Cross-Border eCommerce Opportunities, Challenges & Trends in the EEA

by  | Nov 15, 2021 

In 2021, business is more global than ever. If you’re not already trading internationally, you’re missing out on an enormous market – and an even bigger revenue opportunity. Thankfully, the rise of eCommerce means that very little stands between your business and a global customer base. Online shopping has effectively made retail borderless.

For online retailers who want to make their business global, the only barriers you face to taking secure international payments are those around local trading legislation and compliance. The good news is that adhering to these complex trading rules can be made surprisingly simple once you have an expert team like EMS Global on hand, with a wealth of experience in the global payments industry and in local trading legislation.

Here’s what you need to know about trading in the European Economic Area, and why it holds the key to taking your eCommerce business to the next level…


What opportunities exist for cross-border eCommerce?

The market value for cross-border eCommerce is skyrocketing – thanks in no small part to agreements such as the European Free Trade Agreement combined with the borderless nature of and digitisation of consumers’ buying habits, which together make international trade easier and cheaper than ever before. According to a report by Zion Research, global cross-border eCommerce  was worth $562.1 billion in 2018, and is projected to grow to more than $4 trillion by 2027. That’s an astounding compound annual growth rate of over 27%. Meanwhile, according to research by DHL, cross-border eCommerce is growing at a rate of nearly double domestic commerce.

What are the challenges in international eCommerce?

Selling your products and services online opens you up to a global customer base. But, trading with those global customers also opens you up to the different trading laws based on their different locations. To combat these, enlist the services of global trade experts such as EMS Global.

To trade internationally in the EEA, for example, when you are not already based there, for example, you need to have the appropriate merchant account to receive card payments from your customers, and to have that, you need an EU business bank account with an IBAN number.

Having your business become EEA Incorporated covers these barriers to trade – and, when you have the help of EMS Global, isn’t as complex as it sounds. In fact, you can even do it without physically being located in Europe, with EMS’ expertise, local resources and wealth of international trade experience.

Trading trends in the EEA

The EEA market is projected to grow by 4.3% in 2021 and 4.4% in 2022. This is a rebound of growth following the negative overall economic impact from European lockdowns and restrictions on business as a result of the pandemic during 2020. However, thanks to an EU recovery plan, private consumer behaviour and external demand on trade from the US in particular, the economy is booming – and is set to continue to do so.

Another big current trend in European trade is a sharp fall in international trade with the UK, according to a recent ONS report. A result of both Covid-19 and Brexit, this decline on EU imports from the UK in turn equates to a natural rise in European countries importing goods from elsewhere, internationally, instead.

Set your business up for trading in the EEA with EMS Global’s expert global trading services, which can set your company up with becoming EEA incorporated, a UK-registered IBAN number, European trading offices and more. Drop us an email today for a free consultation, and to discover how EMS Global can hel