Don't fence me in

Brooks, Greg
March 2005
New Media Age;3/17/2005, p23
Trade Publication
The article focuses on the factors that hinder cross-border trade online in Great Britain. Technologically speaking, there is no reason why British consumers could not be buying from etailers throughout the European Union (EU) on a mass-market scale. Shopping comparison services like Kelkoo and Shopping.com are making moves this year to develop their own pan-European comparison services. Evidence shows that even a dedicated online shopper would find it hard to name three things they bought from etailers in mainland Europe in the last six months. One of the problems with buying online is perception. Lack of brand awareness is only one problem that faces European consumers from a list that is fairly long. The difference between the currency of Great Britain and the rest of the EU nations is one issue; another is the difference in delivery companies across Europe. Then there is the different payment methods, ranging from Switch and Solo payments in Great Britain to cash on delivery in France, and the varying power supply for electrical items. Transparent cross-border trade between European nations using the Web is still in its infancy. But if the euro is adopted in Great Britain, closer ties are formed between the European nations on issues like tax and value-added tax and other issues such as consistent delivery are addressed, it seems possible we could see mass European e-commerce in the next five to ten years. INSET: QUICK TAKE.


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