Online retailers confident about Q3 and Q4 sales

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Many believe their strong Q2 performance will continue through 2011.

E-retail body IMRG’s latest Online Confidence Survey has revealed that the industry remains positive about its prospects for the rest of year despite concerns over consumer spending power.

78% of respondents said they thought that the strong performance of the market during Q2 would either stay the same or improve, compared with 71% in the previous quarterly survey that the IMRG carried out.

Half of respondents said they were confident they would record strong sales going into the second half of the year, which matches the figure seen in Q1.

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“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,” said Andrew McClelland, chief operations and policy officer at the IMRG.

The IMRG also said that the reaction to the amended Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) had 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.

“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,” said McClelland. “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.”

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