Stripe, the leading financial platform providing infrastructure for businesses, has released an eye-opening report examining the transformative impact of digital trade on the global economy. The comprehensive analysis paints a bright picture of globalization, with businesses setting their sights on new international horizons and consumers being more eager than ever to engage in cross-border online purchasing.
A Growing Optimism in Globalized Economy
Business and Consumer Sentiments
The study, which gathered insights from 1,700 business leaders and 11,500 consumers across nine major markets, highlights an unprecedented optimism. Despite facing macroeconomic challenges, a staggering 84% of businesses are planning to breach international boundaries in the next two years. Furthermore, 30% anticipate an international growth of over 75% in the coming half-decade.
Singapore, in particular, is experiencing a shift in business perception. 59% of businesses believe that operating internationally has become more accessible than it was five years ago. Moreover, a mere 25% find it more challenging.
Consumer Openness to Global Commerce
The confidence in the global economy is not restricted to businesses alone. Singaporeans are enthusiastically embracing cross-border shopping, with 84% open to buying physical goods and 74% for digital services internationally.
Digital Trade: A Path to Global Economy Access
Rise of the Single-Person Multinationals
The democratizing power of digital trade is creating unique opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Globally, 81% of sole proprietors are now venturing into international markets, signaling the emergence of single-person multinationals. An impressive 18% of these sell to more than 11 global markets.
Large Enterprises Going Global
Even large traditional enterprises are tapping into the potential of cross-border expansion. A significant growth of 61% was recorded in Singaporean businesses selling internationally via Stripe’s digital channels from 2021 to 2022. Around the globe, 50% of these enterprises are planning further expansion.
Transformation in Traditional Industries
Offline sectors, such as education, are also adapting to the digitized global economy. An overwhelming 88% of educational enterprises sell internationally today, with 70% planning further global reach within the next two years.
Diversification in International Trade Routes
Digital trade is not just broadening horizons but diversifying the routes as well. Some of the fastest-growing digital export routes are between neighboring countries, but exceptions are numerous. Germany, Ireland, and Japan are among the fastest-growing digital export destinations for various countries.
For Singaporean businesses, the top 5 digital export markets in 2023 are the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Japan.
“Digital trade is creating opportunities for businesses to expand their total addressable markets, but success never comes easily,” commented Mike Clayville, chief customer officer at Stripe. “Businesses need simple financial infrastructure that just works, no matter where they sell to. Our findings show businesses are increasingly taking advantage of this potential—and that’s something to celebrate.”
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Stripe’s report is a significant milestone in understanding the rapidly evolving landscape of global digital trade. It offers both a visionary glimpse of the future and a practical guide for businesses and consumers eager to participate in the increasingly interconnected global economy.