5th EU Consumer Scoreboard was presented on 11 March by the European
Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, at the European
Consumers' Organisation (BEUC)'s premises.
biannual Consumer Scoreboard is the statistical evidence report of how
markets are delivering to consumers both at EU and at national level, on
basis of various performance indicators. The Scoreboard provides
figures and alerts about how the single market is performing for EU
consumers in terms of choice, prices and satisfaction.
spring edition ("Consumer Conditions Scoreboard") looks in particular
at the integration of the retail market and national conditions for
consumers, measured by the Annual Index of Consumer Conditions. This
index is defined by factors such as the effectiveness of resolving
disputes and handling complaints, the quality of regulations and
consumer trust in authorities, retailers, advertisers and consumer
The Scoreboard data are based on surveys of consumers and retailers, as well as on statistical data such as income levels.
2010 spring Consumer Scoreboard shows a clear progress in national
consumer conditions in nearly all EU countries after the steep decline
in 2009. The 2010 index reveals indeed that consumer conditions have
rebounded after the sharp fall in 2009, with most countries matching or
exceeding 2008 levels.
The e-commerce gap, major issue highlighted by the Scoreboard
Scoreboard confirms a growing gap between domestic and cross-border
e-commerce, despite a clear potential of cross-border purchases in terms
of choice and savings. But the study suggests that consumers are much
more confident in cross-border shopping once they have tried it.
Consumers' perceptions seem thus to be a major barrier to cross-border
shopping on the internet.
Scoreboard shows continued growth of domestic e-commerce, with 36% of
EU consumers having shopped online from national sellers in 2010 (34% in
2009). However, cross-border e-commerce continues to grow at a sluggish
pace (9% in 2010, compared with 8% in 2009), despite clear benefits in
terms of savings and choice as evidenced in earlier studies.
Among consumers who have not made a cross-border distance purchase:
- 62% are worried about fraud and scams;
- 59% cite concerns about what to do when problems arise;
- 49% are put off by expected delivery problems.
these concerns are much less widespread among consumers who have
actually shopped cross-border (34%, 30% and 20% respectively).
Cross-border e-commerce appears to be at least as reliable as domestic e-commerce or even more :
- only 16% of cross-border purchases were delayed (18% for domestic purchases);
- the product did not arrive in 5% of cross-border cases (6% for domestic purchases).
findings suggest a key role for more effective information about
existing cross-border advice, enforcement and redress mechanisms. These
include the Consumer Protection Co-operation (CPC) network, which brings
together national enforcers, and the European Consumer Centres, which
provide free help and advice to consumers shopping in the Single Market.
Goyens, BEUC Director General, commented the figures as follows: “Green
shoots of rising consumer confidence are evident in the findings, but
there are some alarming signs of how well informed European businesses
are of their obligations to consumers and there is strong proof that
countries with low consumer confidence levels often are a result of
unambitious consumer policy, a lack of market supervision and weak
enforcement of consumer rights”.
John Dalli declared: "It is good news that consumers' worries about
cross-border shopping tend to evaporate once they've actually tried it
and had a good experience. But the results also confirm how much work
there is still ahead of us in dismantling the remaining barriers to the
benefit of European economy and European consumers and businesses
The full text of the Scoreboard is available at: