Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Workshop 7: the Digital Single Market for business and consumers


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.

Workshop 7 in pictures!

WS7 - a.jpg WS7 - b.jpg WS7- c.jpg VP Neelie Kroes participating in panel discussion with MEP Harbour and Arias and participants posing questions


Workshop 7 on the Digital Single Market for business and consumers has just kicked off here at the Digital Agenda Assembly in Dublin! Many of the topics we've been discussing together over the past weeks are at the core of our workshop today so be sure not to miss it.

How should SMEs promote their online business?

Yesterday, selling products meant managing a « brick-and-morta r » store what was limiting businesses to a local customer base. Today, lots of people believe that Internet access and websites are enough to promote their company, services and products. But it's clearly not true.

Are SMEs fitted for e-commerce ?

SMEs are a major source of entrepreneurial skills and creativity and contribute to economic and social cohesion. They hold the key to innovation and are also emerging as european players, by participating in european production and supply chains. E-commerce means some strong changes in SMEs processes, organization… What’s your opinion ?

Do we still need physical stores?

At the beginning of the Internet, innovative and resourceful online traders imposed themselves against heavyweight traders. Then the "clicks & mortar" was the rule. But after announcements of closures series, ‪do you think that physical stores still have a future?

What are the differences to be taken into account according to sectors ?

In a world of continuous technological progress, digital economy has deeply changed eBusiness models and revolutionised the way business is done and it will continue to do so in the future. However, we can notice that there are differences between the various industries. What are the differences to be taken into account according to sectors ?

What are the main barriers or threats that prevent SMEs to go online?

SMEs have here an opportunity to shape the future of trading online, and to describe all the obstacles that apply specifically to small businesses. Have your say! What is your point of view about it?

What advice would you give someone who wants to set up his own online business?

Many would-be entrepreneurs can face many obstacles when trying to join the e-commerce revolution and some don't understand that they need to be very well prepared before their online business is ready to start trading. According to you,what are the most important steps to think about to succeed?

Food for thought: (provoking) ideas from the online community at large

As the Digital Agenda Assembly approaches, I've talked to many of you privately or on different platforms and you have come forward with lots of different stimuli for the European Commission.

Old TV vs New TV. Incumbents vs Newcomers. How do we keep the competition going?

As the digital-platform indutry evolves and new business models arise, old market giants (esp. old media and telecommunication operators) are battling against newcomers (such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Roku, etc.) to defend their competitive advantages. But who is going to gain the most from the new audiovisual scenarios?

How to encourage eCommerce for SMEs

The Digital Agenda for Europe sets a target of 33% of EU online purchases/sales for small and medium enterprises by 2015. Today, we are at the level of 18% for online purchases and 12% for online sales of SME's. What are the key issues that, in your opinion, should be tackled and what are the leverages that could be used to reach the target?

Is there any specific topic you would like to see discussed at the workshop?

The European Commission is eager to receive your feedback for this year's Digital Agenda Assembly. This platform is your chance to submit your ideas, your recommendations and relevant data/cases you think the Commission should be looking at.
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