Bringing SMEs onto the e-Commerce Highway

International Trade Centre (2016), Bringing SMEs onto the e-Commerce Highway, Geneva: ITC

This publication studies e-commerce-related policies that affect SMEs’ engagement in cross-border e-commerce. It identifies the bottlenecks and requirements of e-commerce participation and presents examples of best practices in regulating cross-border e-commerce. The paper addresses competitiveness issues in each segment of the cross-border e-commerce process chain, including establishing business online, international e-payment, cross-border delivery and aftersales services. It provides a checklist of the essential ingredients for SME success in cross-border e-commerce, by examining enabling factors at the firm level, immediate business environment level and national policy level. The paper also reviews global cross-border e-commerce and offers a deeper analysis of selected economies. The paper serves as a starting point for a public private dialogue on e-commerce, especially for SMEs in developing countries.

This paper was prepared by Justine Lan, Irene Carbone, Marta Soprana and Anirudh Singhal, ITC international consultants, and Quan Zhao, ITC Trade in Services Officer, under the supervision of Marion Jansen, ITC Chief Economist.