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Continental e-commerce should be empowered through new regulations says BRC

13 February 2015 - 10:47 by Simon Crisp

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Although people from the UK can currently carry out safe shopping online through sites operating in other EU states, and vice versa, industry body the British Retail Consortium (BRC), has outlined the ways in which cross-border retail should be streamlined.

The main point made in the recommendations from the BRC is that consumers need to have better protections in place to ensure that their rights are preserved, whether they shop in the UK or make an online purchase with an overseas outlet.

The benefits will work in both directions, because improving regulations and adding protections will make it more likely that European shoppers will carry out safe shopping online with companies based in the UK, thus stimulating economic growth.

In proposals made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the BRC points out that the UK is home to one of the most advanced e-commerce industries in the world and that by moving to a single digital market in Europe, this would help to continue the expansion that the industry is undergoing at the moment.

Analysts point out that there is a disparity in the number of sales that UK retailers are making on the continent, with British consumers spending three times as much on French e-commerce sites than French consumers do on British retail jaunts.

This is partly due to the fact that consumers in the UK are more familiar with shopping online and are willing to spend more cash through these channels. But as sales grow throughout the EU, it certainly makes sense to ensure that all residents of member states can buy from e-commerce sites with ease.

One of the things that the BRC wants to see imposed is a cap on the amount of extra fees that can be imposed on a cross-border transaction, meaning that payments are made more affordable.