Unlocking potential of cross-border trade for Indian D2C brands


There has been a significant increase in the number of D2C brands in India. According to an industry report, 2021-2030 will be the decade of D2C brands. D2C is likely to emerge with an outsized 75% market share of e-commerce spending and touch $300 Bn in sales by 2030. These businesses are now looking at growing their business by reaching a global consumer base and hence the need of the hour is to equip them to do so in a safe and seamless manner.  

PayPal India recently partnered with YourStory for a discussion with D2C brands to highlight the potential of cross border trade, challenges, and more at a roundtable titled Going Global: Decoding The Story Of Indian D2C Brands’ Cross-Border Trade. The panellists included Chandni Nihalani, Director, PayPal India Harini Sivakumar, Founder and CEO, Earth Rhythm; Param Bhargava, Founder, The Ayurveda Co.; and Aakash Anand, Co-founder, Bella Vita.

The roundtable focused on four key themes:

Going Global: Decoding The Story Of Indian D2C Brands’ Cross-Border Trade (

Tapping the cross-border opportunity

The last two years of the pandemic have been a blessing in disguise for the growth of new-age brands, helping them build a reputation in both domestic and international markets, said Param of The Ayurveda Co.

“All the new innovations coming from brands like us have a large potential to make it big abroad. The growth can be attributed to improvement in technological expertise, both in fintech as well as logistics, which is helping new-age brands to scale at a faster rate in different markets,” he added.

Establishing trust among the masses

Harini believes that before brands take the step to venture into international markets, it is critical to understand which market is the perfect fit for them. She pointed toward a pattern that several of them go by their intuition, without investing time on market research.

“Business should not be played like roulette; it is better to conduct rigorous research and rely on facts. A company can achieve this by working with market research firms or doing in-house research if they have the bandwidth,” she explained, adding that they have realised how the US is more receptive to sustainable options, while Australia is a price point kind of market.

Key levers to crack global markets

For an Indian D2C brand to be successful abroad, it is essential to communicate its authenticity and quality, and how they sell products or services on the back of generations of knowledge and tradition, according to Akash.

On the other hand, for Param, the delivery timelines that a brand promises to the consumer are equally important, especially abroad. In the case of smaller brands, it becomes challenging to have everything in order. That’s exactly why it is significant to consider setting up the supply chain and logistics, along with providing a smooth user experience on payments.

Return orders and refunds

Shedding light on the subject, Harini shared that first-time consumers head to Amazon to buy a product because they trust the process. In her experience, she has been able to acquire several Amazon customers after a couple of transactions, who now transact on a D2C website.

“As a brand, the first focus should be a no-questions-asked policy, since it works really well. Customers are kings at the end of the day and the reason why our business even exists,” she said, adding that it is this promise to a customer that comforts them in buying from a digital brand. Another essential factor is speed.

When it comes to payment-related pain points, Chandni explained that the journey is broken down into several parts — pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase experience; all three layers need to be optimised.

“In the pre-purchase phase, when you look at a small brand that is trying to enter global markets, you see how easily you can go online with a player like PayPal. With a single integration, you can get access to multiple markets, instead of going market by market and trying to tie up with local payment partners. Brands are also looking to reduce their operational costs. There is also the concept of conversion rates in e-commerce and cart abandonment rates as high as 60-70 percent. To provide a seamless payments experience we have several teams working on data analytics, making sure we have best-in-class approval rates and conversion rates,” she added.

Even in the post-payment stage, PayPal’s teams work their magic, where they partner with brands to make sure that the last leg of the journey is also very smooth. Our focus is to enable a safe and seamless experience for both merchants and consumers and enable growth.

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