IPC Annual Conference tackles e-commerce issues facing SMEs

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Posts from the USA, Asia Pacific and Europe gathered last Friday (May 20) at the 2016 IPC Conference in Brussels to discuss how innovations in the postal sector can benefit small businesses and help them further embrace cross-border e-commerce.

Herbert-Michael Zapf, president and CEO, IPC, said, “In today’s increasingly globalized and digitalized markets, small businesses go through major transformations. Global e-commerce represents a key opportunity for SMEs to grow and hence contribute to overall economic growth. SMEs and posts can benefit from each other by creating a true partnership for growth.”

The conference discussions focused on how SMEs face a number of obstacles when it comes to embracing e-commerce, including cross-border challenges, creating a website, establishing secure online payment solutions, launching marketing campaigns and finding the right shipping solutions.

Global e-commerce is a fragmented industry with multiple players involved in providing web shops, payment, fulfillment and delivery solutions. The conference heard examples of how postal operators can successfully work in partnership with leading global platforms to facilitate global e-commerce for small businesses.

Andrus Ansip, European Commission (EC) vice president for the digital single market, said, “Innovation is as important as ever in the postal sector and postal operators’ efforts are valued highly. On the EC’s side we want now to make sure that Europe’s economy and consumers get the most out of the digital single market. For this market to work properly, barriers to cross-border online activity have to be removed. That will lead to more e-commerce. Getting smooth, affordable and reliable delivery of goods bought online is a key part of that. It would, in turn, benefit postal operators.”

Zapf added, “Through intense collaboration and cooperation with global platforms and partners, posts can play an important role and remove many remaining obstacles for SMEs to sell online cross-border and generate further growth.”

May 24, 2016

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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