tools that can help you run your e-commerce business with ease, you’re taking the first crucial step by taking the time to think intentionally about which tools and platforms make the most sense for your growing business.

And when you’re ready to take the next step, SellersFunding can help.

While we can’t tell you which tools to invest in, we can help you secure the funding you need to keep your operations running smoothly. With a flexible line of credit, you can invest in the technology that will help you grow. We can approve credit limits of up to $5 million in 48 hours or less.

Check out our working capital solution and Buy Now, Pay Later options for merchant partners to learn more.