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Unpacking E-commerce

Business Models, Trends and Policies

image of Unpacking E-commerce

As digital transformation has accelerated, the e-commerce landscape has become increasingly dynamic. New players have emerged at the same time that established actors have taken on new roles; some barriers to e-commerce at the firm, individual and country levels have been overcome, while other barriers have emerged. Innovative business models have transformed buyer-seller relationships and pushed out the frontier of what is possible to buy and sell online. This report analyses new and emerging e-commerce business models, examines e-commerce trends along a range of dimensions, and offers new insights on the policies needed to exploit the opportunities and mitigate the challenges of unlocking the potential of e-commerce for all.

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Understanding E-Commerce

While new opportunities have arisen for e-commerce to boost growth and consumer welfare, unlocking this potential requires an understanding of what e-commerce is today, how it can be measured and which policies are best suited to support further innovations in the e-commerce marketplace. This chapter introduces the concept of e-commerce and the way it is defined and measured, and discusses the range of policy areas that affect e-commerce, with a particular focus on consumer policy, taxation, competition, cross-border trade and the environment. The chapter concludes by identifying key areas for policy action.

English

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