The Malta Communications Authority together with the Government is publishing the Mid-term Evaluation document of the National eCommerce Strategy covering the period 2014-2020, for public consultation. The objective of this evaluation exercise is to review the MCA’s strategic direction in eCommerce, revisit the current status of the Strategy implementation to date, establish new policy concepts and gather feedback from stakeholders. As a result, the Evaluation will pave the Authority’s way forward as it identifies the key challenges and initiatives for the coming years to continue generating an eCommerce landscape that is creative, innovative, collaborative and adaptable.
The MCA has consulted a group of specialists, mostly from the field of digital technology and eCommerce, in order to chart this evaluation. Moreover, the Authority will be engaging the general public in the process through this consultation. Acting within its remit for eCommerce policy in Malta, the MCA is leading the implementation of this Strategy on behalf of the Maltese Government. The Strategy which was published in October 2014, aims to ensure that businesses have the necessary means to capitalise on opportunities brought about by eCommerce so that Malta can continue to grow and prosper. The highly dynamic nature of eCommerce, necessitates that the Strategy is reviewed periodically. This strategy revision process seeks to establish an action plan that will be code-signed with stakeholders from government and from the private sector. It is a known fact that eCommerce in Europe is expanding and it is envisaged that this growth will continue to flourish in the coming years. The advantages brought about by eCommerce when compared to the traditional “brick-and-mortar” model are numerous; it is far more sustainable, efficient, convenient, and it facilitates consumer-communication, making the former more effective and profitable. Moreover, it is comparatively easier to search for and compare products and/or services on the Internet. eCommerce is, on the one hand, re-shaping the path to purchase by providing consumers with diverse shopping channels whilst on the other hand, it is giving retailers the opportunity to actively shape consumers’ purchasing decisions by adopting a multi-channel approach.
The Honourable Minister Mallia stated that it has now become a well-established fact that eCommerce is transforming the retail industry. Consumers increasingly lack time and are more and more resorting to technology for their shopping needs. Therefore, against this background it is of utmost importance that the Authority charts clearly its objectives and goals in this dynamic area. Evolving technology and shifting consumer behavioral trends is making eCommerce susceptible to short-cycle changes. For this purpose, the mid-term evaluation allows the MCA to tweak the startegy as necessary, in order for it to remain relevant in the current market environment. ‘The public consultation will provide the stakeholders with the opportunity to assist the Authority in the planning of its programme of activities till 2020,’ stated the Minister.