This week, the German Federation of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) – jointly with the European consumer organization BEUC – presented its study results on global online shopping. Results show that the trust of European consumers in online shopping outside of the European Union remains low, even though more people tend to purchase goods online.
These are the central results of the study:
- The volume of global online purchases amounted to around 1.6 trillion Euros in 2016 and is expected to rise to 4 trillion Euros by 2020. Nevertheless, European consumer trust in online shopping is rather low compared to China or the US.
- Consumers in Europe are comparatively less protected when they buy online outside the EU. In particular, this is due to the lack of adequate consumer information prior to purchase and a deficiency of law enforcement tools when there are problems with buying online.
In this context, vzbv and BEUC demand better consumer information when shopping outside the EU. In addition, solutions have to be developed for the case that something goes wrong with online purchase. One idea might be to implement a cost-effective and independent dispute resolution mechanism.
Klaus Müller, director of vzbv, commented: "Global online commerce has great potential to strengthen consumers' freedom of choice. However, consumers must have confidence in order to exploit this potential. vzbv and BEUC therefore propose to create a new information point for international online shopping."