IPC conference focuses on cross border e-commerce for SMEs
The International Post Corporation (IPC) has reported that its Annual Conference, held in Brussels on Friday, focused on how postal innovation can benefit small businesses and help them further embrace cross-border e-commerce. Herbert-Michael Zapf, IPC President and CEO, commented: “In today’s increasingly globalised and digitalised 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.”
According to the IPC, there are tremendous opportunities for SMEs, but they need support to meet challenges such as creating websites, establishing secure online payment solutions, launching marketing campaigns that are appropriate for their target markets, and finding the right international shipping solutions.
The IPC added: “Global e-Commerce is a fragmented industry with multiple players involved in providing web shops, payment, fulfilment 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. Such partnerships can provide the front end systems and fulfilment and despatch operations to enable SMEs to access global commerce through postal delivery services.”
Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, was one of the key speakers at the IPC conference, and he told delegates how the EC believed postal operators had an important role to play in the digital economy.
“Innovation is as important as ever in the postal sector and postal operators’ efforts are valued highly,” said Ansip. “On the Commission’s side we want now to make sure that Europe’s economy and consumers get the most out of the Digital Single Market. For the DSM 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.”
The IPC said that INTERCONNECT was a key factor in enable post to offer a consistent delivery service.
According to Zapf: “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.”
The IPC conference also featured keynote speeches from Amine Khechfé, General Manager and Co-Founder of Endicia; Carl Hartmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Temando; and Mark Lenhard, Senior Vice-President for Strategy & Growth at Magento Commerce. For the panel discussion, the keynote speakers were joined by Francesco Caio, CEO and General Manager, Poste Italiane; and Philippe Wahl, Chairman and CEO, Le Groupe La Poste.
The Posts attending the conference included: An Post (Ireland); bpost (Belgium); Correo Argentino (Argentina); Correos (Spain); CTT Correios (Portugal); Cyprus Post (Cyprus); Deutsche Post DHL (Germany); Hellenic Post ELTA (Greece); Iceland Post (Iceland); Japan Post Co.Ltd (Japan); Latvijas Pasts (Latvia); Le Groupe La Poste (France); Magyar Posta (Hungary); Malta Post (Malta); New Zealand Post (New Zealand); Österreichische Post AG (Austria); POST Luxembourg (Luxembourg); Poste Italiane SpA (Italy); Posten Norge (Norway); Posti (Finland); PostNL (The Netherlands); PostNord (Denmark and Sweden); Slovenska Posta (Slovakia); Swiss Post (Switzerland); and USPS (United States). Representatives from the European Commission and PostEurop also took part.