[ec] There are widespread problems with refusals of orders for EU consumers trying to purchase goods online in another Member state, according to a new European Commission report on cross border consumer e-commerce published today. An extensive independent mystery shopping exercise was carried out for the Commission where shoppers across the EU tried to purchase a list of 100 popular products –for example cameras, CDs, books, clothes - from a cross border provider. Over 11,000 test orders were carried out. The research found that 60% of cross border transactions could not be completed by consumers because the trader did not ship the product to their country or did not offer adequate means for cross border payment. Latvia, Belgium, Romania and Bulgaria are the countries where consumers are least able to buy cross border (for full list of EU-27 countries ranked see MEMO/09/475 ). But in all but two countries the odds of succeeding in a cross border purchase are lower than 50%. The foregone benefits to citizens are also very clear. In more than half of Member States, 50% or more or the products could be found 10% cheaper (transport costs included) from a website in another country. And 50% of products searched could not be found in national sites and were only offered by another Member State trader. The Communication presents a series of measures to be taken to reduce the complex regulatory environment which is acting as a disincentive for businesses to serve consumers in other Member States. In addition and to boost confidence in online trading, the problems regarding the collection of commercial data and its use to profile and target consumers will be analyzed in a stakeholders forum.
60% of cross border internet shopping orders are refused, says new EU study