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A guide to e-commerce: the do’s and don’ts

Posted by James Butler on 19th July 2017

You’re probably aware of what e-commerce is and whether your business falls into this category. But what you might not know is which rules govern e-commerce websites and websites in general. It is important to have an understanding on what you need to do to abide by the various rules, and what happens if you don’t comply!

Did you know, for example, that your company’s name, registration number and registered office must be displayed on all emails and on your website? Do you know what cancellation rights a consumer has in relation to a faulty product bought online – can they return it for a full refund, a repair, or neither? What happens if the product is a service, or digital content?

There are numerous different statutes and regulations that directly affect e-commerce websites, including:

  • The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002;
  • The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013;
  • The Data Protection Act 1998;
  • The Companies Act 2006; and
  • The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

Failure to comply with the above can have adverse consequences for your business; from unintentionally amending your terms and conditions, to granting a consumer even greater rights than they are already afforded, to enforcement action and fines courtesy of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Whether you’re just starting out or are an established e-commerce website, ensuring your business is compliant with the various regulations is important if you want to trade online.

The first step towards compliance is making sure the information provided on your website is up to date, accurate and reflects how your website and business operate.

All websites need to meet a minimum level of compliance, however certain websites, such as those that allow users to comment or post on them, or those that sell goods or services, will need greater protection.

At Endeavour, we are experts at e-commerce. Whether you are after some basic documentation to ensure your website is compliant, bespoke terms and conditions for selling goods or services online, or a full e-commerce audit, we can provide a package catered specifically to your needs and requirements.

Please do not hesitate to contact us today if you would like any more information, or if you are concerned that your website is not compliant.

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