Using the Internet it is possible to make contact with customers from all around the world. According to a survey by the German research institute ibi Research and E-Commerce Leitfaden, already 53 percent of German online retailers are actively selling abroad.
A further 24 percent of respondents stated that, while they did not sell actively beyond the borders of Germany, they were willing to accept orders from abroad. In order to reach foreign customers, 28 percent use search engine optimization (SEO) and 21 percent use search engine advertising (SEA). Only 7 percent are applying for a local quality mark.
The reasons why some online retailers are not actively selling abroad are numerous. Legal uncertainty, localization of customer service (40%) and website (34 percent), uncertainty in the area of payment processing and the cost of shipping were the most frequently cited obstacles.
The SEPA (Single European Payments Area) is a vague concept for many retailers: 40 percent reported having only vague ideas of what SEPA means for their business. Companies do generally believe, however, that the SEPA will help to make European payments more reliable.