Over 450 online merchants, businesses, and policy makers discuss in Barcelona today how to prepare for the future of cross-border e-commerce during the Ecommerce Europe Annual Conference.Several industry initiatives for boosting cross-border e-commerce in Europe are being launched, and key industry figures reflect on the new European Commission e-Commerce Package.
Elaborating on the trends and developments in the years to come, the President of Ecommerce Europe Mr. François Momboisse stressed that “The European e-commerce turnover managed to increase 13.3% to a €455.3 billion market share in 2015. Compared to the 1.0% growth of general retail in Europe, we can safely state that online trading is here to stay.” Mr. Momboisse went on to explain the objective of the day: “Today is about interaction between policy and business. The e-commerce sector is booming and wants to internationalize, strategize, look ahead, and address the consumer of the future. For that, we need a policy framework which is fit for the future.” In light of this objective, Ecommerce Europe also launched several industry initiatives during the day.
European Commission e-Commerce Package
During the debates today the European e-commerce industry welcomes the legislative Package which was launched on 25 May, but urges policy makers to keep focus on reducing costs and administrative burdens for e-commerce businesses. The Ecommerce Europe annual ‘E-Commerce Barometer’ identifies as the top-three cross-border issues: legal fragmentation, taxation and logistics/distribution – so harmonization of existing legal frameworks is indeed required on key issues such as geo-blocking, consumer trust and rights, parcel delivery and commercial practices. The industry association Ecommerce Europe discusses these matters with European policy makers on a daily basis, but has also taken a number of industry initiatives with the aim of boosting cross-border e-commerce.
Study: Targeted authentication over strong authentication
Ecommerce Europe today also presented an industry-wide study on consumer authentication. The study was conducted with the endorsement of several other associations as the European Banking Authority (EBA) currently is in the process of drafting guidelines on Strong Consumer Authentication. The study underlines Ecommerce Europe’s view that the EBA’s plans would result in high burdens for online merchants, and that Targeted Authentication – which applies the level of authentication techniques in relation to the risks associated with each transaction – is a better alternative to ensure a smooth and safe transaction process for both online consumers and -merchants.
Industry-leading retailers, several SMEs, and Ecommerce Europe’s national associations, today also signed the ‘Ecommerce Europe Manifesto for Better Parcel Delivery’: A pledge from the e-commerce industry – the biggest consumers of parcel delivery suppliers – for a global level playing field from service providers, more negotiating power on prices, open IT-standards for labelling, and open IT-standards for interfaces and databases. Ecommerce Europe takes an active role in shaping solutions for these issues through several institutional committees at EU- (Chair CEN Standardization Committee) and global- (Member Consultative Committee Universal Postal Union) level.