With inflation running high around the world and the increasingly complex rules governing cross-border trade, this holiday season brings unprecedented challenges to e-commerce sellers.


Although the high season is an opportunity for sellers to make a big difference in their bottom line, this year’s economic uncertainty pushes customers to be extra cost conscious. As a consequence, e-commerce sellers are hit twice. On the one hand, they have to cope with increasing supply chain costs, and on the other hand, they have to be more competitive than ever.  

If you want to see your sales skyrocket this holiday season and keep increasing your cross-border sales in 2023, it is crucial to be aware of the biggest challenges and opportunities surrounding this holiday season. We asked e-commerce and logistics experts what trends this special high season brings, and what lessons can be drawn for 2023. Read through to the end! We have a special gift to help you increase your cross-border volume in no time.


Inflation is the troublemaker of this holiday season

“Inflation impacts every aspect and therefore will be the primary consideration for online retailers.  Inflation will impact economic health in general but specific to e-commerce, the sale price, increase in transportation costs – fuel surcharge, peak surcharges and general price increases – marketing plans should consider the changes in the consumer buying patterns in order to maximize sales during the holiday period.” Kristen C. Purvis, Vice President, Partnerships US & CA, Eurora.  

Inflation as of October 2022 is running at 10.9% across the EU, 8.2% in the USA and 7.4% globally. With no immediate end in sight, consumers are left with less purchasing power, which is already reflected in shopping carts. An outstanding 70% of shoppers are taking inflation into consideration for their holiday shopping, and roughly half of shoppers will buy fewer things this year. In addition, more than one-third said they will rely on coupons to save money. 


Customers have zero tolerance for hidden charges and fees

“If the hidden costs are meaningful within the overall purchase, then they will be very unforgiving indeed. If it’s not possible to predict the final price, then a clear description of the process must be provided upfront, and an order of magnitude given. Otherwise, using the distance selling directive will see increases in refused delivery and returns.” Walter Blackwood, Managing Director and Principal Consultant, W&MB Consulting.

According to a recent survey, 42% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts because of hidden extra costs, be it shipping costs, fees, or taxes. This is especially critical if they are browsing from the other side of the globe. According to Statista, 59% of customers are afraid to purchase cross-border because they expect to pay additional fees or duties that are not shown at checkout. Unclear prices raise anxiety as customers have no idea how much duties and fees they will need to pay when their order crosses borders.  


E-commerce retailers need to cut costs now

“Primarily retailers can avoid discounting stock by making it more available to new markets. They can also refocus attention onto supply chains and begin to use this as a differentiator in customer experience. Finally there are savings to be had through finally removing various forms of “bloat” and “inefficiency” in their organisations most commonly found in muddled and confusing IT and customer service experiences which all detract from healthy sales and happy customers.” James Doyle CEO at Boston Warwick. Copyright © 2022, James Doyle, All rights reserved. 

With customers willing to pay lower prices when shopping online, retailers need to cut costs if they want to maintain healthy profit margins. When you ship packages across borders, the best way to reduce operational and supply chain costs is to turn to automation. Automation is an immediate solution to reduce manual labor and human errors that can cost you. You can also boost your efficiency and delivery times. AI engines can work 24/7 for you, ensuring your customers get their packages as fast as possible.   


Staying on top of restricted products is more crucial than ever

“Now, more than ever, the principle of shipping the right items to the right countries and passing the electronic data capture for cross-border processes across the delivery chain is vital. The risk of products being held, refused or destroyed should out-weigh the decision not to adopt it. As above, mitigating the risk of doing business with denied entities or individuals is becoming a gamble not worth taking.” Paul McCormack, Founder CEO Infinium Logistics (formerly of Amazon Logistics and Hermes) amongst other notable e-commerce logistics organisations.  

Several consecutive global crises have forced countries to quickly restrict the export and import of certain goods. Exporters, importers, and all other companies involved in the supply chain must be aware of import and export control rules to minimize their risks and advise their customers accordingly. Non-compliance with these requirements can result in financial and legal consequences, so it is better to avoid problems with customs and carry out pre-checks on goods, destination countries, and transaction parties.  


What now?

Now that experts have shared the biggest challenges and opportunities of this holiday season, it’s time for you to take action! In 2023, winning e-commerce businesses will be the ones adapting their offers to the economic context, and the shifting consumer behavior. Guess what? We have what you need to win these holiday sales and get your 2023 revenue off to a flying start! 

We have a free downloadable guide for you based on expert knowledge from our team, as well as professionals from the eCommerce, logistics and postal industry, to show you how to:  

  • Find ways to cut costs quickly and remain price competitive  
  • Use imaginative methods to make deliveries go swiftly and compete with larger companies and their sophisticated shipping networks  
  • Take advantage of the knowledge and automations of Eurora that save our customers 1 billion hours of manual work