Business Management

CIOs Must Take Centre Stage on eCommerce Expansion Plans

‘My To Do List, 2014: expand into new markets and go mobile’. In executive suites across Europe, eCommerce business leaders are busily noting down their growth priorities for next year. And, for businesses selling online, those priorities turn out to be remarkably similar. According to a new Payment Management Perspectives survey of European senior executives, in 2014 86% of respondents plan to increase their focus on expanding their eCommerce channels into new markets; while 78% say that investing in their mobile commerce strategy is a priority[1].

The lure of emerging economies is proving irresistible for many C-level executives (CxOs) as developed markets begin to mature.  With their growing proportion of active online shoppers, high mobile usage, and disposable income, emerging economies such as those in Brazil, Russia and China, are appealing[2].

These findings come from a new and revealing CxO study, undertaken for CyberSource in the UK, France and Spain by Vanson Bourne. The study found that CxOs believe growth will depend on being able to offer customers – wherever they are – the best possible purchasing experience, with smooth, seamless and secure checkout across channels and the reassurance of knowing their payment data will remain protected.

We found that 2014 will be the year of mobile for many, with new mobile strategies helping to drive business growth. The survey revealed that more than half (58%) of the CxOs surveyed feel that sales in emerging economies will be led by the rapid adoption of mobile commerce in those markets – a finding echoed by other studies that show high levels of consumer mobile adoption in fast-moving emerging markets[3].

However, we also discovered that CxOs are concerned about the barriers that could stand in the way of achieving success. These barriers include inconsistent data privacy and security standards across borders, the evolution of cyber-threats, increasingly complex legislation and a growing need for confident and non-disruptive fraud management. Furthermore, the research shows that when thinking about international expansion, a majority (60%) of CxOs perceive the risk of fraud to be higher for orders originating from abroad.

Today, payment management has become a strategic enabler; increasingly important to business success. CIOs and technical teams have a more critical role than ever before; building a more scalable, secure payment platform capable of driving the next wave of business growth across multiple channels and markets. Significantly, the main task of addressing the associated technical and security challenges will also lie, in many cases, with the CIOs and IT directors of these firms. Getting this right must form a core part of any future international and mobile expansion plans.


Dr. Akif Khan is Director of Strategic Initiatives at CyberSource

[1] CyberSource/Vanson Bourne study of 300 CxOs in the UK, France and Spain, November 2013 – Vanson Bourne questioned 300 technical and non-technical CxOs/senior executives of organisations operating across a range of market sectors, including retail, in the UK, France and Spain. The survey explored their views on payment management in 2014 and beyond, what’s fuelling their growth ambitions, together with the opportunities and barriers that are defining eCommerce and mobile commerce growth plans for businesses in Europe. 

[2] The 2013 Global Retail E-Commerce Index (Figure 4), AT Kearney

[3] Mobile Web Watch 2013, Neilson – 81 per cent of smartphone owners in China and over three quarters of those in India use or are planning to use mobile payment in the next 12 months.

A.T. Kearney 2012 eCommerce Index – In Russia there are 1.8 mobile phones per person in the country.


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Dr. Akif Khan

Dr. Akif Khan is Director of Strategic Initiatives at CyberSource

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