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E-commerce firms to abide by fresh EU standards

25 October 2010 - 14:01 by Mike Price

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A new set of regulatory standards governing e-commerce across many nations within the European Union are in development in order to ensure that safe shopping online is available consistently across the continent.

The UK is one of a group of nations in which support has been shown for the creation of the Global E-Commerce Measurement Standard, with the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) issuing its own backing for the plans, alongside contemporaries from countries including France, Germany and the Netherlands.

In Europe, the gross worth of the e-commerce industry is estimated to be almost £130 billion in 2010, which is a sizeable chunk of the £317 billion global total. The new standard is being formulated in order to meet the considerable expansion of the e-commerce sector and ensure that consumers are being offered a fair, safe experience across the world.

IMRG experts believe that the underlying infrastructure of global retail needs to be altered in order to cope with the ever increasing demand for safe shopping online, which, in turn, will require that the whole process is standardised in order to give businesses a better idea of how they will be affected and how they might benefit.

The IMRG's CEO, James Roper, said that the analysis of trade was the only reliable manner in which it was possible to get a handle on the movement and growth of e-commerce.

Mr Roper explained that there currently exists no universal standard which nations can use to track sales across the e-commerce sector, resulting in fragmented regional and national systems developed by analyst firms, which are difficult to integrate into a wider picture of the market.

It is now believed that with the help of the standard being developed, it will be much easier to get an instant snapshot of e-commerce across the globe, with Europe and the UK leading the way.