Government pushes merits of e-commerce

The value of e-commerce has been explained to local businesses in a seminar designed to ensure they stay competitive by reaching customers both inside and outside the country’s borders.  

Online shopping is nothing new. Worldwide in 2020, 85% of consumers made purchases from internet sites, with a similar figure, 83%, for shoppers in Europe. These huge numbers are partly due to the effects of the global pandemic, as people were physically unable to go to shops, but the trend shows no sign of lessening as consumers become accustomed to the ease and convenience of internet shopping.

In order to stay competitive, Frédéric Genta, Interministerial Delegate in Charge of the Digital Transition, and Alexandre Pasta, President of the Union of Traders and Artisans of Monaco (UCAM), put together a conference explaining how local businesses can use the internet to expand and to stay alive in this new era.

Through the seminar, they offered a response to new consumer habits by allowing local players to export their products beyond the borders of the Principality.

“Digital for commerce is a strategic issue. We cannot content ourselves with importing added value from outside the Principality,” Frédéric Genta explained. “On the contrary, we must export the excellence of Monaco thanks to our merchants, and this involves e-commerce.”

Photo of Frédéric Genta during the seminar, by Michael Alesi, Government Communication Department

Regulatory issues have been a hindrance for Monaco’s merchants, as several payment service providers (PSP), such as PayPal, are not allowed to operate in the Principality. Nonetheless, solutions exist. Purchasers approved by the Prudential Supervisory and Resolution Authority are completely free to offer their services in the Principality. As a result, over 20 PSPs have been identified by the government as usable within the borders.

Merchants and business owners were also given a tutorial on the regulatory frameworks and good practices needed to have a successful e-commerce site in order to take advantage of new opportunities.

“You don’t have to be a digital expert to embark on this adventure,” said Alexandre Pasta. “We are fortunate to have many seasoned professionals in the Principality who can take on projects.”

The presentation of government-backed initiatives were revealed during the conference and included access to one of several e-learning training courses available free from the dedicated website, events giving Monegasque traders the chance to speak to the Digital Economy teams with planned topics being payment methods, omnichannel strategy and social selling, the online publication of an e-commerce guide and the offer of strategic and financial support to companies in their digital transition from the Extended Monaco for Business platform and the Blue Fund.

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Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash