European executives plan to expand e-commerce business, CyberSource survey finds

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European c-level executives believe that market expansion presents a real e-commerce growth opportunity in 2014, according to new research released today from CyberSource, a Visa Inc company.

The Payment Management Perspectives study, conducted among European executives, revealed that 86% are planning to increase focus on expanding their e-commerce business into new markets in 2014. Emerging economies represent a significant opportunity, with their plentiful active online shoppers, high mobile usage, and untapped consumer potential. However, executives cite that growth inhibitors—including inconsistent data privacy and security standards, market uncertainty and insight, as well as a need for confident fraud management—must be addressed.

The research, undertaken by Vanson Bourne for CyberSource, one of the world’s largest providers of eCommerce payment management services, reveals  more than one third (35%) of the senior executives surveyed see expansion into emerging economies, including markets such as Russia, Brazil, and China, as one of the most effective ways to grow their e-commerce sales in the coming years. This compares with 22% when looking at more established markets, such as North America and Western Europe. Four in 10 respondents cite knowing where to expand (43%) and prioritising which markets to expand in to first (41%) as a significant or major challenge.

Key growth drivers and inhibitors

More than half of senior executives (58%) surveyed feel that sales in emerging economies will be driven by the rapid adoption of mobile commerce – a finding echoed by other studies that show high levels of consumer mobile adoption in emerging markets.

However, an overwhelming 87% of respondents see consumer concerns about data privacy and payment security as a barrier to their eCommerce expansion.

In addition, 60% of executives perceive the risk of fraud to be higher for orders originating from abroad, whilst over half (51%) of senior executives feel that delays in recouping the cost of expanding into new markets could present a significant or major challenge to the growth of their eCommerce operations in 2014.

“This insight into the growth aspirations of leading European eCommerce executives reveals a landscape of rich opportunity that is being impacted by several barriers,” said Simon Stokes, managing director, CyberSource EMEA.  “Businesses are having to reconcile their multi-channel and international expansion plans with challenges around data security, fraud management, infrastructure complexity and legislation.

“Payment management has become a strategic enabler of business expansion and innovation, and as a business discipline is increasingly leveraged by senior decision makers. In today’s connected, digital world, businesses seek to deliver new, more secure experiences to more customers—seamlessly. We advise that a single payment management platform is fundamental to driving international and mobile expansion; speeding time to market, boosting efficiencies, and helping generate returns faster. This can help businesses not only compete more effectively, but play a more significant role in fuelling the growth of the wider digital economy.”

Vanson Bourne questioned 300 technical and non-technical c-level executives of organisations operating across a range of market sectors, including retail, in the UK, France and Spain. The survey explored their views on payment management in 2014 and beyond, what’s fuelling their growth ambitions, together with the opportunities and barriers that are defining eCommerce and mobile commerce growth plans for businesses in Europe. 

Founded in 1994, CyberSource is an e-commerce payment and fraud management pioneer. The organisation offers a fully integrated global payment management platform via one connection; helping businesses accept more payments, across more markets, safely and simply—enabling them to generate greater returns, faster.