The Cross-border.pl project, jointly led by the Polish Chamber of Commerce (KIG) and Amazon, aims to encourage cross-border e-commerce and assist SMEs in selecting appropriate international expansion channels and destinations.
The EU Single Market has created new prospects for entrepreneurs, with SMEs spearheading Europe's economic growth through their international endeavours. However, despite European online stores generating a total turnover of €105.5 billion in 2022, Polish e-sellers accounted for a mere 4% of this figure. The most commonly reported barriers hindering Polish e-entrepreneurs in their international expansion were a lack of adequate knowledge and concerns stemming from unfamiliarity with foreign business environments. In response to these challenges, the Polish Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Amazon, has taken the initiative to launch a portal that equips SMEs with the necessary expertise and knowledge to facilitate their development in other countries.
Here are four ways Cross-border.pl can help Polish SMEs:
1. Facilitates discovering international marketplaces
According to a 2022 report by Polityka Insight and Amazon, the main obstacles to utilising online channels for export activities are primarily related to choosing the appropriate marketplace and adapting sales policies to local consumers.
“The number of Polish e-entrepreneurs engaging in exports is disproportionately low to the benefits their businesses can derive from foreign e-commerce sales. Cross-border.pl addresses this disparity by providing SMEs with exclusive access to the only search engine for foreign marketplaces in Poland. Additionally, it offers an up-to-date compendium of practical knowledge on development opportunities in cross-border e-commerce.” According to Aleksandra Borycka, Head of Marketplace Amazon.pl, Cross-border.pl serves as a solution to entrepreneurs’ greatest concerns and equips them with a readily accessible guide to choose the right expansion direction and development path in online channels.
2. Enables an e-commerce export readiness audit
The primary objective of the new platform is to equip entrepreneurs with practical know-how on the various stages of cross-border e-commerce, including export preparation, strategy development, and selection of sales channels, including online marketplaces. The portal gathers valuable advice and information, enabling entrepreneurs to conduct a readiness test for venturing into cross-border e-commerce. This assessment tool provides sellers with a useful resource that clears the path for their international expansion.
“Thus far, the share of online trade in Polish exports has remained disproportionately low, with Polish companies failing to leverage this potential for a number of reasons. By identifying the major barriers, including a lack of expertise and concerns about venturing into unknown markets, the Polish Chamber of Commerce has developed a comprehensive solution. Cross-border.pl grants Polish companies with significant export potential access to unique knowledge crucial for scaling their businesses through e-commerce channels,” says Karolina Opielewicz, board member of the Polish Chamber of Commerce.
3. Offers insights into export potential of target countries
The core concept behind Cross-border.pl is to foster the development of digital competencies and revitalise the export activities of Polish entrepreneurs, ultimately enhancing innovation and bolstering the global competitiveness of Polish SMEs. This mission aligns seamlessly with the objectives of the European Year of Skills 2023, as proclaimed by the European Commission.
“Amazon and the European Commission share a collective vision for the EU's advancement in digital transformation and the fortification of its single market. Given that SMEs, the primary focus of Cross-border.pl, constitute approximately 99% of all enterprises in the EU, it is our duty to equip them with tools and technologies that facilitate their sales expansion in the realm of e-commerce,” says Benedikt Berlemann, General Manager, EU Marketplace Expansion at Amazon.
“We provide steadfast support to e-sellers through extensive national initiatives, such as those carried out in collaboration with the Polish Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, we offer our own programmes, including the Amazon Small Business Accelerator and the European Expansion Accelerator, which foster growth across all nine Amazon stores in Europe, thereby granting customers access to a myriad of products. Since 2010, our investments in the development of European SMEs have surpassed €142 billion, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to participating in projects that safeguard Europe's technological competitiveness.”
Cross-border.pl serves as a comprehensive educational platform, providing up-to-date information on key economic and e-commerce indicators across Europe. Additionally, it offers essential tips and insights for e-sellers, encompassing popular payment and delivery methods, preferences and shopping habits of local consumers, and an overview of thriving e-commerce sectors. The portal's community comprises experts in cross-border e-commerce, alongside SMEs actively seeking opportunities for e-business development.
4. Fosters knowledge exchange and facilitates B2B collaboration
“The portal's ground-breaking nature lies in its ability to consolidate answers to the most frequently asked questions that arise when entrepreneurs venture into cross-border e-commerce, such as selecting optimal export destinations and appropriate marketplaces. Furthermore, Cross-border.pl goes beyond by providing insights into alternative strategies, including the potential benefits of establishing one's own online store. This readily available knowledge source eliminates the need for extensive research on the part of entrepreneurs, sparing them the arduous task of navigating local e-commerce regulations and marketplace policies,” says Damian Wiszowaty, CEO of e-commerce agency Gonito.
The EU Single Market has unveiled a wealth of opportunities for SMEs, and e-commerce serves as the tool through which Polish entrepreneurs can unlock their export potential, thus propelling economic growth throughout Europe.
Cross-border.pl was officially launched on 5th June 2023, during the Global Check-In Conference, organised by the Polish Chamber of Commerce and held under the patronage of the Ministry of Finance, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, and the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.
For more information, visit www.cross-border.pl