Online Shopping and delivering at the lowest possible cost: One step more towards the digital single market

17.12.2013 11:31

Online Shopping and delivering at the lowest possible cost: One step more towards the digital single market

Important notice
Views expressed here are the views of the national delegation and do not always reflect the views of the group as a whole
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The transport and delivery services of online products are the culmination point of the e-commerce chain. Accessible, affordable and high-quality delivery services across Europe are an essential step to realising the full potential of e-commerce.

The distribution and delivery of the goods purchased online is the highlight of the e-commerce chain.  To have a Europe-wide delivery services, accessible, affordable and high-quality is essential to relaunch the sale on the Internet and complete the Digital single market.  These are some of the keys elements on  the report "An integrated market of delivery for e-commerce services" powered by MEP Pablo Arias Echeverría, which has today been approved unanimously in the Committee on internal market and consumer protection

According with Euroestat, in European Union 59 % of citizens made any purchase by internet. In 2010 Europe overtook the USA, the biggest market in the world until then. In 2012 European e-commerce, including online retail goods and services such as online travel bookings, tickets, downloads etc., grew by 19.0% to reach €311.6 bn. The EU28 reached €276.5 bn, or 88.7% of total European e-sales, a growth of 18.1%.

The parcel delivery market in Europe is experiencing rapid changes and it is increasingly offering faster and higher quality services. However, the delivery of the products and also the reimbursement if the consumers are not satisfied is still an incomplete process which needs to achieve different challenge so as to increase the customer's trust.

"It is really important to achieve a market which offers secure and reliable online shopping to consumers, as well as give the possibility to consumers to choose between a wider range of products and different shipment options, choosing for instance where and when a parcel should be delivered at the point of purchase", said Pablo Arias.

"Information plays a key role in order to increase trust: we need to keep consumers informed, they need to know at all times from where does the parcel come, when is it arriving, who sent it, which is the final cost and finally, what to do if they want to return it, or how and to whom they shall make a claim", he added.

At the same time, you cannot leave SMEs aside. It is imperative to ending the market fragmentation and allows SMEs which want to trade across borders their delivery services in an easier, simpler, cheaper and safer way. "SMEs don´t have the bargaining power to obtain substantial discounts from delivery operators, comparing to the hugest of internet, and we cannot let them low competitive because of that. They are at disadvantage".

The current industry is completely able to offer solutions for the now a day's problems. According to Pablo Arias, there are already initiatives for the development of reimbursement´s system, tracking and tracing systems and the availability of collection points, "therefore would not need to create new systems, but we do need to improve the system we already have, to promote agreements between different operators, users and consumers, and also to monitoring the proper running of all of them at different stages of the purchase".

The final aim is promoting a more reliable, high-quality and safer online shopping´s system, fact which will benefit not only consumers but also all the users who contribute to create a Digital Single Market.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 275 Members from 27 Member States.

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