Commerce, one of the most dynamic sectors in the European Union, provides European citizens with considerable economic and socio-economic benefits. At the beginning of the decade (2010) Eurostat figures show that it generated a turnover of more than 7.8 trillion euros, and significantly more than many other sectors including manufacturing; it accounted for just over 5 and a half million enterprises, and considerably more than the next biggest sector, construction; it provided employment for approximately 29 million people, approximately 13% of the total European workforce; and it is the second largest employer, behind manufacturing.

The commerce ecosystem is undergoing a major transformation, driven primarily by the rapid expansion of new technologies and the digital economy. E-commerce is increasing every day, offering major new opportunities in many sorts of ways for business and has dramatically changed consumer’s behaviour and expectations, as they increasingly use mobile devices to shop. For traders, e-commerce offers new ways to interact with costumers and to serve them through different channels and platforms.

Electronic commerce or e-commerce refers to a type of business model that enables a firm from retail and wholesale commerce sector to conduct business through Internet. The ALL-ECOM project focuses on a category of e-commerce that operates in the market segment of business to consumer (B2C). The B2C model focuses on direct selling and marketing between a business and a consumer via an e-commerce website. The ALL-ECOM project will be mainly focusing on the B2C category as it aims to increase the level of information and understanding about all the possibilities that e-commerce can bring to the commerce sector in the participating countries.

The ALL-ECOM project vision is that the current commerce is, above all, a connected commerce; a commerce where the dynamic relationship between the presence on the Internet, the physical space, the participation in social networks and the use of mobile communications exists in a combined way, establishing increasingly smooth relations between those different components and making the shopping experience a multifaceted process where technological interaction is increasingly present but not in opposition or as an unique alternative to shop “offline”.

This new paradigm demands, from those operating in the commerce sector, among other key changes, a greater focus on different types of jobs, occupations, skills and competences, both for employees and for employers, who need to have the necessary skills to improve business performance in a technological driven world.

However, studies show that the great impact of the mass entry of digital competences in this sector does not match the type of skills and competences of its actors. This mismatch between the skills needed today (and in the future) and those available in the market need to be addressed by the qualification and education and vocational training systems at a national level but – in a global economy – also at an European level, allowing a clear improvement of the commerce sector human resources’ qualifications in e-commerce and new technologies applicable to business.

That’s here the project ALL-ECOM comes across as a “Sector Skills Alliance to set European standards for qualifications and skills in the e-commerce sector” in 3 European countries: Austria, Portugal, and Spain.

If you feel you can play a role or you consider to be a relevant stakeholder, do not hesitate to contact one of the partners.

For more information on the project, please download the project brochure in any of the available languages: