*UPDATE* The 7th edition of the European E-Commerce Conference will take place on 28th January 2016. Please visit the event website for more information.
A big thank you to the 160+ participants who joined us at The 6th Annual European E-Commerce Conference on 18th November at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Brussels.
Pictures taken at the conference can be found here
Once again bringing together high-level speakers and delegates from industry, the EU institutions, member state governments, NGOs and academia, this year’s conference focused its attention on what direction policymaking should take during the next 5 years in the field of e-commerce.
Today, the European e-commerce sector is worth an estimated €350 billion, and is forecast to create 1.5 million jobs in Europe by 2018. Online shopping across borders continues to increase and developments in areas such as cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things for example, are contributing to significant technological developments across the value chain.
Perhaps the most significant growth area is in mobile commerce, where revenues are expected to rise from €1.7 billion in 2011 to €19.2 billion in 2017. With such developments inevitably comes a greater demand for the efficient delivery of goods and the European postal and logistics sector is undergoing significant transformation and disruption as it adjusts to liberalisation and greater competition. The European Commission, constantly monitoring developments, appears ready to intervene should it be necessary to promote the smooth functioning of the online market.
The principle challenge facing policymakers during the next 5-year mandate (and beyond) is in connecting the dots across the complex regulatory landscape to reduce fragmentation. Competition and compliance questions remain around selective distribution and Internet restraints, while issues such as interoperability between cross-border postal service providers continue to impact on deliveries. The threading together of such interdependent sectors to support the realisation of a fully functioning digital single market in Europe, is a significant challenge.
The EU has already engaged in a number of initiatives to ensure that the economic benefits of the digital single market in Europe are realised. With the new European Commission in office and attention now fully focused on what should, and indeed what shouldn’t be done, at EU-level in the next 5 years, this conference focused on the following key themes:
- Post and Logistics including new business models and disruptive market entrants, interoperability, and competition)
- Trust and Confidence including trustmarks, data protection, implementation of the Consumer Rights Directive, the Common European Sales Law, payments services, misleading advertising
- Retailers and platforms including selective distribution, mCommerce, big data, cloud, net neutrality, taxation of the digital economy