On 16 November, ALDE Party hosted a Stakeholder Series event focused on the “The Future of e-Commerce” in collaboration with Shopify.
In Europe, e-commerce is worth over €797 billion with 73% of internet users having purchased goods or services online. The panel discussed the growth of online retail and what to expect in the coming years. Key focus topics included regulation that considers consumers’ user experience, understanding the limitations of small businesses and the rise in sustainable consumer choices.
During the event Ondřej Kovařík MEP stated the importance of digitalisation to Europe.
“Digitalisation of not only e-commerce, but the economy is the way forward. It can provide opportunities for the European economy and European industries, as well as for European consumers”
He also noted that it is important to “set a regulatory framework that is friendly to the business environment but is also key in terms of guaranteeing safeguards and principles that we cherish in the European Union.”
Shimona Mehta, Managing Director for EMEA at Shopify, highlighted the importance of removing barriers from people wanting to start businesses.
“With small business we need to make compliance accessible by making permitting, licencing, taxes and all of these administrative steps as easy as possible”
“Often small businesses don’t necessarily have the ability and expenses to deeply understand them,” she added.
Mehta also stated there has been an increased shift towards more sustainable and durable consumer purchases.
“We have seen this shift from a ‘I intended to purchase from sustainable brands, I intend to make sustainable purchase decisions’ mindset to an ‘I am actively and will continue to’ one”.
“The concern of course is just ensuring that small businesses have access to the suppliers that they need. Again, we don’t create barriers to them being able to enter the market and to be able to start, build and succeed,” she concluded.
Juliette Beaulaton, Public Affairs Adviser for Ecommerce Europe, gave some insight into the behaviour of e-commerce consumers.
“It is a huge demand from consumers to have this very fluid experience and we can also see new technologies really integrating that as well”
“Most people shop by mobile now and the growth of mobile commerce is amazing with ecommerce,” she added.
You can watch the event in full below or on YouTube.