The 16 Rules to E-Commerce for Great Retailers

Now, with Facebook Stores, there are more ways than ever for small businesses to sell their product online. Just as it takes a certain set of rules and skills to sell product successfully in a brick-and-mortar-shop, there are rules and skills needed to participate in e-commerce successfully.

If you conduct e-commerce, or have had a bad experience conducting e-commerce, then pay attention to these 16 rules from IABPoland.

1. An online vendor is defined as a business owner, who sells via the Internet.

1st rule, as an introduction describes who online vendor really is.

2. An online vendor is obliged to act in accordance to relevant regulations.

In case of any law changes, an online vendor is obliged to undertake all possible actions to act in accordance with the current law.

3. An online vendor is obliged to provide current contact information that allows to identify him.

The vendor’s current address and phone number are the basic information and should be easily accessible from any point of his website. A customer cannot waste his time searching for it.

4. An online vendor is obliged to publish terms of service on his website.

A customer must be able to obtain any information about the service before finalizing his order.

5. An online vendor is obliged to clearly inform about areas and purposes of gathering information about his customers.

An online vendor has to act in accordance with the regulations on personal data and ensure the safety of the gathered sensitive data.

6. An online vendor is obliged to inform his customer about the gross price, total price and the terms of delivery before taking the final order.

Any hidden costs or increasing the total transaction payment after the order has been finalized is considered highly unacceptable.

7. An online vendor is obliged to inform his customers about available payment methods and possible additional charges before taking the final order.

It’s unacceptable to charge any additional fees without informing about them before finalizing an order.

8. An online vendor is obliged to clearly present current descriptions of the offered products (including the product’s and producer’s names) and provide a relevant picture, if possible.

It’s necessary for all technical specifications to be consistent with the producers’ data. An online vendor cannot change any descriptions or pictures in a way that could confuse his customers.

9. An online vendor is obliged to inform his client about the maxiumum delivery time (and possible additional charges) as soon as possible.

If the delivery time changes, a customer must be informed about it, as well as about his right of withdrawal in such situation.

10. An online vendor is obliged to inform his client about his right of withdrawal.

The right of withdrawal is the customers’ privilege provided by law, so it’s an online vendor’s duty only to inform about this.

11. An online vendor is obliged to ensure the security of all transmitted data.

The customer information, as well as the order and transaction information are considered sensitive data and must be highly protected.

12. An online vendor is obliged to confirm the order in a printable and easy to archive form.

An online confirmation is a proof of purchase for a customer. In case of any system or service failure, a customer can demand finalizing or changing his order using such confirmation.

13. An online vendor is obliged to allow his clients to contact him by phone (specifying his working hours), email and via contact form.

The possibility to easily communicate with an online vendor is particularly essential in e-commerce. A customer doesn’t have a possibility to see or check a product that he’s buying, hence it’s the communication that helps him trust a certain vendor.

14. An online vendor is obliged to specify his the time of his response and sending order confirmation.

If an order cannot be realized, an online vendor is obliged to make a refund within the next 10 days. Detaining the customer’s money is absolutely unacceptable.

15. An online vendor is obliged to clearly specify the procedures and terms of complaints and returns.

The same procedures apply also to situations, when complaints or returns aren’t accepted.

16. An online vendor is obliged to educate his employees in order about these principles.

All online vendors, who sign “The good rules of e-commerce” document are obliged not only to apply to these rules, but also educate others. Customers should know their rights and which online vendors they can trust, and other e-business’ owners should learn about the benefits of applying to those rules. Thanks to such common efforts the whole e-commerce market will become a place, where safe shopping is a standard.

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Allison Midori Reilly is the CEO and Founder of Stirring Media, LLC. Stirring Media, LLC is a content marketing and news production firm that provides content marketing and business blogging services to the small business market. Prior to that, she was a freelance writer, who was published in over a dozen print and online publications, such as Smallbiztechnology.com, American City & County, Ideabing.com, Transport Topics and St. Louis Commerce Magazine. In her spare time, Reilly is an active member of Amnesty International as well as an avid poker player.

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3 thoughts on “The 16 Rules to E-Commerce for Great Retailers

    • Ula Lachowicz

      This is an initiative of E-commerce working group of IAB Poland. Companies that represent e-commerce market has developed a joint document and invite to join other companies. E-commerce working group check each shop and can granted a certificate of Good Rules of E-commerce. The aim is to promote good practices on a market.

      Reply
  1. Ula Lachowicz

    I (paylane.com) have to add that Good rules of e-commerce is a result of common work of e-commerce working group of IAB  (http://www.iabeurope.eu/national-iabs/poland.aspx). :)
    This document was already signed by some e-stores and e-commerce related companies like: PayLane, Emathy, Divante, Answer.com, TrustedShops or Grupa Allegro. However, the idea is still spreading and the E-commerce working group hopes it’s going to have a major impact on the quality of online shopping.

    Reply

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