Ecommerce Europe launched the “Cross-border E-commerce Barometer” amongst its European-wide membership base in Q1 2016.
With the survey and its other projects, Ecommerce Europe provides European policy makers and companies with first-hand information about the obstacles online businesses still face when trying to sell goods and/or services in other EU Member States.
The results of the survey show that online merchants with cross-border ambitions are often held back by barriers such as legal uncertainty due to unclear or very different rules, taxation and payment systems that differ greatly, or high prices of delivery due to a lack of transparency in the market. Other difficult barriers to overcome when selling abroad are related to (online) payments, competition issues, language, client relationships and marketing.
Different privacy rules for instance result in large additional legal and IT costs, since the conflicting national implementation and enforcement of consumer laws across Member States creates legal uncertainty. A lack of information, a limited choice on the parcel delivery market and long delivery times are the most common issues related to logistics for merchants and consumers. Lastly, the implementation and accounting costs of managing different VAT tariffs are enormous for merchants, especially for SMEs. Ecommerce Europe provides concrete recommendations on how to overcome these barriers to growth of e-commerce.