In this week's International Marketing News, Andrea takes us through new .au domain extensions, Bitcoin ATMs and more. Read on.
This week has seen a lot happen in the world of International Marketing, from Australia's introduction of a direct .au domain extension, China's supply chain issues, Bitcoin ATMs becoming more popular and developments in the European e-commerce market.
Bitcoin ATMs See 4,200% Increase Worldwide
Bankless Times recently conducted research that shows a 4,200% increase in global Bitcoin ATMs over the last six years.
According to the data, there are now over 14,900 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide, representing a more than 4200% increase in six years. While the number of Bitcoin ATMs is increasing at a rate of 198% per year on average.
According to the company, the number of vendors accepting crypto payments is growing, and intermediary services such as BitPay enable businesses to accept crypto payments.
However, the company claims that critics have long argued that cryptocurrencies should not be considered currencies because they cannot be spent anywhere. More ardent detractors have mockingly referred to cryptos as the internet's "magic beans," implying they are nothing more than a scam.
According to Bankless Times research, while buying and selling cryptocurrencies has grown in popularity, the opportunities to spend digital currencies directly are limited.
Large companies have traditionally used intermediary services like BitPay to accept cryptocurrency payments, but only a few companies accept crypto payments directly. Some of these are discussed further below.
The number of Bitcoin ATMs that have been distributed and placed inside businesses is an example of cryptocurrency acceptance. According to research, the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world has increased exponentially since 2015 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Companies accepting crypto payments directly include:
Mastercard announced a partnership with Bakkt Holdings in November 2021 to enable their customers to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies on a digital wallet. Mastercard is by far one of the world's largest companies offering cryptocurrency services.
Wikipedia, as a non-profit organization, relies heavily on donations from users all over the world. According to their website, several payment methods are accepted, including PayPal, Amazon Pay, and BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment system.
Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum are among the cryptos that are accepted.
In 2013, Sir Richard Branson announced that his commercial space flight venture would accept Bitcoin as payment for a trip into space. In a blog post on his website, Branson revealed that a woman from Hawaii was the first to use the cryptocurrency to make a purchase.
Tesla, the world's leading manufacturer of electric vehicles, has begun accepting Dogecoin as payment for Tesla merchandise. This comes after Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, suspended Bitcoin payments due to environmental concerns just months after announcing support for the cryptocurrency.
Entrepreneurs set to benefit from direct .au domain extension
The launch of auDA's .au domain comes as local competitiveness is cited as Australia's second-largest threat in 2022, behind the pandemic.
Since yesterday, entrepreneurs and small businesses having an existing.au domain name, such as.com.au, have been able to register their.au domain with GoDaddy.
They can also register for a.au domain if it is an entirely new domain, meaning it does not already have a.com.au, .org.au, or.net.au extension.
With the debut of the new.au domain extension, GoDaddy has urged eligible Australian entrepreneurs and small businesses to secure their brand and digital identity by registering for an .au domain.
The launch comes at a time when internet traffic and competitiveness are at all-time highs.
According to GoDaddy's Entrepreneurial Pulse research, more than one-quarter (27%) of entrepreneurs and small business owners cited competition as their most significant challenge for 2022, trailing only the pandemic.
According to the company, having a local.au domain can provide a significant competitive advantage when it comes to standing out to the millions of consumers who engage with local businesses online.
Since yesterday 24th of March, Australian entrepreneurs with an existing.com.au domain name can apply for priority registration of its exact domain name match with an .au extension via GoDaddy.
Eligible users have six months to complete this process before the.au domain name extension becomes available for purchase to the general public on September 20th.
Customers can register an .au domain if the corresponding .com.au, .net.au, or.org.au domain is not already in use.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Australian businesses, entrepreneurs, and side hustlers," says Tamara Oppen, managing director of GoDaddy Australia.
According to Rosemary Sinclair AM, CEO of auDA, "We are thrilled to announce the launch of Australia's newest namespace,.au direct, the most significant innovation in.au in 20 years.
We want Australia to know that.au is here, whether you are looking to register a new business domain name or simply sending or receiving emails or browsing the web."
She claims that.au direct will provide a greater variety of shorter, simpler, and uniquely Australian domain names for Australian businesses, entrepreneurs, and other internet users.
supply Chain Issues Impacted By Lockdowns In China
According to Bloomberg, major Chinese manufacturing hubs such as Shenzhen and Dongguan have been placed under lockdown following the discovery of new COVID-19 cases.
Toyota and Volkswagen halted production at several plants, and Foxconn, a key Apple supplier, said it would halt operations in Shenzhen until further notice from the government.
