TechnologyEcommerce prospects for 2002 ‘over optimistic’

Ecommerce prospects for 2002 'over optimistic'

Customer demand for internet and ecommerce technologies has boomed in the last quarter, but some software makers are still feeling the pinch, research has found.

But a breakdown of the quarterly survey, by the Business Application Software Developer’s Association, of the application software industry shows that success has not been shared across all aspects of ecommerce, suggesting that for some Basda members the effects of 11 September have continued into the New Year.

‘Forecast figures for Q1 proved to be over optimistic. But it is not all bad news. Several of our members have published excellent financial results in recent weeks and there are some market sectors where sales have increased and prospects are good,’ said BASDA chief executive Dennis Keeling.

More than 80% of respondents said sales had either grown or remained the same in the first quarter of 2002 compared with the last quarter of 2001.

Two out of five members reported increased customer interest and growth in the Internet and e-commerce, compared with 29% in January. Other positive results include e-procurement and ASPs which have both shown significant increases in sales.

But the number of respondents reporting either no customer interest or not attributable direct sales of Internet or ecommerce technologies increased to 69% compared to 41% in the previous quarter.

The survey also found that the chancellor’s Budget emphasis on the GovTalk public sector initiative has failed to translate into sales – only 3% of members reported an increase in sales directly attributable to this initiative compared to 12% in the previous quarter. Sales of websites have fallen even more dramatically from 33% in the previous quarter to 16% in the three months to April.

The forecast for sales in Q2 is not as optimistic with some sectors expecting to fare quite badly. Keeling said the reduced optimism may reflect a move away from ‘New Year Euphoria’ and a more realistic attitude amongst companies in the light of the recent Budget.

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