Round Table in Prague: Restructuring and Benchmarking E-commerce


Setting up a tailored business plan for cross-border e-commerce is a big challenge for retailers nowadays. Even though the European e-commerce market is growing rapidly, a lot of essential information on the European e-commerce market is difficult to access for retailers. Therefore it is necessary to create a reliable source of information that retailers can trust and that structures the extensive information according to their needs. This was the overall essence of the Round Table in Prague on April 29th 2015, organized by Ecommerce Europe, and the national Czech association APEK. The event is part of a series of annual Round Tables around Europe.

Ecommerce Europe provides reliable sources

At the Round Tables in Prague, Mr. Richard van Welie, editor Research & Advice of Ecommerce Europe, held a vivid and intriguing presentation on Ecommerce Europe and its current projects of benchmarking and structuring all-embracing information on European e-commerce. Among others, he told about the main aim of Ecommerce Europe, which is supporting the growth of cross-border e-commerce and helping to unleash its potential. Besides providing vital information on key policy issues and enabling networking, Ecommerce Europe aims at connecting national trustmark schemes on a European Level. This is an important step towards fueling cross-border e-commerce, since retailers need to position themselves accurately on the e-commerce market in order to gain traction.

Creating a tailored strategy

It is important for retailers to know what their current position is and which aspects of their strategy need to be adapted. Here, the difficulty lies with finding a reliable source of information that gathers all the relevant figures and structures them according to the retailer’s needs.  These can be found in the national e-commerce reports of Ecommerce Europe, which include regional reports, as well as country reports and trends.

Europe accounts for an incredible 30% of the global e-commerce turnover. Zooming in on the current situation of e-commerce in Central Europe, we can see that it accounted for 25% of the European e-commerce turnover in 2014. This shows that there is a lot of potential in the Central European countries. The Czech Republic is playing a pivotal role in this process, since it is on the 5th place in the ranking of Central Europe e-commerce turnover.

Structuring e-commerce

Benchmarking also plays a pivotal role in enhancing the European e-commerce market, since it enables retailers to compare themselves with their competitors and to position themselves on the market according to these findings. The main issue in this context is to access the benchmark data, as this information is not shared openly by retailers. Ecommerce Europe tries to be the neutral contact point for this information and is already gathering information of more than 700 approved companies such as H&M, Zalando and Nike. The entire customer journey is benchmarked from the orientation phase to the customer care after delivery by the use of 21 key e-commerce indicators. The aim is to not only to provide these indicators, but also to offer possible solutions at the same time.

Ecommerce Europe has set up Ecommerce Wiki, where all practical knowledge on e-commerce facts is gathered and accessible for retailers that need hands-on advice to fuel their e-commerce business. The presentation of Mr. van Welie has shown us how much potential the European e-commerce market has, once retailers know how to access and harness the essential knowledge.

The next Round Table will take place on the 12th of May in Athens.

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