Whilst high street sales have struggled at the start of 2011, online retailers have seen continued growth and a new report shows that a majority of e-tailer have a “positive outlook” for the rest of the year.
Online retail representative group IMRG has found that 71 per cent of online businesses are confident that their strong start to the year will continue or potentially improve during the year.
The survey also revealed that 48 per cent of e-tailers are confident that they are prepared for the a potential mass growth in m-commerce growth.
Andrew McClelland, Director of Operations and Regulatory Affairs at IMRG, said: “It is perhaps not surprising to see that online confidence is riding high following the first quarter of 2011, with the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index recording strong growth of over 20 per cent for both January and February.”
Over half of e-tailers, 51 per cent, expect record sales this year and the expansion of m-commerce is no doubt going to aid this growth.
Retailers of all sectors have been busy launching mobile apps and mobile optimised websites in the last year or so in order to exploit developing opportunities, but perhaps demonstrating the immaturity of the market, 49 per cent of respondents believe there is still a knowledge gap when it comes to understanding m-commerce.
The only large concern for e-tailers it seems is the impending implementation of the amendments to the European Commission’s Consumer Rights Directive (CRD), which could add an extra £8 million on the cost of returns.
IMRG has previously argued that the decision to increase consumers’ rights in regards to returns policy will damage the growth of e-commerce and 49 per cent of respondents believe it will have a detrimental effect on their business.
McCelland added: “Although this would seem to contradict the fears that the CRD amendments will have a negative impact on e-retail, this could be because any changes will most likely not come into force until 2012.”