Two Main Models of Cross-border E-commerce

Low-threshold platform model vs. independent site model

Currently, there are two mainstream models in the cross-border e-commerce industry. One is to operate on platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, AliExpress, Lazada, and Shopee, while the other is to choose an independent site.

The low-threshold platform model comes with its own traffic and a relatively low entrepreneurial threshold, while being able to have a share of the market. However, this model faces fierce competition due to homogenization on the platform, increasingly intense price wars, and the need to strictly follow platform rules, otherwise it may face the risk of being banned.

The independent site model allows for independent development and completely autonomous operation, avoiding the constraints of platform rules. However, it requires self-traffic acquisition, high traffic costs, low conversion rates, and high operational difficulties.

Internet dividends disappear, and traffic becomes a problem

On the Internet, traffic is the source of all business. However, with the saturation of the number of Internet users, the disappearance of Internet dividends, the rise in shipping costs, and other factors, the issue of traffic becomes more prominent.

Major cross-border e-commerce platforms are highly homogenized, with intense price wars and the risk of being banned. Independent stations need to bear high customer acquisition costs and attract traffic through advertising.

Private traffic has become key

Private traffic refers to user resources that can be repeatedly reached by companies/brands. By utilizing private traffic, customer acquisition costs can be reduced and traffic issues can be solved.

By observing overseas companies like SHEIN and Anker, the different traffic strategies of the two can be found. SHEIN started with independent stations, accumulating brand private traffic pools in the long term to lock in customer information and encourage repeat purchases. Anker generates most of its revenue from the Amazon platform, lacks the ability to directly reach customers, and thus is increasing investment in the brand's official website to try private domain operations.


In the field of cross-border e-commerce, choosing the right business model is crucial. For merchants who want to build a brand and have independent user resources, private traffic is the key to future development. Through the operation of private traffic, customer acquisition costs can be reduced, user loyalty can be increased, and continuous operation and development can be achieved.