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Europe is struggling to deal with cross-border e-commerce, according to a new report by the Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament.

Despite the potential for online shopping across Europe, consumer confidence is low when it comes to buying online from abroad - only 6% do so, the report says.

Of those that attempt it, many also have difficulties doing so - 33% found that businesses refused to sell products or services because the buyer and seller were not in the same country.

The report added:

"Overall, European consumer and business confidence in the digital environment is low and in certain aspects of e-commerce Europe is lagging behind the United States."

Pre-internet laws designed to regulate cross-border commerce may be at the source of the problem, according to the research. 

It calls for a strategy to improve customer confidence and create a more attractive business environment for e-commerce; strengthen consumers' legal protection; as well as voluntary standards and trustmarks for cross-border e-commerce.

Graham Charlton

Published 15 May, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

Paul Rouke

Paul Rouke, Founder & CEO at PRWDSmall Business Multi-user

I suggest part of the issue with this consumer confidence across europe is that both internet usage and the overall quality and investment of websites in Europe is currently a few years behind the UK in some major countries.

I would expect non-UK consumers to have more confidence in using UK based e-commerce businesses compared to UK consumers looking to purchase from other countries.

over 9 years ago

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