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eBay Inc. Responds to European Commission Consultation on Delivery

March 1, 2013

The European Commission has turned its attention to delivery services as a key and final link in the e-commerce chain. With a Green Paper, the Commission launched a consultation to obtain stakeholder views on how to ensure a flexible and well-performing EU-wide delivery system.

“The consultation will help to generate ideas for collaboration between e-commerce platforms and logistics companies to ensure consumers and merchants of all sizes have access to the type of delivery services they need”
—Jan Barnes of eBay Inc. Government Relations

In eBay’s Roadmap Towards Commerce 3.0, we highlight reliable, accessible and affordable delivery services as a cornerstone of technology enabled commerce. Parcels and delivery services play a crucial role in the retail chain and in the relationship between consumers and merchants. A purchased product that takes longer than expected to arrive — or worse, is lost — undermine the value and convenience of online and mobile commerce. Moreover, prices for cross-border delivery, when compared to domestic deliveries, represent a serious concern for consumers and retailers.

The Commission’s Green Paper offers a good summary of the situation:

  • E-retailers are acutely aware that consumer feedback is heavily conditioned by the delivery experience and that this has a direct impact on their business reputation
  • The importance of shipment and delivery is further amplified in the international context and consumers increasingly look to Asia-Pacific and North America for selection and European traders increasingly seek to export to these regions
  • The generalization of mobile devices has heightened consumer expectations of solutions based on real time information and flexible delivery options

The Commission is looking for “policy options” to improve cross-border parcel delivery. We believe flexible, user-oriented solutions could be found through partnerships that

  • Involve in particular postal operators
  • Improve and strengthen links between the services of commercial courier companies and postal operators
  • Improve customer knowledge about the cross-border parcel market

and are supported by an EU Parcels Policy with the objective of facilitating the marketing of EU-wide services that meet five criteria:

  1. Fast – relative to the service level but general within 3 to 4 days anywhere to anywhere
  2. Affordable – today, cross-border prices for parcels are on average twice as high as domestic benchmark prices
  3. Reliable – delivery within 1 day of the promised date
  4. Accessible – drop-off, pick-up, labels, information
  5. Transparent – end-to-end shipment tracking and standardised returns

Read our detailed responses to the consultation.