Ecommerce Europe’s Secretary General, Ms. Marlene ten Ham, participated as a panelist at the European Consumer Day organized by the European Economic and Social Committee. Structured around the central question ‘Better regulation for consumers?’, the different panel discussions addressed the benefits and impacts of the Better Regulation Agenda of the European Commission on consumers.
A complementary partnership
Marlene ten Ham presented the role of consumers and traders in the digital economy and stressed the fact that both of them complement each other as ‘activist shareholders’ of the online economy. In fact, in the online retail sector consumers and traders rely on each other, and e-commerce is fundamentally based on the symbiosis between these two shareholders. “If the consumer is happy, the trader is happy as well”, added Ms. ten Ham.
Increasing consumer trust in e-commerce
Ms. Ten Ham reiterated that consumer trust in cross-border e-commerce remains low with only 15% of EU consumers buying from another EU country and only 38% feeling confident about buying abroad.She added that, in order to boost consumer confidence in online shopping, better regulation is not the only answer as some solutions should come directly from the industry. That is why Ecommerce Europe launched the ‘Ecommerce Europe Trustmark’, a pan-European label with the aim of increasing consumer trust in cross-border purchases. Of course, in order to boost consumer confidence, EU regulators have to tackle the remaining many barriers to cross-border e-commerce and complete the Digital Single Market as soon as possible.
“Better regulation”: a mean to tackle the barriers to cross-border e-commerce
According to Ecommerce Europe’s 2015 “Barriers to Growth” survey, 46% of companies considered differing European legal frameworks as a difficult obstacle to overcome. That is why Ecommerce Europe advocates for a fully harmonized Single Market with simple and easily understandable rules for both consumers and businesses. In order, the European e-commerce association is convinced that “Better regulation” is a good mean able to contribute to achieving these objectives. All parties should be actively involved as “activist shareholders” and participate in this process. Consumer and business associations should work together to ensure that we achieve true better regulation.