Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Online traders' cooperation needed to open the internal market

Another interesting statistics have been made as far as consumers online shopping is concerned (Online shopping: cross-border deliveries found reliable but few traders sell abroad in the EU). Shoppers of 17 European Consumer Centres made a total of 305 online purchases from foreign EU-based traders in 28 countries. The products where then returned in conformity with EU rules on the right of withdrawal. What were the findings? Mainly: 94% of products were delivered (66% in 2003) and only 1% thereof was faulty or different than ordered, which suggests that purchasing products cross-border is as reliable as domestic transactions. When products were returned, in 90% cases the product cost was reimbursed. However, 57% of shopper had problems with reimbursement of original delivery costs. Also, some trader placed extra (illegal) restrictions on returning the goods (e.g. limiting the cooling off period or announcing that there is none). Another upsetting finding was that 60% of the websites was unsuitable for online shoppers from other countries (e.g. delivery abroad was impossible). It seems, therefore, that consumers have more and more reasons to trust in online cross-border transactions. However, the internal market will not develop further if sellers are not willing to conduct their business with customers living in other Member States, as well.

Full report may be found here.

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