The European Commission has been warning about the existence of barriers in electronic commerce within Europe, where difficulties remain that prevent the desired free movement of goods. A study released today shows that 60% of orders placed online in stores in other countries are refused.
For this analysis, more than 11 thousand test orders were placed on 100 products considered most popular, such as cameras, CDs, books or clothing.
Latvia, Belgium, Romania and Bulgaria are the countries where consumers find it more difficult to shop across borders. Apart from these, the situation does not improve much and in only two countries the chances of successful online shopping is over 50%.
According to the analysis, Portugal is among the countries that would benefit most from the improvement of conditions, since among the evaluated products, the Portuguese could find more variety in international stores and lower prices.
The complexity of European rules helps to reinforce these barriers to free movement of trade and serves as a way to discourage companies from taking on e-commerce policies that are valid across the EU. The executive therefore intends to take measures to simplify and reduce bureaucracy.
The European e-commerce market was valued at € 106 billion in 2006. According to European Commission data, the Internet is the fastest growing retail channel and in 2008 more than half of retailers sold products over the Internet .
The number of Europeans using e-commerce has also been growing, reaching 33% in 2008, 6% more than in 2006. But those who risk buying outside the country are less, just 7%, as well as merchants who take on global policies, the sum of which is 21%.