EU referendum: what is the European Single Digital Market?
Much of the UK Brexit debate has centered on the European Single Market and how trade might look if the country was to vote to leave on June 23. However, in technology circles the Single Digital Market could be just as significant, but what exactly is it and how might companies benefit from it?
Centiro is a delivery management expert assisting businesses across Europe; at the moment many of its customers are gearing up for the EU Single Digital Market, set to be introduced at the end of 2016. We spoke to its CEO Niklas Hedin...
BRE: What is the European Single Digital Market?
NH: “The European Single Digital Market is an initiative looking to break down regulatory walls between the 28 national markets of Europe to a single one to encourage the adoption of products and services and contribute €415 billion per year to the European economy. The proposed Digital Single Market promises to provide better access for consumers of digital goods and services, fair pricing for products across all EU region and better connectivity for users when abroad. For the retail industry, this is set to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and a more level playing field for online retailers – one market with one online process.”
How can businesses across Europe benefit from this?
“The European Commission's digital scoreboard reports that 315 million Europeans use the internet daily, and 360 million each week - reflecting huge demand for online services. As such, there is a massive opportunity for businesses, especially in the retail sector, in Europe to access this single market and drive new revenues. However, in order to take full advantage of this opportunity, the first thing retailers must do is make sure they can bring in new suppliers quickly to meet international demand and take ownership of the last-mile customer experience. Working with a wider range of international carriers can allow retailers to become international brands in a matter of weeks. Traditionally, retailers have found it a challenge to quickly integrate new carriers due to technology constraints, but technology is helping to simplify this process. Cloud platforms are enabling them to get their delivery networks up and running in a matter of weeks, both at home and internationally, whilst at the same time giving them visibility and control over performance and cost.”
What would UK exit from the EU mean regarding the Single Digital Market?
“Exit from the EU would mean that UK retailers will have to deal with more complexity – for example, offering multiple prices and having to adhere to different consumer rights rules in different regions.”
Could UK companies still engage across Europe in the digital sphere?
“Yes and clearly many companies are doing this already, but this needs very clear insight into their supply chains to manage the complexity and avoid logistics headaches, and smaller businesses might not have the capability to manage this themselves without the right help.”
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Read the May 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.