In E-Commerce, The European Union Is Far From United

Written by Fred J. Aun
October 28th, 2009

Online shoppers in the European Union (EU) often find better prices from retailers across national borders but find themselves unable to place orders, according to the European Commission. “On average, 61 percent of orders placed online in another EU country failed, mainly because the trader refused to serve the consumer’s country of residence or did not offer adequate means of cross-border payment,” said the commission on October 22.

Hoping to boost “borderless” E-Commerce in the EU, the commission wants online retailers to adopt domain names ending in .eu (the top-level domain for Europe) and to “create multi-country or pan-EU” commerce sites. The Brussels-based commission said E-Commerce sites with .eu domain names would help eliminate cross-border trade resistance that happens, in part, because of “national perceptions based on country domain names.” The commission has also vowed to better protect consumer data and said it will fight harder against counterfeit products.


One Comment | Read In E-Commerce, The European Union Is Far From United

  1. Dymo King Says:

    I think the key to the problem lies in this statement more than any problem with country domain names – “did not offer adequate means of cross-border payment”.

    The main problem with selling within Europe (from the UK) is that many Europeans don’t use credit/debit cards (or at least refuse to use them online). There are a few other payment systems but they vary by country – eg. online direct bank transfer payment (Netherlands), or secure payment cards swiped through the users card reader (Estonia!).

    If they want to promote ecommerce across the EU they need a common payment system, so that merchants can adopt one system and all EU customers can use it.


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