In line with the initiatives announced in the Digital Single Market Strategy, the Commission has published its Consumer Conditions Scoreboard 2015. The Scoreboard is an online tool that can be a source of useful information not only for European and national legislators, but also for all online merchants and national associations of Ecommerce Europe. The Scoreboard contains infographics and interesting facts & figures about the behavior and preferences of European consumers in the internal market.
”Consumers do not yet fully trust cross-border e-commerce”
According to the Scoreboard and also to Ecommerce Europe, cross-border e-commerce is still an under-developed market in Europe. In fact, 61% of consumers feel more confident when they buy online from their own country and only 38% feel confident when buying cross-border in another EU country. The EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Ms. Věra Jourová, declared: “The Scoreboard confirms that consumers do not yet fully trust cross-border e-commerce. One of the priorities of the Commission is to complete the Digital Single Market and unleash its full potential. This is why we have to lift the remaining barriers to cross-border e-commerce.”
But also barriers for online merchants when selling abroad!
Ecommerce Europe agrees with Commissioner Jourová on the fact that barriers to cross-border e-commerce still persist, but it is not only the case for consumers, but also for businesses. In fact, according to Ecommerce Europe’s Survey “Barriers to Growth” (2015), the top three barriers when online merchants want to sell abroad in the EU are 1. Legal fragmentation, 2. Logistics and/or distribution, 3. Taxation systems, VAT and/or customs.
Other findings of the Scoreboard
According to the Scoreboard, consumers buying abroad still face many problems such as problems related to product delivery and conformity. Also, further awareness-raising on consumer rights is needed. In fact, consumers’ awareness of some fundamental consumer rights defined by the European law remains limited. That is why Ecommerce Europe advocates for full harmonization at EU level of the legal framework for the sale of goods, services and digital content, and for a simplification of consumer rules so that they can easily be understood by both consumers and online merchants, and especially the smaller companies.
For more information on Ecommerce Europe’s positions on consumer rights, please read the Ecommerce Europe Priority Paper (2015).
For more information on the Consumer Scoreboard, please visit the official websites below:
Full 2015 EU Consumer Scoreboard
Top seven findings from the Scoreboard
Eurobarometer: Retailer Attitudes towards Cross-Border Trade and Consumer Protection
Eurobarometer: Consumer Attitudes towards Cross-Border Trade and Consumer Protection