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The Internet knows no boundaries and web stores should not have them either in the scope of a unified Europe. Even so, it is not easy to sell outside of one’s own national borders. The Cross-Border Awards intend to remedy this.
On the European Day, which is organized by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague, Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, emphasized once again the enormous opportunities the Internet offers to entrepreneurs. The digital economy is an open market that does not end at a country’s borders. The US has become the leader in the field of e-commerce, with giants like Google, Apple and Facebook. With its own framework, Europe can follow that lead. But a necessary prerequisite is that more work is put into the harmonisation of markets, laws, regulations and policy.
In order to encourage web stores to also do business across the borders, several initiatives have recently been launched. Firstly, for the second year in a row, the Cross Border Awards are being awarded to the best web stores with cross-border activity. The eligibility conditions are as follows: the company must be based in Europe and deploy trading activities with at least three countries; the web store has to be available in the language of the country where it operates and a maximum of 75 % of the profits can originate from the “home country”.
A shortlist has now been communicated of the 10 nominees for these awards. The best 5 of those will be invited to the Global E-Commerce Summit in early June in Barcelona, where the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be handed out. These nominees are (in random order): ASOS, H&M, Zara, Fab, Zalando, Lego, Vente-privée, Mango, Amazon and Sarenza. By the way, the Awards for 2012 were won by Zalando (Gold), ASOS (Silver) and H&M (Bronze).
A second initiative to encourage cross-border commerce is the launch of an online cross-border webshop register. By signing up, web stores increase their exposure to European users, but also to stakeholders and politicians. Registration is free of charge and entitles you to a free copy of the Ecommerce Europe Facts, Figures & Trends Report 2013.
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