The purpose of the survey is to assess the need for state intervention for the development of e-export and to develop an intervention logic for the development of e-export and its programme. The survey’s terms of reference also included the definition of target levels for the activities, but due to the missing numerical data – the dynamic number of Estonian e-exporters and the volume of Estonian e-export – these could not be calculated.
Overall, it can be concluded from the results of the survey that e-export is a rather new field for Estonian entrepreneurs, and there is a lack of knowledge on how to use this sales channel for successful business, which has caused the entrepreneurs to show little interest in the cross-border e-commerce. As one of the major obstacles of e-export is the high cost of the transport service, entrepreneurs find it very difficult to come up with a business model which would enable them to compete on target markets. The survey revealed that the potential of Estonian products’ e-export at the highly competitive market of e-products lies in offering physically small and high-tech niche products, which allows minimising the costs of transport, or gaining a market share for certain niche product groups through marketing techniques or excellent customer service.
Overall, however, a number of obstacles is caused by the lack of knowledge on either different delivery solutions, payment systems, regulatory requirements, or e-marketing. In the latter case, limited resources are also a problem, as establishing competence is time-consuming, and organisational buying is expensive. In addition, entrepreneurs are not sufficiently informed about the EU Digital Single Market initiative and the changes associated with the implementation of its activities.
The authors of the survey recommend for the development of Estonian e-export to raise the awareness of entrepreneurs about international e-commerce, and improve their respective skills as well as strengthen the image of the Republic of Estonia and enterprises on international markets. Additionally, it is important to ensure a regulatory business environment which supports the establishment of e-businesses that are able of competing at an international level, and promotes their development.
The authors of the survey suggest, also, the implementing a state support for online marketing in e-export and creating an e-team of 4-6 members, as an examples of activities for the promotion of Estonian e-export and help a beginner e-exporter to sell their product/service at the international market.