The availability of high-quality, reliable delivery services will be an essential part of the future growth of electronic commerce, according to a company that provides regulatory information across four sectors.
Cullen International, which covers developments in the e-commerce, telecommunications, media and smart energy industries in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and north Africa, explored the topic at a recent conference.
The company noted that uncertainty about parcel deliveries and when to expect items to arrive is among the chief concerns for people shopping online.
Virginie Alloo of Cullen International highlighted some developments that could lead to improvements in this area, including online parcel tracking services and interactive systems that provide more customer choice regarding delivery times.
Consumers could also benefit from the introduction of secure automated lockers where purchased items can be collected at any time.
Company director Philippe Defraigne said: "The Cullen International conference brought together the major stakeholders in the e-commerce arena and reached a general consensus that improving trust in online services, of which delivery confidence is a major element, is key to ensuring that e-commerce growth will continue and accelerate."
The ongoing expansion of internet trade and retail is of great importance, according to Werner Stengg, keynote speaker at the conference and head of the online unit at the European Commission's Internal Market and Services Directorate General.
Mr Stengg said the success of this sector will result in wider economic benefits for the EU and will also contribute to social inclusion.
According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, consumers in the UK spent some £5.8 billion online in March 2012, marking an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year and nine per cent from February.
The increasing take-up of smartphones and tablets contributed to a 254 per cent year-on-year rise in the mobile commerce market.
Author: Paul Burn