The European Union’s Digital Market

A few weeks ago I attended a lecture by European Union diplomat Andrea Glorioso. Glorioso specializes in the EU’s online market.

When he began explaining EU member states’ fears about the security of online purchasing, my ears perked up. Glorioso said that somewhere around 70% of the European Union’s commercial transactions are now online. Three problems have arisen from this, each of them important for the European Union to consider when improving their digital economy and its participants.

First, not all EU citizens have high-speed internet access or even the means of accessing the internet. Thus, they cannot partake in the growing industry that is online shopping. Glorioso said that many retailers are emphasizing their online presence by providing discounts and incentives that only online shoppers can see.

Second, Glorioso said that online retailers have the technological means of seeing shoppers’ location and purchasing history. This has affected the marketing tactics and pricing that retailers deploy. For instance, if an Italian or German shopper is browsing a French online store, the French retailers might have implemented code that would increase the prices of items. Thus, the Italian or German shopper pays more.

Third, shoppers fear the risks of putting their payment and personal information into online forms. The European Union’s online market is still improving its security, so shoppers’ hesitancy is warranted.

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