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Business call for more legal clarity in the draft geo-blocking regulation

The growth of an association can be ensured by an increase of a number of the memberships which can be achieved by a successful acquisition process. This graduation research paper presents how EMOTA, the European e-commerce association, can adjust the current member acquisition process to make it more result-efficient. The aim of this research is to identify current EMOTA’s member acquisition process, evaluate it and give suggestions for improvements.

Prior the field research, the literature review has been used to gain a knowledge about e-commerce role in the European Commission, a membership and it characteristics and, finally, a member acquisition and retention.

Based on problem analysis, the main question of this research paper was formulated as follows:

How could EMOTA be organised to become more effective in acquiring new member companies?”

It was answered with the help of additional sub-questions that were approached with a desk and qualitative research. As for the research method, qualitative research in terms of interviews with EMOTA staff members has been conducted to discover what the current process of the acquiring member process is and what improvements it requires. Moreover, the desk research has been used to determine typical 7 steps sales approach and review EMOTA’s statutes.

The findings of the research explored that the acquisition process is missing planning, structure and consistency. Moreover, a number of improvements points such as planning the actions, implementing CRM database, targeting, enhancing communication, searching for new prospects and producing EMOTA’s news has been provided.

The results of desk research presented 7 steps of typical sales approach which consists of prospecting, pre-approach, approach, presentation, overcoming objections, close and follow-up. Comparing the current EMOTA’s members acquisition process to typical sales approach, both approaches are similar to each other. In addition, according to the statutes, EMOTA’s members are the national associations, and the membership must be approved by the EMOTA’s Board.

Based on analysis of the results, EMOTA is recommended to enhance the electronic communication channels in means of social media. It would create popularity and ‘awareness’ among the prospect members. Furthermore, the association is advised to implement a CRM database where all information about the contacts would be stored and, therefore, the structure of the acquisition process would be improved.

Businesses across all sectors strongly support the Council's efforts to make the Single Market a reality.

Focus must be on removing persistent barriers to free movement through greater harmonisation and stronger enforcement of single market rules. Removing the well known legal and regulatory barriers is the best way to encourage cross-border provision and establishment abroad. 

While supporting the geo-blocking regulation's general aim to allow all customers to browse and buy from any website without discrimination under the same terms and conditions, we call for greater legal clarity. This is an area where business and consumers interests are strongly intertwined. Both need to feel reassured on which rules apply when trading and buying across borders. Truth is one of the conditions to be able to deliver a fully functioning Digital Single Market and truly boost cross-border e-commerce. 

We salute the Presidency's and the Council's effort to seek more legal clarity, in particular regarding payments, after-sales services and traders' freedom to have different commercial offers across different sales channels in different countries. However, there is a need for greater legal clarity regarding the scope of application of the geo-blocking Regulation and law applicable to a contract.

It is of crucial importance that this proposal is not rushed, as it could have far-reaching implications for companies. We believe the Council should take more time to find appropriate legal solutions, in particular on the fundamental Article 1(5). This not least as the European Parliament has yet to make much progress on its consideration of the proposal. 

To see the joint letter, please click here