Consumer trust in the digital economy: the case for online dispute resolution

13 December 2021
12:00 - 13:00 hrs. CET
, Switzerland

UNCTAD’s Digital Trading Infrastructure and Online Dispute Resolution for Consumers project (DODR project) launches research on consumer trust in the digital economy.

Many countries worldwide are encountering a common set of challenges and opportunities in the digital economy. Global e-commerce sales have been soaring over the past decade, nearing $5 trillion in 2021 and projected to reach around $6.4 trillion by 2024.The opportunities related to an unprecedented surge in global ecommerce contrasts with the challenges facing fragile consumer trust that lie beneath the positive economic outlook, which has been exposed by the pandemic as highlighted by UNCTAD back in April 2020.

Meanwhile, cross-border business-to-consumer trade and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises still hold vast potentials that remain to be unlocked. To fully seize these opportunities and better protect consumers, these challenges must be addressed. One crucial step in this process is to identify the ways in which consumer trust can be enhanced, and how dispute resolution can help:

•    Recognize, promote and educate the importance of consumer trust and dispute resolution in facilitating international trade and cross border e-ecommerce. 

•    Encourage businesses to provide access to or implement effective online dispute resolution for consumers, especially in developing countries.

•    Participate in international dialogues to exchange ideas on overcoming consumer trust challenges and share best practices on approaches to consumer online dispute resolution.

This event will present the main findings of the UNCTAD research paper entitled “Consumer trust in the digital economy: the case for online dispute resolution” and will be followed by a round table to discuss and exchange on the efforts and participation by governments, businesses and civil society organizations to reinvest in and recommit to international collaborations and multilateral cooperation in strengthening consumer trust in digital markets. This research is conducted in the framework of UNCTAD’s technical cooperation project on “Delivering digital trading infrastructure and online dispute resolution for consumers as means to improve international trade and electronic commerce,”  The DODR project is targeting Indonesia and Thailand, with the support of China Silk Road Group and implemented by the Competition and Consumer Policies Branch.