Truck delays and long lines at China's ports are exacerbating the problem and raising concerns about a global shipping slowdown.
While the rest of the world has relaxed coronavirus-related restrictions, Beijing remains staunchly opposed to COVID-19 outbreaks.
A December 2021 outbreak in Zhejiang province, another key manufacturing hub, resulted in closed factories and strict quarantine rules, making it difficult for truckers to pick up goods and access ports.
According to The New York Times, China has more than 5,100 daily cases, which is less than one-tenth of the number of new cases reported in the United States on Monday, but more than 45 million people are under lockdown.
Many businesses rely on Chinese-made goods. Even if their factories are operational, getting goods out is becoming more difficult — and more expensive.
According to Wang Xin, president of the Shenzhen Cross-Border E-Commerce Association, the lockdowns "are causing significant disruption to the production and delivery of goods sold on major online marketplaces" such as Amazon and Walmart.
Delays in order fulfilment could cause major backlogs at ports across China, potentially halting global shipping.
Freight prices, which were already high, are rising even further: According to Freightos data, it costs at least $16,353 to ship a container of items from Asia to the West Coast as of this writing, up nearly $200 from a week ago.
Aside from its international implications, Beijing's zero-COVID policy has a significant negative impact on the Chinese economy.
Consumers who are confined to their homes are unable to support local businesses, and travel restrictions have had a significant impact on the hospitality industry.
Businesses have lost revenue due to shutdowns and higher commodity costs, which have significantly reduced their margins and made it more difficult to operate.
kEY tRENDS aND dEVELOPMENTS iN eUROPEAN E-cOMMERCE
E-commerce on the European continent increased by 10% from 2019 to 2020, to EUR 757 billion, and is expected to increase by 12% in 2021, to EUR 844 billion. Western Europe continues to lead in turnover, accounting for 64% of total turnover, followed by Southern Europe (16%).
Eastern Europe (36%), Central Europe (28%), and Southern Europe had the highest turnover growth rates from 2019 to 2020. (24%). Moldova (49%), Russia (41%), North Macedonia (37%), and Hungary have the highest growth rates in Eastern Europe (35%).
E-commerce continues to account for a large portion of retail in Western and Northern Europe, with leaders including Denmark (17%), the United Kingdom (15.5%), Finland (8.6%), and Ireland (8.3%).
Trends across borders
According to Cross-Border Commerce Europe's 2020 figures, 22% of total B2C turnover for 2020 was cross-border in 15 prominent European e-commerce markets.
Cross-border turnover accounted for 50% or more of total e-commerce turnover in Finland, Austria, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, and Sweden, according to this study and figures from the 2021 European E-commerce Report.
Despite these figures, consumer survey responses show that cross-border online shopping in most European countries fell from 2019 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the top ten countries purchasing from 'abroad' (other EU & non-EU countries) saw an average -20% drop, while the top ten countries purchasing from the rest of the world' (non-EU) saw an average -24% drop.
Among the leaders, however, there was an average 14% increase in online shopping from sellers with an unknown country of origin, including the UK (+216%), Malta (+103%), and Cyprus (+7%).
This rise in UK figures could be attributed to the country's departure from the EU in January 2020.
According to 2020 IPC research, Europeans primarily purchased across borders from China, which leads in 19 of 26 countries. Using AliExpress as a case study for online cross-border sales from China, desktop web traffic data shows that ten of the top twenty countries visiting the online marketplace from January 2019 to December 2020 were European, with Russia taking first place.
In recent years, sustainability has become increasingly important for European consumers, retailers, and policymakers, and online retail is being scrutinized more than ever before.
Concerns about the environmental impacts of cross-border purchases have grown among Europeans, as have supply chain issues involving human rights, labour conditions, and raw material collection.
According to one cross-border consumer survey, 82% agree with the sentiment "I would like the packaging materials of my parcels to be recyclable," and 80% agree with the sentiment "I would like the packaging materials of my parcels to be reusable."
Although consumer surveys may not accurately reflect consumer behaviour, the same survey found that 68% of respondents are willing to receive their package a few days later to reduce environmental impact.
Consumer attitudes toward sustainability have shifted since the COVID-19 pandemic. The proportion of consumers who primarily shopped at local businesses (online or in-store) to reduce their environmental impact was highest in
France (44%), Germany (35%), Italy (28%), the United Kingdom (25%), and Spain (22%).
And that brings us to the end of this week's International marketing news. If you would like Andrea and the team to support your brand's international success, then get in touch!