26 November, 2014 – 09:00 to 12:00

A halfday workshop initiated by the Slovak Alliance for the Internet Economy (SAPIE) to discuss the opportunities, barriers and the future of eCommerce in Slovakia, V4 countries and the EU.

The goal of this meeting will be a list of recommendations to improve eCommerce in V4 region based on experience from the UK, knowledge of successful local entrepreneurs, policy makers (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education) and policy thinktank – the Central European Policy Institute (CEPI).

SAPIE and the British Embassy in Slovakia joined to invite an expert on eCommerce – Peter Stephens, Deputy Director of EU Strategy, European Reform Directorate, Department for Business Innovation and Skills to share best practices from the UK and help shape recommendations and outcomes of the discussion.

Context of the debate:

1.2 billion people (out of 7.2 billion on this planet) shop online, spending 1,173.5 billion euro in 2013 on B2C web shops. A third is spent in Europe, making the European emarket bigger than North America’s. 

Out of 816 million Europeans, 565 have access to the internet and 264 million have bought something online. In total, they acquired 363.1 billion euros’ worth of products and services online last year lifting the European ecommerce turnover 16.3 % higher compared to 2012. 

In Central Europe Germany obviously leads the pack by far with 63.4 billion euro, making up two thirds of the region’s online turnover. Austria and Switzerland both manage slightly more than 10 billion euro, twice as much as Poland (5.2 billion euro). The Czech Republic (2.1 billion euro) and Hungary (0.8 billion euro) are next, while Slovakia and Slovenia are untapped territories.

Online sales grew yearly on average with 20% per year since 2010. The forecast is that this growth will slow down, but still reach high singleor low doubledigits figures through 2015. Central Europe (.93.3bn) makes up 25.7% of the total online sales in Europe (.364.3bn) in 2013. While these figures are impressive, what is even more interesting for online retail are the numbers of eshoppers and ehouseholds not only connected to the Internet but actually shopping online, and what goods and services they like to buy online. All eight countries have an excellent to very good logistics infrastructure. On the Logistics Performance Index they all rank within the first 43 out of 156 countries, with Germany ranking first overall. The ranking is as follows: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.