The Challenge of Cross-Border eCommerce

There is nothing that strikes more fear (and frustration) into an ecommerce manager’s heart than discovering that a big portion of their hard-won visitors jumped ship right before completing the sale. As more businesses are looking to grow their retail sales online, shopping cart abandonment is an important consideration for both small and large merchants alike.

While all merchants seek to improve their shopping cart conversion rates and reduce the number of shoppers who abandon their carts prematurely, the reasons behind cart abandonment become much more complex when international customers are involved.

Top Reasons for Cross-Border Shopping Cart Abandonment

While many of the factors that lead to cart abandonment are out of a seller’s control, there are plenty of things merchants can do to convert as many customers as they can.

On average, 77.73% of all online shoppers worldwide abandon their carts, with some variations across industries and devices (for instance, mobile phones users in 2019 accounted for most cart abandonment overall).

The main factors that contribute to shopping cart abandonment include:

  • High check out costs (shipping & taxes)
  • Mandatory account creation on sites
  • Complicated or lengthy check out process
  • Slow delivery
  • Low perceived trust in website
  • Technical issues

While the factors listed above affect all buyers (both local and international), transnational buyers face additional barriers to successful online purchases, including:

  • Language barriers
  • “Disruptive registration” and incompatible form fields (such as when inputting address information of credit card data)
  • Payment method limitations
  • Added shipping costs or fees
  • Longer delivery times and waits
  • Differences in privacy laws and data safety regulations
  • Incompatible or nonexistent return policies and product warranties
  • Trust perceptions

There are solutions for online shopping cart conversion optimization if merchants are willing to deep-dive into their target markets, identify the issues, and tackle them one by one.

Cart Conversion Tactics to Boost Cross-Border Sales

Online retailers can take these steps to ensure that their checkout experiences are optimized for their international buyers:

1. Personalize Your eCommerce Check-Out Process

Personalization is the key to more sales and better engagement, so understand the preferences and expectations that drive online sales in your target countries. Tools like the Think with Google research hub provide consumer insights  that let you deliver culturally-optimized customer journeys.

2. Optimize Your Checkout Process with Local Payment Methods

Explore how local payment options can offer added convenience and confidence to buyers in different countries. Don’t limit yourself to only credit card payments. The preference for e-wallets, credit cards, bank transfers, or new forms of technology-enabled payments varies from region to region, so make sure your company can accept popular payment methods everywhere you do business.

Rapyd’s Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific guides offer advice to localize your checkout experience.

3. Give Cross-Border Buyers Reasons to Trust You

Understand how your target demographics think and tap into buyers’ psychology to reduce the perceived risks involved with buying your product. Offering and clearly communicating extended warranties, free returns, and proof of successes via local customer testimonials are great ways to inspire confidence and cut down on cart-dumping.

Create Your Free Rapyd Collect Account

Rapyd helps ecommerce businesses automatically offer preferred local payment methods at checkout. Create your free account to cut down on shopping cart abandonment and boost sales conversion rates.




KPIS. “E-commerce conversion rates – how do yours compare?” Smart Insights, 13 August 2020, Accessed 26 Oct 2020.

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