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X and Digital River Study Reveals: Widening Gap between Best and Worst Cross-Border Ecommerce Sites

Study surveyed 195 sites across 10 countries

BOSTON & MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 18, 2015 –China’s Singles Day 2015 — which rang up sales of more than $14 billion for Alibaba alone and exceeded Facebook’s annual 2014 revenue in 24 hours — put another spotlight on the purchasing power of the consumer and the burgeoning $300 billion cross-border ecommerce opportunity. The challenge, however, according to a new index from and Digital River, is that the majority of companies are unprepared to capitalize on the market of more than 1 billion online shoppers around the globe.

The fourth quarter installment of the X-Border Payments Optimization Index powered by Digital River, rated more 195 online stores on a scale of 1 (low) to 100 (high), across almost 60 attributes, including shipping, payment, information access, pricing, security, ease of use, support, and time and effort required to checkout. On average, the stores – which spanned 10 countries, including Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the U.K., the U.S. and Spain — scored 55 out of 100, down slightly from last quarter’s 56.

The results suggest merchants continue to fail in delivering a seamless and localized ecommerce experience to shoppers outside their own country— a dangerous choice when 20 percent of all online shoppers currently come from foreign IP addresses, which is estimated to become 45 percent of all online shoppers by 2020.

In an effort to help merchants identify where they can improve their own cross-border shopping experiences, the X-Border Payments Optimization Index contains insights into what separates the higher performing sites and regions from the rest. Some of the recent findings include:

Disparity is growing between the most- and least-optimized cross-border sites:

  • The top 10 most-optimized sites are getting better at meeting the needs of global consumers, investing in and rolling out additional capabilities to make it easier for them to shop outside their home country. These include offering six or more languages and currencies, and four or more payment types with a globally-recognized brand.
  • Meanwhile the 10 least-optimized sites are doing worse on many metrics, with 60 percent of the least-optimized sites only offering one globally issued payment option: PayPal.

What country is most optimized to reach cross-border shoppers?

  • With an average score of 65, the U.S. continues to lead the 10 countries analyzed.
  • China comes in second place with a score of 61, while Germany moves up three spots to fifth place.
  • Countries in the middle of the pack (China, Germany and Spain) are still missing out on key attributes that most-optimized sites offer, including mobile-friendly shopping experiences and support of multiple languages, currencies and global payments methods.

The complete report detailing the findings of the X-Border Payments Optimization Index is now available. Access a copy of the report here. The results of the study and key take-aways for cross border merchants will be presented during a live 60-minute webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Today, through its Digital River World Payments solution, Digital River offers a wide range of customizable services for managing the complete payment lifecycle. These services, which work through a single payments connection, include checkout page optimization, A/B testing, real-time fraud detection, solutions to manage PCI exposure and currency risk, as well as advanced back-office reconciliation services and business intelligence tools.

About is reinventing the way in which companies in payments share relevant information about the initiatives that shape the future of payments and commerce and make news. This powerful B2B platform is the #1 site for the payments and broader commerce ecosystem by traffic and the premier source of information about “what’s next” in payments. C-suite and VP level executives turn to it daily for these insights, making the audience one of the most valuable in the industry. It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate thought leadership, popularize products and, most importantly, capture the mindshare of global decision-makers., where the best minds and best content meet on the web to learn “What’s Next” in Payments and Commerce.

About Digital River, Inc.
Backed by 20 years of ecommerce experience, Digital River is recognized as a leading global provider of Commerce-as-a-Service solutions. Companies of all sizes rely on Digital River’s cloud-based commerce, payments and marketing services to manage and grow their online businesses. In 2014, Digital River processed more than $35 billion in online transactions, connecting B2B and B2C digital products companies and branded manufacturers with buyers across multiple devices and channels, and nearly every country in the world.

Digital River is headquartered in Minneapolis with offices across the U.S., Asia, Europe and South America. For more details about Digital River, visit the corporate website, read the Digital River Blog, follow the company on Twitter or call +1 952-253-1234.

Digital River is a registered trademark of Digital River, Inc. All other company and product names are trademarks, registrations or copyrights of their respective owners.