The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union isn’t making things easier for British ecommerce companies. After last year’s Brexit vote, some online retailers say it’s now harder to hire staff for their warehouses.
Laws and regulations
As ecommerce become an increasingly mature business, more and more laws and regulations come in place. This is also because Europe desperately wants to have one, unified ecommerce market. The Directive on Consumer Right is one of these examples. As of 13 June 2014 it replaced certain directives and it’s focused more on protecting the online consumer than the European Union did before.
About four in five adults in the UK think that online food retailers should give the same kind of information about the product’s country of origin on the website as there can be found on food packaging in supermarkets shelves.
The European Commission wants to set up a website to display the cross-border delivery rates offered by logistics companies. With this new initiative, the EU wants to make cross-border parcel delivery services more transparent and better monitored.
The European Commission has opened an investigation into the distribution agreements and practices of the major American clothing brand and retailer Guess. It wants to find out if the retail company restricted retailers from selling online to customers in other European countries.
The German online food startup Delivery Hero confirms it has plans for an initial public offering later this year. It will issue new shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, in hopes to raise about 450 million euros.
Linking to the Online Dispute Resolution platform, an EU solution aimed to help online shoppers settling disputes with merchants across Europe, is obliged for all online retailers in Europe. But does this also apply to for sellers on Amazon? The higher regional court in Dresden decided this isn’t the case.
Several online stores, including Amazon, Zalando and H&M, were fined becauses their online promotional campaigns were considered to be misleading. One of the things done was increasing the price and then apply a discount, so it looks like the product is now very cheap by comparison.
If consumers in Europe have a problem with something they’ve bought online, they can use the Online Dispute Resolution of the European Commission to try to reach an out-of-court settlement. Most complaints came from Germany, but per capita the United Kingdom is one of the biggest complainers about online purchases.
The government of Sweden has proposed a new law that will make it illegal for online shops to sell alcohol to Swedish consumers. The new rules are envisaged to enter into force on 1 January 2018. The law is most likely to go against the EU regulations and the European Union has declined such proposals before. Still it can be bad news for some wine sellers.
Consumers in Europe are still not able to shop online in the European Union without being discriminated against because of their nationality. Online stores across the continent keep refusing customers from other countries, charging higher prices to foreign customers or creating virtual boundaries in some other way.
The European Commission has proposed a plan to improve the VAT rules for cross-border ecommerce in Europe. With this proposal it should be easier for consumers and companies to buy and sell goods and services online.
The European member states today reached a common position on the European Commission’s proposal to address geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination. Online stores in Europe are now no longer permitted to offer different prices to customers from other European countries.
Ecommerce Europe is concerned that the proposed one-size-fits-all approach to authentication undertaken by the European Banking Authority won’t help the ongoing fight against online fraud. The European ecommerce association thinks it will only damage the European ecommerce sector and opts for a risk-based approach.
The Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom has found evidence online retailers are colluding on online marketplaces such as Amazon. It had warned several ecommerce companies against price fixing. Consumers were offered bad deals due to retailers discussing prices with competitors or agreeing not to undercut them.
People in Italy are least likely to worry about what would happen to their personal data when buying something online. In Germany however, consumers are the most likely to know their online shopping data is sold to third-parties. These are some of the results from KPMG’s “Creepy or cool” study.