Fueling SMEs’ expansion with cross-border e-commerce


Mrs. Diane Wang, CEO of DHgate, was a keynote speaker at the Global E-commerce Summit 2015. She gave valuable insights into the development of cross-border e-commerce and how it can significantly empower SMEs.

The world of e-commerce has opened up for SMEs ever since online trade has spread its network around the world and gained strength in the development of a cross-border e-commerce eco-system. According to Mrs. Wang,  one of China’s top business stars and CEO of DHgate.com – a B2B e-commerce website connecting China-based small and medium businesses with buyers overseas – globalization, digitalization and SME Empowerment are the tools to reshape the landscape of global retail.

Visions are adapting

It is really about believing that change can be done. We can chose to take action and be part of the fast-paced industry; there is a world of opportunities out there and retailers just need to learn to identify them. Cross-border e-commerce offers a broad spectrum of possibilities to access knowledge efficiently and enter the global market.

China is a shining example of what cross-border e-commerce can do for a SME: China has developed from being an internet follower to becoming an e-commerce leader. This is mainly due to the fact that so many SMEs have recognized the potential of cross-border e-commerce and expanded their business to the global market space.

Global expansion with global partners

The cross-border value chain and innovative developments within the e-commerce market has fueled the cooperation among global partners. Companies are engaging with various other companies on a global scale to enhance their expansion. China has surpassed the U.S.’ e-commerce market in being the largest e-commerce market in the world and reached an incredible number of $1,8 trillion revenue. By 2025 a 22% of e-commerce will come from cross-border e-commerce. In 2018 cross-border e-commerce will increase 300% from 2013.

The ecosystem for cross-border e-commerce

SMEs can make use of a whole value chain that, in the past years, has been developed for e-commerce. As inspections, online warehouse platforms, internet marketing, logistics and legal frameworks become more and more mature, SMEs can focus on their key areas and leave most of the processing to the providers of these features. Alternatively, they can integrate themselves in the cross-border e-commerce. This eco-system represents the gate to the global market. Especially the big players can potentially become competitors of the SMEs, which otherwise would not have the chance to play along at that level.

Changes are within reach

The enhancement and development of the cross-border e-commerce network is also a benefit to people who usually would not have the means to become entrepreneurs and expand their business. SMEs get access to the world of cross-border e-commerce and the world of entrepreneurship. This includes access to finance, supply chains, crowd funding and other sources. Financing mechanisms that would otherwise not be accessible to small SMEs or people with no means to set up a business are now available.

Social Commerce

Social media may not be left out of sight as it certainly will be one of the main e-commerce channels of the future. There will be new generations of social marketplaces that will enable social influence and new innovative business models.

The future is cross-border e-commerce and the expansion of the global e-commerce eco-system, as well as the empowerment of SMEs are game changing elements.