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EU4Digital, an initiative to extend the European Digital Single Market to Eastern Europe, has launched an ecommerce pilot between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Germany. Its goal is to increase ecommerce volumes.
The European single market is the EU being one territory, without any internal borders or regulations to block the free movement of goods and services. For a few years, the European Union also tries hard to realize this online, which is called the European Digital Single Market.
Pilot to increase ecommerce volumes
EU4Digital is an initiative that wants to harmonize digital markets and help to eliminate barriers to online services. Last year, it started activities to further harmonize ecommerce between the European Union and the Eastern partner countries. And now it’s launching a pilot between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Germany to increase online retail volumes.
With all the legislation, ecommerce rules, processes, and more, it’s important to harmonize the digital environments between these Eastern European countries and the European Union. For this reason, EU4Digital developed the baseline and recommendations to better guide the harmonization of ecommerce with regards to the ecosystem, legal framework and standards.
Challenges for cross-border ecommerce in Eastern Europe
According to EU4Digital, there are some challenges for cross-border ecommerce in Eastern Europe. “First, major marketplaces operating in the EU are available in the Eastern partner countries but not commonly used for reasons such as lack of awareness and high cost to enter the EU market. Second, local marketplaces selling cross-border in the Eastern partner countries are not common and not personalized for EU consumers. And third, average delivery time for cross-border sales is longer in the Eastern partner countries than in the EU.”
With the pilot, EU4Digital wants to strengthen the ecommerce ecosystem and increase volumes. One of the solutions is to establish national virtual warehouses and databases of local goods, so ecommerce players can automatically exchange information about sales, customs, and delivery. “The virtual warehouse will support retailers, marketplaces, delivery operators and customs while placing the products for sale abroad and completing cross-border delivery.”
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