Away from our sometimes light-hearted approach to eCommerce news, this week the EU Commission delivered its Digital Single Market and Single Market strategies, which will surely impact on many Magento UK businesses, so here’s what you need to know going forward.
In the strategy there was a three-pronged approach that has been set out to boost eCommerce by addressing geoblocking, reducing cost of cross-border parcel delivery to make it more affordable and efficient, and finally encouraging customer confidence via improved protection and enforcement.
The key points discussed in the eCommerce package were as follows:
- The legislative proposal will tackle unjustified geoblocking and further practices of discrimination on the grounds of establishment, nationality, or residence.
- The legislative proposal will address cross-border parcel delivery facilities that will drive up the transparency of fees and advance regulatory oversight;
- The legislative proposal to build up enforcement of consumers’ rights, along with guidance that will enable clarification, such as what qualifies as unfair practice in the commercial digital world.
Following the release of the strategy, a number of experts involved in the compiling of this new proposal gave their insight:
Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “All too often people are blocked from accessing the best offers when shopping online or decide not to buy cross-border because the delivery prices are too high or they are worried about how to claim their rights if something goes wrong. We want to solve the problems that are preventing consumers and businesses from fully enjoying the opportunities of buying and selling products and services online.”
Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society said: “The geoblocking initiative strikes the right balance between consumers’ interest to be able to shop online without borders and providing businesses with sufficient legal certainty. I am confident that our approach, taking due account of specificities of certain sectors, will give the right boost to cross-border eCommerce in the EU.”
Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said: “Too many people in Europe are hesitant to purchase online because they don’t know their rights or think they are hard to enforce. I want consumers to buy online as confidently as they would offline. We will give teeth to consumer protection authorities to better enforce consumer rights online and crack down on fraudulent practices. Today’s package is an important step to bring consumer protection up to speed with the online world and to give legal certainty to traders.”
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, added: “Discrimination between EU consumers based on the objective to segment markets along national borders has no place in the Single Market. With clearer rules, better enforcement and more affordable cross-border parcel delivery, it will be easier for consumers and companies, especially SMEs, to make the most of the EU Single Market and the cross-border eCommerce.”