16% of enterprises located in the EU and 11% in Cyprus received web sale orders in 2016

Last year 16% of enterprises located in the European Union (EU) and employing at least 10 persons received orders via a website or via apps. Web sales include both sales to individual consumers and to other enterprises. The share of EU enterprises making web sales rose from 12% in 2010 to around 16% in 2014, and since then has been relatively stable.

Enterprises that have a corporate webpage in Cyprus for 2016 reached 73%. Out of these businesses only 11% performed web sales. Out of these sales, businesses reported that 91% were made within the country, 71% to other member states and 62% to non-EU countries.

Among the EU enterprises with web sales in 2016, nearly all (97%) sold to their own country, while less than half (44%) sold to customers located in other EU member states and over a quarter (28%) to non-EU customers.

Among the EU member states, in 2016 web sales were used by about a quarter of enterprises in Ireland (26%), Sweden (25%) and Denmark (24%), followed by the Netherlands (22%) and Belgium (21%). At the opposite end of the scale, web sales concerned 1 in 10 enterprises or fewer in Romania (7%), Bulgaria and Poland (both 9%), Italy and Latvia (both 10%).

Almost all enterprises in the EU with web sales sold to national customers, but there are significant differences between member states for the sales abroad (“cross-border e-commerce”). The largest proportions of EU enterprises with web sales in 2016 that sold to customers located in other EU member states were recorded in Cyprus (71%) and Austria (69%), followed by Luxembourg (61%), Lithuania (57%), Italy, Greece and Malta (all 55%).

In contrast, this concerned a third or less of enterprises in the three Nordic member states � Finland (24%), Denmark (30%) and Sweden (33%) � as well as in Romania (28%). Regarding commerce with non-EU countries, only in Cyprus over half (62%) of enterprises with web sales sold to non-EU customers, followed by Malta (44%), Ireland (41%), Portugal (40%), Greece and Austria (both 39%).

The majority (59%) of EU enterprises having received orders via a website or via apps during 2016 reported no difficulties for their web sales to other EU member states. However, almost 4 in 10 (38%) reported hampering factors. These mainly concerned economic reasons such as the high costs of delivering or returning products (27%), technical barriers such as the lack of knowledge of foreign languages (13%) or adapting product labelling (9%), and/or judicial reasons related for instance to resolving complaints and disputes (12%).

Source: Cyprus News Agency