Europe, especially Western Europe, is one of the most established e-commerce markets in the world. But there’s still great potential for growth, as shown by the recent Consumer Conditions Scoreboard released by the European Commission.
The Scoreboard examines the behaviour of European consumers and how they feel about e-commerce - especially cross-border. According to the report, only 38% of shoppers feel confident when buying from another EU country, compared to 61% who feel confident when they purchase from online retailers based in their own nation.
Ecommerce Europe suggests that awareness needs to be raised on consumer rights, while its own ‘Barriers to Growth’ survey reveals that cross-border retailers still face barriers when selling in the EU, including logistics, taxation, and legislation, which can all vary between member states.
Nonetheless, steps towards more confident cross-border commerce are being taken. The European Parliament has recently voted in favour of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which offers a ‘pan-European framework’ for online payments. This legislation, once officially endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, is a step towards the Digital Single Market.
The PSD2 will allow the European Banking Authority to issue ‘common and secure standards on authentication and availability of funds’, helping to build trust between consumers and retailers. Other principles of the PSD2 include:
There’s still room for innovation in European e-commerce, but improving confidence for businesses and shoppers alike is vital.
About David-Alexandre Krupa