Cross Border Trade

We have asked one of our Account managers, Andrew Main, to tell us how his sellers tackle design with regards to Cross Border Trading.

About Cross Border Trade

Cross Border Trade (CBT) is a hot topic that represents a great revenue growth opportunity amongst on-line sellers.  Software systems make it much easier to launch, control inventory, process orders across multiple marketplaces, more recently different country locations too.  Many people are seeing quick wins with these incremental revenue streams especially on eBay.

eBay UK has been behind a great initiative to ‘translate and launch’ UK sellers listings to help kick-start an interest and this delivers quick revenue wins in these emergent markets where seller completion is less fierce or product lines are rare, however this poses some design specific considerations…

The eBay cross border trade platform does an excellent job of building trust with localised buyers and translating the marketplace environment; making cross border trade possible to easily sell there as a foreign seller. It does not address all the buyer issues.

The content needs to be properly translated like ‘Title’ , ’product description’, ‘attributes’ and of course the ‘Payment’ ‘Shipping’ ‘terms / returns’ etc. (which may be different for each location).  To compete with local sellers you really have to think through the whole layout structure and buyer behaviour process so you are not at a disadvantage when you appear next to local listing results.

Our eBay sellers take different approaches to solve this issue. At one end of the scale is the ‘Best Practice’ the other end is more towards a lower risk (lower cost) ‘testing the water’ scenario – I want to cover both – to examine and understand differences and benefits.

Best Practice:

As a brand of International repute you can’t cut corners, your brand presence on a marketplace must still look as sharp as your website and make 100% sense to its target audience in the destination location.

I have seen many sellers at this level this use ‘Localised eBay country accounts’  in order to cross border trade – this means you have an eBay account for each country in which you sell – with that of course you get a localised store address and importantly too you get a localised store category tree for each store.  This category tree is very important and often overlooked – good design that retains traffic and upsells to the full range of product you stock can temp browsers to engage with your brand and product set appropriately so that they buy more than what they are just looking at first.

The key method for this is driven off the ‘Store Category tree’ – and it must be in the right language and point to the right store in the right country! Cross promotion on listings is another important very powerful way to upsell / cross-sell across your full product range and is also powered off the store category rules.

Let’s look at some live examples that demonstrate this well.  (Notice the 100% localised Category tree and the localised Cross promotion)

Testing the water:

The ‘testing the water’ method allows you to easily cross border trade, quickly get the product to a foreign marketplace in the right language at a much setup lower cost.

In this case sellers often use the same country account (and design) and launch ‘making available’ to the foreign marketplace.

E.g. using your account to sell into Germany.

The product appears in the eBay DE search results and can even have German title, description and shipping terms / returns on the listing . The downside is the opportunity to cross promote and engage with cross promo rules, this directs buyers back to the (home account) UK store with a category tree in the wrong language.

Here is an example of a seller doing this. (Note the category tree is the same across all countries)

Other methods:

We have seen JavaScript heavy – external databases that take hosting and constant tweaking some that run external automated translations –these breach eBay rules (they do not permit this it is site interference) and can cause slow listings in need of constant updating. Automatic translations are never as good as using a human service (such as ).

In conclusion the opportunity for cross border trade to grow your business is very real, relatively easy and low cost to kick off. You can reap some quick revenue wins but in order to do it properly you really need to have a localised eBay country account and a fully localised design to go with it.

If you would like to have a conversation with me about how we can help you with your branding visit:

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