Cross-border e-commerce in the European Union is not reaching its full potential. According to EU statistics, 57% of retailers say that barriers to trading exist while 46.7% of consumers declare they worry about the delivery in cross-border transactions. Delivery concerns and those relating to products returns are the top two concerns of consumers in relation to online shopping.
The European Commission has therefore launched a new consultation to help provide an integrated market across Europe to boost online sales. The increased availability and use of new technologies offers a new range of opportunities to improve the quality of delivery services as well as customers satisfaction. The emergence and growth of social networks has also had a significant impact on the way consumers interact with brands and buy goods on line. Innovative means of electronic communication between e-retailers, service providers and customers can contribute to more efficient and convenient delivery and return processes and higher quality perception. A better functioning e-commerce market will deliver tangible mutual benefits to consumers and SMEs, as well as all actors and industry sectors involved in e-commerce activity.
The consultation will look at three important areas:
- Improving convenience of delivery services for consumers and SMEs across the EU;
- Ensuring more cost effective delivery solutions and better prices for consumers and SMEs;
- Promoting improved inter-operability of delivery services between operators, and between operators and e-retailers, notably SMEs.
The consultation runs until 15th February 2013