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Industry confidence high but confusion around CRD amendments remains

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The ecommerce industry is confident about the prospects for the rest of the year, according to the IMRG’s Online Confidence Survey for Q2. A healthy 78% of respondents thought that the strong performance of the market would either stay the same or improve, compared with 71% thinking so in the Q1 survey. Half of respondents are confident that they will record strong sales going into the second half of the year, which is almost exactly the same as the figure in the Q1 survey (51%).

The reaction to the amended Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) has improved by some margin. In the Q1 survey, the CRD was still at the draft stage and 69% felt that in its present form it would have a negative impact upon the industry. Now that it has been finalised and some of the divisive proposals changed, only 24% feel it will have a negative impact.

However, the results suggest that the effect the amended CRD will have is less clear. 40% felt that the CRD would have a neutral impact on the industry, and 25% said they did not understand it well enough to make a decision. This uncertainty could be due to the many changes the Directive has undergone before the final wording was agreed.

Retailer confidence with using the mobile channel dropped this time though, with 40% saying they are confident with it compared with 48% in the Q1 survey. There was a slight rise in confidence in using social media channels however, with 54% confident compared with 49% in Q1.

Andrew McClelland, Chief Operations and Policy Officer, commented: “The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index has performed consistently well throughout the year so far, even as there have been many retail casualties on the high street, and the strong confidence levels at online businesses are a clear reflection of that. There seems to be some confusion over the impact that the CRD will have now, but it has been redrafted a few times so this is perhaps expected. The fact that Member States have two years to implement the new rules also means that retailers probably do not have compliance high up on their agendas yet.”

The sample size for the Q2 survey was 153 respondents.

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