EU Single MarketScoreboard reveals increased demand for cross-border online-shopping in the EU

Yesterday, the European Commission published the results of the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard 2017. It shows that more and more consumers in the EU are shopping online and that their trust in e-commerce has increased, especially in cross-border transactions. The Scoreboard is published every two years and monitors national conditions for consumers in the three areas of knowledge and trust, compliance and enforcement as well as complaints and dispute resolution. It also examines integration progress in the EU retail market and in e-commerce.

The survey entails the following central results:

  • Consumers' trust in e-commerce has increased dramatically: The share of Europeans buying online has almost doubled from 29.7 percent in 2007 to 55 percent in 2017.
  • Compared to the last Scoreboard results, consumers' levels of trust has increased by 21 percentage points for online purchases made in other EU Member States.
  • However, consumer still face obstacles when trying to buy online from cross-border retailers. For example, 13 percent report a payment being refused and 10 percent were refused delivery of products to their country.
  • Generally, consumer conditions are better in northern and western EU countries than in eastern and southern parts of Europe. 94.5 percent of Finish consumers complain when they encounter a problem, whereas only 55.6 percent of Bulgarians do so. Exposure to unfair commercial practices, such as the use of aggressive marketing techniques, also varies greatly, with 40.9 percent of Croatians being affected compared to only 3.4 percent in Austrian.
  • While consumers have fewer reasons to complain, the ones who have done so are more satisfied with how their complaints were handled. Still, almost one third of consumers decides not to complain, as they consider the sums involved too small (34.6 percent) or that the procedure would have taken too long (32.5 percent).

Commissioner Jourová commented on this: "My priority has been to improve trust of the people and smaller retailers in the Digital Single Market. Consumers are now more confident when they shop online. And we've equipped them with a quick procedure to get their money back if something goes wrong, even when buying from another country. The challenge now is to encourage more businesses to respond to this growing demand."

Source: European Commission

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