Publikováno: 6. 3. 2014
EuroCommerce is asking the European Commission to develop an online one-stop-shop to help retailers and wholesalers adapt to the digital economy. This website should provide user-friendly information on European and specific national rules in the field of consumer protection, VAT and administrative, product and labelling requirements. The portal should also have examples of best practices on how high street shops can stay competitive in an omni-channel environment.
The call for an online one-stop info-point is one of the policy recommendations contained in the comprehensive policy guidance called “E-commerce, omni-channel retail, and EU policy”, which was published by EuroCommerce today to push the growth of e-commerce in Europe.
“E-commerce is growing rapidly. It has huge potential to ignite further growth and create jobs, by building upon the opportunities offered by the European Single Market. But, when it comes to selling cross-border, retailers and wholesalers still struggle with a fragmented legislative framework. All sorts of national rules make that this is not yet a Single Market. We understand the political obstacles to harmonising these rules but, at least, they should be made transparent and clear for e-retailers who want to tap into Europe’s 500 million customers. To help them sell to customers in any Member State, easy access to reliable information on which rules and arrangements exactly apply there is indispensable. We therefore call on the European Commission to fill this void,” says Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce.
Other key recommendations contained in the policy guidance are:
- A level playing field – legislation should deliver ‘e-fairness’, i.e. a level playing field for all channels and business models of commerce
- An omni-channel test – all legislation applicable to commerce should be subject to an omni-channel/e-commerce test; this test should assess whether the particular piece of legislation is fit for the digital age, is channel-neutral, and stimulates cross-border trade
- Cheaper and more competitive payments – the European Parliament and Council should swiftly approve the Payment Services Directive II and the MIF Regulation to make cross border payments cheaper and more competitive
- Harmonise product requirements – still too many national rules on product authorisation, testing, and labelling, as well as consumer information prevent smooth operations and should be addressed
- Postal services, tax administration, skills, and infrastructure – important further work is needed in these areas, to help boost omni-channel retail and wholesale in the EU.
For further information, please contact:
Director of Advocacy & Communications
Tel: +32 2 737 05 99
Background note on e-commerce and multi-channel commerce:
The commerce sector is in the midst of a global digital revolution bringing fundamental changes to the way consumers shop. Many traders, small and large, are embracing digital technology and multi-channel commerce, combining traditional bricks-and-mortar shops with online services and offering new delivery solutions.
Although each channel retains the unique characteristics that compel customers to engage with it, all of these channels share certain criteria that the consumer expects. Nowadays, they all blend into a seamless, omni-channel consumer experience. It is important to note that currently 70% of all online sales in the European Union are derived from omni-channel retailers.
The rapid evolution of e-commerce is apparent from the numbers: in 2012, €277 billion of goods and services were bought by consumers online, an 18% growth on the previous year. These numbers, however, still represent a small percentage (3.5%) of all B2C sales in Europe. The European Commission has estimated that if e-commerce were to grow to 15% and Single Market barriers were eliminated, consumer welfare gains could total €204 billion (1.7% of EU GDP).