Increasing trust in eCommerce in South-Eastern Europe
This challenge is in phase: Sustainable Business
How might we increase the trust in eCommerce in South-Eastern Europe in order to increase cross-border eCommerce engagements?
ECommerce is one of the key drivers in economic development and is therefore one of the key intervention areas for deeper regional integration and cooperation. The value of eCommerce in South-Eastern Europe is growing, but its full potential remains untapped as its not functioning as smoothly as it could. One of the key challenges identified by the private sector is the lack of trust of consumers in eCommerce. The issue of trust in eCommerce is fundamental to its eventual success and trust is a complex and dynamic phenomenon that cannot simply be 'produced' by applying some trust-enhancing instruments. Increasing the trust of consumers in eCommerce in South-Eastern Europe involves finding sustainable business solutions which are both accepted by consumers and practicable for companies.
The eCommerce industry is on the rise in South-Eastern Europe. On the supply side, young entrepreneurs in the region are opting to start an online business, while established businesses are going through a rapid digitalisation process for opening new sales channels online.
On the demand side, the number of online shoppers in the region range between 3% and 32%, which is less than a half of EUs average of 68%. One crucial reason underlying the low engagement in online shopping is the lack of consumers’ trust in eCommerce.
The complex concept of consumers’ trust in eCommerce can be explained as a combination of willingness to take a risk and the belief that the other party will not abuse that. In the case of eCommerce, the customer is the risk taker, and the eCommerce store has to be reliable, competent, predictable, benevolent and integral in order to prevent abuse of the customer’s trust. Earning the consumers’ trust means that the eCommerce provider should increase the trustworthiness of their company (the eCommerce seller), their website (the eCommerce website) and the online transaction (check-out process).
How might we increase consumers' trust in online payments?
Although eCommerce consumption and online purchasing increases drastically year after year, still consumers from the SEE region feel safer to pay in cash upon delivery. Past experiences from card frauds, data breaches and scams to undelivered products have an immense influence on consumer trust. Consumers are reluctant to expose their personal and payment information online and are seeking for more convenient and safer methods. The need for security, safety and assurance are some of the core measures for building trust.
How might we increase transparency of eComemrce providers in order to make them more trustworthy?
The very first and integral step towards building trust, is honesty and transparency. Research shows that before a consumer makes a purchase decision, they visit 3-5 other websites to read reviews and to find additional information about the product or the seller.
As the eCommerce realm continues to grow and choices multiply, customers are able to be as picky as they want when it comes to what site they should buy from. One of the major factors that influence what site they choose: transparency. And transparency isn’t just good for customers; it’s beneficial for businesses as well. Greater transparency leads to fewer abandoned shopping carts and more satisfied customers.
How might we improve efficiency and reliability of the last mile delivery service?
One of the major drawbacks and issues in eCommerce especially for cross-border trade remains to be delivery and shipping. Late deliveries, damaged goods, lack of product tracking or even lost or missed deliveries are some of the major frustrations and root causes for distrust for the ecommerce consumers. Ecommerce companies want to get things as quick as they can to customers, under the belief that they value speed above all else.
According to M3 Consultancy, eCommerce players greatly over-value speed, while customers are really keen to see service improve in other ways. Consumers crave predictability, and are happy to wait longer if it means there is greater certainty about the delivery day and time.
How might we increase credibility and quality of eCommerce sellers?
Over the past decade, the evolution of technology and the internet served as an opportunity for growth of the rival of traditional shopping: the eCommerce industry. The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a driver for the rapid rise of eCommerce, and this encouraged many business owners to look for new business opportunities in the digital world. The fast and obligatory shift from traditional ways of working to selling online brought upon entrepreneurs huge challenges in an unknown territory of eCommerce.
The eCommerce providers are not aware of the needs, wants and fears of their consumers, and on the other hand the consumers are skeptical about buying online from new and unknown websites. There is a need for a trust-enhancing mechanism that will help bridge this gap, and help eCommerce sellers become credible and trustworthy to online shoppers.
Incubate businessThree ventures are currently in this phase.
PerSho is a B2B eCommerce platform for personalized shopping experiences that combines an AI chatbot and human customer support.
Trustmark Balkans is a platform that provides a review service and technical check-ups for eCommerce platforms to display a trustmark on their website.