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Cross-Border Sellers Remain Resilient Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
May 6, 2020

As the world continues to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, cross-border sellers are facing a unique set of problems. From Amazon FBA restrictions to countrywide lockdowns, the eCommerce industry is facing a whole new reality that is likely to remain long after the pandemic recedes. Despite these hardships, sellers remain resilient, confident in their long-term prospects as well those of the eCommerce industry.

The Q1 2020 Global Seller Index is our opportunity to explore COVID-19’s impact on eCommerce and the global seller community. The report, largely based on testimonials from global sellers and country-wide statistics on sales volumes and seller populations, uses current trends in global eCommerce to predict where the industry is heading.

Here, we’ll be covering some of the report’s highlights, which include how a resurgent Chinese logistics industry is aiming to get eCommerce supply chains back on track, the new avenues Japanese sellers are exploring and how European sellers are looking for a quick recovery once COVID-19 recedes. To read the full Q1 2020 Global Seller Index, click below.


Chinese Logistics Industry on the Rebound

Chinese logistics providers are resuming work

The Chinese logistics industry, responsible for much of the world’s eCommerce supply chains, came to a standstill shortly after the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China. While Chinese businesses have begun opening, the industry has been forced to deal with several issues connected to the global pandemic, including:

  • Decline in orders – For logistics providers, insufficient supplies on the client side have resulted in a significant decrease in orders.
  • Work resumption – Uneven work resumption in China, as well as the rest of the world, have resulted in delays and a decline in productivity.
  • Transportation costs – Cargo transport restrictions during the pandemic have led to an increase in costs. This has created problems for sellers, with one commenting that “we can’t get any goods delivered, which has led to a large number of cancelled orders and a decrease in new orders”.

Despite these ongoing problems, the industry is rebounding as more and more businesses resume operations. For insiders, the way forward, at least partially, is for different companies to pool resources to get supply chains back on track. As one representative from 4PX put it, “the logistics industry needs to work together to turn competition into a win-win situation, fully integrate industry resources, improve product quality and services, and help sellers overcome these difficult times”.

Japanese Sellers Expanding Operations to Get Back on Track

Japanese sellers expanding to new industries

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Japanese cross-border sellers particularly hard, with many citing Amazon FBA restrictions as a major factor in their Q1 performance. As Takahiro Yamada, Representative Director and CEO of Global Brand Inc. put it, “because of Amazon’s FBA restrictions, sales are down around 90% as of March 30th. We expect to recover around 50% of sales at first, once deliveries are resumed, depending on the quality of the shipments”.

Despite the COVID-19 related setbacks, Japanese sellers are adapting to the new reality and exploring ways to get their businesses back on track, including by looking at new product categories and focusing on other industries that can be used to boost eCommerce once the pandemic recedes. For Noboru Okada, Representative Director and CEO at Compass Point Inc. this means looking at such industries as “online seminars and support centers [that businesses will use] to promote their online stores”.

See what else Japanese sellers are expecting for their businesses in our Q1 2020 Global Seller Index.


European Cross-Border Merchants Looking for a Quick Rebound in the Aftermath of COVID-19

European sellers looking to rebound

Sellers in France, Italy and Spain are facing a unique set of circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the supply chain issues faced by sellers all over the world, they are also in three of the hardest hit countries. This is why we were surprised to discover that eCommerce is not only expected to rebound in the aftermath of COVID-19, but also thrive.

Over the last year, eCommerce as a profession has gained significant popularity in Spain, France and Italy, where the seller population increased by 30%, 13% and 85%, respectively. While the pandemic has certainly impacted the seller community, their future looks promising.

European consumers, long known to favor brick and mortar stores, have increasingly turned to online shopping. There has been a spike in those making at least half of their purchases online, 60% of whom will continue to do so after the pandemic recedes. What’s more, most purchases made in Europe are from domestic sellers or from those in the EU. For European sellers, including Jorge Ribera Sanchis at Ekeko Sports, online sales will be critical as more and more commerce turns digital. According to Riber Sanchis, “European companies that are digitized and focused on online commerce will get out of the crisis much faster than the rest.”

Navigating The “New Normal” with Payoneer

As the world settles into the “new normal” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, cross-border sellers should know that Payoneer will be with you every step of the way to help you maintain your business and expand into new marketplaces.

As Iain McNicoll, Regional Head Americas at Payoneer put it, “we have found this is a good opportunity for online sellers to minimize inefficiencies and reduce costs. Payoneer’s tools can help achieve these goals, whether by allowing you to consolidate multiple marketplace stores in a single location or by reducing costs when sending wires cross-border, paying VAT, or payments directly to our integrated partners.”

If you have any questions regarding Payoneer’s services, please contact us. And to see what other global sellers from the US, UK, Vietnam, Korea, India, China, Japan and the EU are expecting for Q2 and beyond, see our complete Q1 Global Seller Index.


The content provided in this article including any information relating to pricing, fees, and other charges is accurate and valid only as of the date it was published. In addition, changes in applicable regulations, policies, market conditions, or other relevant factors may impact the accuracy of the mentioned pricing and fees and other associated details. Accordingly, it is further clarified that any information regarding pricing, fees and other charges is subject to changes, and it is your responsibility to ensure you are viewing the most up to date content applicable to you. Payoneer will provide the most up to date and accurate information relating to pricing and fees as part of the account registration process. Registered customers can view this information via their online account.

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