For many e-commerce businesses, the weeks leading up to Christmas represent one of the peak periods of the year for sales. However, a number of them are missing out on potential business because of concerns about delivery. Studies show that only 9% of EU consumers buy goods online from other countries, with both e-retailers and consumers expressing their concerns about the shortcomings of current delivery systems used for goods ordered on line. 57% of e-retailers consider cross-border delivery to be an obstacle to trading, while 47% of consumers worry about delivery in cross-border transactions.
Key elements of the Green Paper:
Three priority areas have been identified to address the problems and challenges faced by consumers and e-retailers in the EU:
• Improving convenience of delivery services for consumers and SMEs across the EU;
• Ensuring more cost-effective delivery solutions and better prices for consumers and SMEs;
• Promoting improved interoperability of delivery services between operators (better partnerships and cooperation), and between operators and e-retailers, notably SMEs.
With this Green Paper, the Commission will collect information on the current state of the delivery market for products bought online, and identify any potential hurdles for the creation of an EU-wide integrated parcel delivery market. It will seek stakeholders' views on how best to serve the interests of customers, businesses and end-consumers. On the basis of the information collected, the Commission will identify solutions to help develop a seamless parcel delivery process in the EU in order to support the growth of e-commerce, and ensure that the benefits of e-commerce are accessible to all citizens and SMEs across all regions in Europe via a sustainable and well-functioning delivery system.
Stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation before 15 February 2013.