TALLINN - The share of e-commerce of all retail trade is on average less than half in Estonia than it is in Europe, reports Postimees. While in 2010, the turnover of e-commerce formed an average of 3.5 percent of total retail trade turnover in Europe, in Estonia the indicator was just 1.5 percent. In the e-commerce flagship UK, the indicator was 7.9 percent.
E-commerce turnover grows in almost all of Europe every year, but the indicator changes slowly and, in Estonia, the result is still around 1.5 percent in 2013.
Even the state is worried about the poor indicators of e-commerce. The State Chancellery last year ordered a study ‘Using e-business and e-commerce in Estonia and the possibilities of expanding the usage,’ which indicated that 86 percent of Estonians have bought goods or services from e-channels, but mostly they buy services.
“It is likely that a large part of the consumers of services who responded are people who pay their electricity and gas bills online and buy tickets,” said e-commerce union CEO Merle Kangur.
Kangur estimates that Estonia is behind Europe in regards to buying from local e-stores, while people order lots of goods from abroad. The problem with Estonian e-stores is credibility, which is low because of fraudsters who operate in the market.
“Since e-commerce is a simple business, with low entrance costs, there are very many of them [fraudsters] there,” said Kangur. “They communicate to clients till the money transfer is done and then disappear, don’t answer letters or calls, the Consumer Protection Board cannot catch them either.”
From the start of July this year, the Tax and Customs Board designated special officials to work on e-commerce.