To enhance legal certainty and support retailers across the EU during the difficult time since the COVID-19 outbreak, Ecommerce Europe advocates for European countries to align their approaches on click & collect and adopt a system for store classification that is as harmonised as possible across Europe. To contribute to a more uniform understanding of the opportunities for safe click & collect, Ecommerce Europe is publishing a ‘Guide on Safe Click & Collect’.
The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on the retail sector. While in the last difficult year, e-commerce has proven to be crucial for the continuation of economic activity in Europe, the crisis has also accelerated the digital transformation of many businesses. Due to the implementation of lockdown measures, many retailers had to close their physical stores and developed an online presence to stay afloat. In addition to purely digital channels, businesses started to make more use of seamless commerce solutions such as click & collect to accommodate consumer needs and keep their business running.
With regards to the urgency of this publication, Ecommerce Europe’s Secretary General, Luca Cassetti, explained: “Diverging regulations and interpretations of click & collect at national and regional levels can prevent retailers from implementing safe solutions, thus reducing their resilience to future virus outbreaks and slowing down recovery. While some countries allow all click & collect services, there are other countries where it is only allowed for essential shops and others where it is not allowed at all. In addition, no harmonised definition of what constitutes an essential shop exists across Europe, meaning that for instance hygiene or DIY products could be considered essential in one country, but not in another.”
Ecommerce Europe believes that click & collect provides businesses with an opportunity to continue their operations while keeping staff and consumers safe, and respecting local social distancing requirements. However, the fragmented approach to click & collect across Europe compromises the level playing field within the Single Market, in particular as retail is increasingly digitalising and expanding cross-border. The European digital commerce sector would therefore benefit from a more harmonised approach at European level on click & collect.
With this guide, Ecommerce Europe aims to identify the key challenges businesses have experienced due to fragmentation and offer a clear understanding of the various forms of safe click & collect. Several very diverse best practices examples are also included in this guide to demonstrate the variety of click & collect solutions available to businesses.
You can find the ‘Guide on Safe Click & Collect’ here.
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