As part of the Global E-Commerce Summit last week, Ecommerce Europe organized the Global Ecommerce Round Table together with the Ecommerce Foundation. It is a yearly initiative that the two organizations undertake, with the aim of strengthening cooperation between e-commerce associations around the world. Around 60 National Associations from the United States of America, Brazil, China, Russia, Zimbabwe and many countries in Europe gathered to discuss some of the most pressing global and regional challenges in e-commerce:
• Taxes: VAT, export tax, burden on SMEs;
• Logistics: Monopolies, poor service (expensive, slow);
• Geography and market: Lack of global mind-set, small market size, location and connections to other markets, competition issues;
• Legislation: Lagging behind the e-commerce development, contract rules, intellectual property rights, custom rules, difficult political environment;
• Consumers’ trust and rights: Lack of trust, difference in legislation EU/non-EU and within the EU;
• Skills: Lack of digital skills, not promoted enough by governments, lack of professionals;
• Capital: Difficulties to get investments (local/foreign); and
• Payments: Difference in preferred payments methods (e-payments, cash on delivery), fraud and security issues.
Unlocking the e-commerce industry’s potential
“With an estimated worldwide turnover of $2,205bn in 2015 and a 20.1% growth rate, the e-commerce sector is booming. The Internet knows no borders and a well-functioning e-commerce market is by definition a global one”, said Wijnand Jongen, Chair of the Global Ecommerce Round Table and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Ecommerce Europe. It is therefore important to gather international players in order to unlock the sector’s potential.
The Global Ecommerce Round Table Manifesto
The National Associations discussed cooperation to jointly tackle these at the international level. Ecommerce Europe and the Ecommerce Foundation will soon write a manifesto with these key challenges in global e-commerce so that national associations can incorporate global solutions into their national policy strategies.