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New standard aims to bring uniformity to ecommerce measurement

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A new international standard has been developed to measure the ecommerce sector.

The Global E-Commerce Measurement Standard is backed by ecommerce industry associations in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the European Commission, including the UK’s ecommerce trade association the IMRG.

The standard has been developed as the ecommerce market grows, reaching in 2010 an estimated $500bn value worldwide and $200bn in Europe. That growth, says the IMRG, means that a radical overhaul of global trading and support infrastructure, but an internationally recognised uniform measurement standard is needed in order to make the business case for it.

James Roper, chief executive of IMRG, said: “The only accurate way to monitor the dynamic ecommerce market is to measure actual trade.

“Until now there has been no cross-comparable standard for countries to measure eretail sales – local analysts and associations have adopted standards including or excluding retail sectors, transaction types and channels as they saw fit; typically serving the interests of an established community with a self-serving bias, such as physical store retailers, catalogue retailers, or pure play etailers. The new GEMS standard gives us detailed national and international insight into how the ecommerce distance selling sector is developing.”

IMRG is one of the members of GEMS governing body, the Global B2C eCommerce Measurement Standard Council. Its other members include the European Commission. The council will control and develop GEMS and related measurement mechanisms in response to changing markets and needs. In due course it will be expanded to include other sectors and sales channels.

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