Consumer Scoreboard Findings: E-Commerce Still the EU’s Weakness

Written by | Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The 2015 edition of the Consumer Scoreboard reveals that cross-border e-commerce continues to be an under-developed market in Europe. 61 percent of consumers are more confident shopping online from their home country than from another EU country (38 percent). The scoreboard that focuses on the Digital Single Market moreover found that the e-commerce is still negatively affected by lack of trust, territorial restrictions and price discrimination. The Consumer Markets Scoreboard is a screening tool that detects underperforming markets. It indicates to EU and national policymakers which areas deserve more attention. Authorities and consumer organizations also use it to design and evaluate their policies.
The main findings of the scoreboard suggest that consumers buying from other EU countries still face many obstacles. These mostly include problems with delivery, product conformity and price discrimination. Consumers moreover generally lack the knowledge of their rights guaranteed by EU legislation. As a result, about 25 percent of all consumers encountering problems do not complain. Most of these consumers were discouraged by the lack of information, lengthy procedures and perceived low likelihood of success.
The Commission seeks to support the Digital Single Market by putting forward a proposal before the end of the year to make cross-border e-commerce easier. It will include EU-wide rules on contracts and consumer protection for online shopping. Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, commented that the completion of the Digital Single Market was one of the priorities of the Juncker Commission. “This is why we have to lift the remaining barriers to cross-border e-commerce. By the end of the year, the Commission will propose new rules offering better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe,” she explained.

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