Thereat, said Ms Kallas, in lots of ways everybody keeps looking towards the Estonians. «But from the Estonian side, I don’t see that the topic interests anyone much at all. In reality, in this we might be the engines. Like when we think about our presidency (in 2018 – edit), they are already saying that then the things will get done properly as Estonians know how it needs to be done in a progressive world,» she said.
Estonian E-Commerce Association head Signe Kõiv said they are talking about the single market and until the aim is opportunities and not obligations for entrepreneurs, they think the direction is right. «It is important that they do not interfere in business decisions of e-stores nor issue prescriptions where (abolishing geoblocking) and for what price (abolishing price discrimination) a company needs to sell goods or services,» explained Ms Kõiv.
She said Estonian e-stores are rather timid in e-exports but she believes this is rather due to the low investments capacity than the differing rights of member states. Even so, e-export support measures together with harmonised EU market rights may indeed enhance the cross-border sales of our e-merchants.
The Brussels machinery is notably slow, but at least with this issue they remarkably agree – broadly. Last Tuesday, also in Brussels, the e-commerce giant eBay was there to present its report regarding the potential of single EU digital market.
eBay European region chief Paul Todd told Postimees he thinks European Commission has prepared an impressive package of amendments for 2015 and 2016 already. «Immediately, they will be dealing with certain VAT and transport issues, but I believe that real changes come in two-three years,» said Mr Todd.
Mr Todd believed the abolishing of limits may trigger the long-awaited e-commerce boom in Europe. Even so, he said, the growth will be also limited by consumer behaviour i.e. readiness to purchase certain items over Internet. «Over the web, foods go very slow, and heavy goods, and things that people insist they want to touch before buying,» he said.
Meanwhile, said Mr Todd, the time spent in Internet by people searching about products is definitely increasing. «So, as certain hindrances are removed from buying over the web, people are actually ready to do it,» he added.
The main threats to e-commerce growth, said he, are security of consumer data, and issues of trust, and opinions about whether buying over the web is normal. At that, Mr Todd said a trend that speeds up the process is tendency to buy via mobile phones – already, a whopping 50 of buys over eBay are done using phones, and a quarter of goods are actually purchased from the mobile.
«So the states entering e-commerce now might jump straight into the mobiles, as it is there that people will be shopping in the future,» he said.