The Boon of Cross Border E-commerce


International express services provider DHL Express has launched a new service – ‘On Demand Delivery’ – enabling shippers in India to give their receivers across the border, the power to select from a range of delivery options.

#DigitalErra Thought Corner

With On Demand Delivery, shippers can choose to activate specific delivery options and DHL Express will proactively notify customers via email or SMS about a shipment’s progress. The feature will allow receivers to select from a range of delivery options via the On Demand Delivery mobile-optimized website. With the launch of this service, shippers in India will be able to cater to the demands of international online shoppers who do not want to miss a delivery.

“Global trade and especially cross-border e-commerce, is pushing the need for traders to customize solutions for their customers – a need that becomes more pronounced when retailers are operating in markets which are highly competitive and commoditized. Traders are looking to provide a better value proposition to their own customers by including flexible delivery solutions. Hence, adding an On Demand Delivery model to our customer offering via convenient digital platforms makes sense,” said RS Subramanian, Senior Vice President & Managing Director at DHL Express India.

Increasing Appeal Of Cross-Border Ecommerce

While e-commerce players in India are going through tough times with ‘rightsizing’, the appeal of cross-border e-commerce is catching on and is currently estimated to account for more than 25 percent of total global e-commerce sales. In October 2016, Amazon launched Amazon Global Store in India. San Francisco-headquartered Wish is another player in this space but currently does not ship to India.

The Global market size of cross-border e-commerce is growing rapidly and is expected to eclipse $1 trillion in 2020, according to a 2016 report by Accenture & Ali Research.

Cross-border e-commerce offers aggregate growth rates not available in most other retail markets. Online retailers are also boosting sales by 10-15 per cent on average simply by extending their offering to international customers. An additional boost comes from including a premium service offering. Retailers and manufacturers that incorporated a faster shipping option into their online stores grew 1.6 times faster on average than other players.

Factors That Matter In Cross-Border E-commerce

Success in cross-border e-commerce lies in navigating the complex ecosystem of rules and regulations, import/export restrictions, currency fluctuations, cultural norms of product pricing, payment method expectations, and the onus on retailers to be transparent with total costs at checkout. On top of that, the logistical challenges of international shipping and returns – now an extension of brand itself– can determine your ability to win the day and gain long-term brand evangelists.

Localization: There are several key components of localization: consumer pricing strategy, currency, and alternative payment methods. Combined, these are critical pieces of an optimized international customer experience (CX) and will pay dividends if you do it right.


Your website is only the start of customer engagement and the experience continues through delivery. The way in which orders are tracked and delivered will forge a lasting memory in the mind of global consumers and players like DHL are offering the same through ease of options to select from.

  • Surojita Majumdar

    Shipping and logistics scenario is evolving every minute. All thanks to technology and innovations that are aiming to cut down the complexities involved. India too has witnessed a rapid growth in recent years, largely due to growth in retail, e-commerce and manufacturing sectors. Recently Instavans have caught my attention. Their idea of connecting both truckers and shippers through its mobile and web platform sounds amazing. This can really help in organizing the local trucking industry in India.
    Thanks for sharing the article. Nice read.