EC seeks e-commerce boost

The European Commission is seeking to double the share of e-commerce transactions in retailing by 2015, claiming the move will add billions to the region’s gross domestic product (GDP).
It has adopted a range of measures designed to remove barriers to usage of e-commerce throughout the region in a bid to grow the proportion of online transactions from 3.4% of all retail sales currently. The EC claims e-commerce could contribute up to €204 billion to the region’s GDP by 2015, provided it can boost the share of online sales to 15%.
“The Internet and new technology are the engine of European competitiveness and growth,” digital agenda vice president Neelie Kroes says, adding. “They add hundreds of billions to GDP, boost productivity, which is the key to growth, and create millions of jobs.”
EC research identified five main barriers to e-commerce usage: inadequate cross-border online services, lack of information on service providers and protection for consumers; insufficient payment and delivery systems; abuse of position; and not enough use of high-speed communications networks.
The Commission has set out a 16-point plan to overcome those obstacles that Kroes says will increase consumer confidence in online retailing, and benefit the businesses that supply online products and services. “They will be able to benefit from a digital single market, instead of operating in one of 27 local markets,” she states.