IMRG predicts e-commerce boom

Opportunities for multimedia designers are set to increase during 1999, especially in the on-line shopping arena, according to predictions for the year made by the Interactive Media in Retail Group.

“In 1999 the public in Europe will flock to e-commerce for its choice, value and novelty,” says a spokesman for the group. But IMRG research suggests that companies trading on-line will be best advised to concentrate on brand building and marketing, rather than expect an immediate profit. “E-commerce is for the long term,” says the spokesman.

IMRG predicts that one quarter of the 700m people expected to have Net access by the end of the year will use it for shopping. Companies who understand and accept Net trading will prosper, it says.

But IMRG managing director James Roper says UK firms often have a parochial “island mentality” to business, while US rivals are making deeper inroads to Internet use. “We will suffer,” he says.

Roper expects the UK to see an influx of overseas companies launching Internet retail sites, and an increase in foreign investment to back the UK’s entrepreneurs. “The investment community in Europe is dismal,” he says.

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