Cross-Border E-Commerce Trends in Asia


August 3, 2021
5 MIN READ

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Cross-border e-commerce purchases are growing at an exceptional pace, and Asia makes up for a significant share of the global market. Despite that, Western companies have not been able to gain ground.

Cross-border e-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services between countries. This style of online shopping has seen a rise in popularity over the last decade. Cross-border E-Commerce can be a cheaper and easier way to shop.

Asian consumers are increasingly leveraging the Internet for purchasing goods and services across borders. However, consumer preferences for cross-border e-commerce vary greatly from one country to another, driven by a unique combination of regional economic activity, cultural affinity, political stability and logistics infrastructure. This report explores cross-border e-commerce trends in four key Asian markets: Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore.

As China is the second largest e-commerce market in the world, it has a large number of novice sellers and the cross-border e-commerce market has gradually become the focus of attention. As of 2018, Southeast Asia’s e-commerce industry has seen rapid growth in the past few years. According to STATISTA, the market was worth USD 172 billion as of 2025. It also allows for a wider selection of products to be found.

Cross Border E-commerce in Asia – Emerging Trends & Shifts:

  1. Clothing, Accessories, Consumer Electronics, Video Games, Books, Movies, Cosmetics and Body care are the top products sold in Cross Border eCommerce
  2. Amazon, eBay, Paytm Mall, Lazada, Shopee, Alibaba, AliExpress, Zalora, JD Worldwide, Lebong, Lelong, Tmall Global, Kaola, Qoo10, 11street, Tarad, Luxasia, Blibli are the Key Marketplaces for Cross Border eCommerce.
  3. Social media platforms today are more than just advertising channels. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, WeChat and more are becoming the go-to platform for shopping.
  4. Asia is a big market and also the fastest growing when it comes to cross-border eCommerce. Cross-border e-Commerce has been a booming sector for Southeast Asia, and Indian brands are slowly entering the market to reach out to more global investors. As India quickly begins to adopt e-commerce, MSME’s can also look globally to grow their operations especially, in the product category such as Jewelry, Leather goods, Handloom and Handicrafts.
  5. Club Factory, Shein, Wish, Romwe, JollyChic and AliExpress are China’s key Cross Border eCommerce market players.
  6. As of July, Amazon China stopped selling products from local third-party merchants and transitioned into a marketplace platform for Chinese consumers to purchase international brands. Customers in mainland China used to be able to buy products from overseas brands on the e-commerce platform due to the low tariff on cross-border e-commerce transactions. Instead of these customers purchasing products from local sellers on Amazon China, they can now purchase them directly from foreign vendors at lower tariffs.

Top cross-border E-Commerce trends in Asia:

Cross-border e-commerce is an increasingly important trend in Asia, driven by a variety of factors involving both importers and exporters from across the region. This discussion will center on key trends that are shaping cross-border buying and selling on platforms like Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and others.

Lazada, an online shopping platform that operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam saw a surge in demand for online customers. In March 2021, the company held a marketing conference in Yiwu China where they introduced an integrated solution to help cross-border e-commerce merchants from China in growing business in Southeast Asia. After investing billions of dollars in Lazada, Alibaba is also ready to conquer the e-commerce market in China and Southeast Asia.

One of the most popularly growing trends is that some technology companies are turning to advanced SaaS systems supporting cross-border e-commerce which are specially designed to help global e-commerce companies to serve the world better.

Let’s take the example of Captain BI, a Chinese cross-border e-commerce SaaS enterprise. It completed series A financing last month with a financing scale of nearly RMB 100 million. It provides data intelligent analysis services such as CRM management, operation, finance, CPC advertising, and FBA inventory for Chinese merchants selling on platforms like Amazon.

Ecommerce businesses that provide Business Intelligence tools for cross-border e-commerce have exploded in Asia. This is due to the explosive growth of Ecommerce shoppers in this region which allowed cross-border e-commerce companies to expand in a scale. Business Intelligence is a vital tool for any enterprise. It has the ability to support making faster and more innovative business decisions across all industries. Many online companies are already using BI to better understand the trends in their overseas markets and improve global business management. In fact, the Industry Experts predicted that as technology continues to evolve, ML and AI can help BI solutions become more self-reliant over time so it can facilitate critical decision-making capabilities.

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