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Only 52% of UK retailers 'confident' to sell online according to European Commission

Posted 04/08/17

Only 52% of UK retailers 'confident' to sell online according to European Commission report

UK consumers may be amongst the savviest e-shoppers, but apparently it is a different picture for retailers.

According to the European Commission's 2017 Consumer Condition Scoreboard, many retailers are reluctant to expand their online activities because of concerns over fraud or because they fear they will not get paid when selling cross-border to consumers in other EU countries.

The report shows that different tax rules also make retailers reluctant to venture in cross-border sales. Only about 52% of UK retailers (EU: 58%) felt "confident" to sell online, compared to 80.3% of Greek businesses. 

This is why the Commission has made a proposal to modernise rules for digital contract and to harmonise contract rules for online sales of goods.

At the same time as showing UK retailers' reticence for online sales, the 2017 Consumer Condition Scoreboard also reports that retailers' knowledge of consumer rules (in 2016) has not improved since the previous analysis, in 2014. Only 53.5 % of answers from EU retailers in a survey on basic consumer rights were correct,  with UK retailers scoring 44%).

The European Commissioner for Consumers Věra Jourová said: "My priority has been to improve trust of the people and smaller retailers in the Digital Single Market. Consumers are now more confident when they shop online. And we've equipped them with a quick procedure to get their money back if something goes wrong, even when buying from another country. The challenge now is to encourage more businesses to respond to this growing demand."

Background

The European Commission's consumer scoreboards provide an overview of how the Single Market is working for EU consumers and ensures better monitoring of consumer rights and evidence based policy development.

The UK European Consumer Centre can help any consumer in resolving a dispute with an EU-based trader; such as obtaining a replacement for goods, a repair, refund or cancellation of their contract.  Advice and support is available either by phone: 01268 886690 lines open between 9am and 5pm, email: ecc@tsi.org.uk or via online contact form.

The UK-ECC also provides online consumer guides covering anything from shopping online to car rentals

Factsheet

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More European Commission news is available from http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact UK European Consumer Centre’s press office on 01268 582206.

The UK European Consumer Centre is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net). There are 30 centres in the EU, plus Iceland and Norway. The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK. The Network will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.

UK ECC can provide advice in the following main areas: buying goods and services, online shopping, internet auctions, holidays, timeshare and holiday clubs, air travel.

UK ECC is co-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the European Commission.

The UK ECC service is delivered by the Trading Standards Institute https://www.tradingstandards.uk/

  • The UK ECC provides advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK and will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.
  • Consumers can make contact with the UK European Consumer Centre via the website – www.ukecc.net – or by phone on 01268 886690 weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
  • If in doubt before you buy, contact our sister organisation – the European Consumer Centre for Services – for  pre-purchasing advice: www.ukecc-services.net


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