The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has highlighted the importance of ecommerce and delivery services to the future of shopping in the UK and called on the government to attempt to create a single, unified European market for online retail.
Speaking at the annual Multichannel Retailing conference, BRC director general Stephen Robertson argued that with the UK being a global leader in ecommerce, it makes sense for it to extend its operation as far afield as possible.
He noted that the county has the highest online spend per capita in Europe and argued that a single market for online trading would make it easier for British businesses to reach consumers in Europe, increasing their market penetration and allowing them to further expand their development.
The BRC director called on the government to deal with the European Union on matters such as different consumer rights rules and incompatible payment systems in order to make it easier for UK-based ecommerce sites to sell their goods abroad.
"There is a multitude of hurdles which any company wanting to trade in Europe must overcome, not least 27 different sets of consumer rights legislation, tax and legal regimes. The EU machinery is making gradual progress on some key areas but there needs to be a greater sense of urgency," argued Mr Robertson.
He added that optimising the market would have benefits across the board, increasing competition in Europe and thus driving down prices and increasing innovation, while also helping the UK's "world-leading" ecommerce sector achieve greater success and reach a larger customer base.
Global property advisor CBRE recently suggested that online shopping ad parcel delivery is becoming a crucial retail trend across Europe as a whole, with many consumers choosing to do their Christmas shopping over the internet in 2011.
CBRE argued that the increasing convenience and ease of use offered by ecommerce operators has helped encourage people to adopt this mode of shopping.
Author: Paul Burn