Shan Zekun Paper review: What does economic research tell us about cross-border e-commerce in the EU Digital Single Market?
The article is mainly about the EU wants 50% of its citizens to shop online and 20% to engage in cross-border online trade by 2015. Achieving the first goal will depend to a large extent on consumers' comfort with online activities. The main purpose of this working paper is to bring together the results of recent research into a coherent framework. There is a perception that various regulatory barriers, interoperability issues and market segmentation strategies still stand between online consumers and their potential cross-border suppliers.
The promised 'death of (geographical) distance' may be replaced by a strengthening of cultural and linguistic distance. Remote countries with little visibility, weak institutions, high levels of income inequality, inefficient ports and low internet penetration benefit the most. The empirical evidence presented here suggests that there may be significant benefits for SMEs to take their sales online. Online cross-border trade in the EU accounts for 8.7% of all offline trade within the EU (for the same goods). Sophisticated online payment systems, such as PayPal, have a positive impact on cross-border trade. Most e-commerce data is held by private companies active in online trade. The role of parcel delivery costs is less obvious, although this may be due to data limitations. The reduced cost of online trade compared to offline trade may be an important source of consumer benefit. A major obstacle to research into e-commerce is the paucity of official EU statistics.
Consumers may not always know whether they are conducting domestic or cross-border online transactions. There is no evidence that consumer preferences for domestic purchases are lower online than offline than for foreign purchases.
In recent years, the growth of the retail industry in China has gradually slowed down. The traditional retail industry is in decline due to the "creative and destructive" impact of the Internet. This is why innovation in China's traditional retail sector is imperative. Retailers need to introduce innovative, personalised in-store experiences and sharing, and accelerate digital transformation. For the retail industry, the emergence of e-commerce helps it to shape new business models and expand new directions for companies.
In summary, e-commerce has a significant impact on the retail industry. In summary, e-commerce has an important impact on the retail industry, but it is not clear whether it will drive the improvement of all aspects of the retail industry's capabilities and ultimately help to upgrade and transform the traditional retail industry.
Source: Martens, Bertin, What Does Economic Research Tell Us About Cross-Border E-Commerce in the EU Digital Single Market? (February 15, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2265305 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2265305