A number of European policies in the area of internal market, such as cross-border delivery, payments, intellectual property and consumer protection, aim to encourage both businesses and consumers to engage in online transactions. Against this background, we will examine real experiences of small and medium sized companies who have set up an online presence or consider doing it. The workshop will explore the key factors for SME's to go online, the costs and benefits of successful online business, niche markets versus mass markets, luxurious goods and the role of search engines in helping companies to thrive.
New digital content providers, digital platforms and the impact the current legal framework has on creating a viable environment to encourage investment will all be the focus of the second part of the debate. Key framework issues – such as taxation, payments and copyright as defined in Digital Agenda Review - will be put under the spotlight during the course of this workshop, in which a selection of European platforms of various size, market sectors and geographical coverage will be presented to illustrate how on-going policy work at EU level supports digital platforms, providing them with the conditions required to thrive in today's digital market.
In parallel, practical issues, such as financing and relations with customers will be discussed.