I'm thinking about opening an online shop, what do I need to do to protect my business?

There is a significant investment in trading online so it’s prudent to make efficient sales to maximise the return on investment.

Your terms of business are crucially important. This means they need to be clear, enforceable and don’t leave room for things to come back to bite you.

There are legal requirements including:

  • information you need to put on your website;
  • consumer protection legislation (if you are selling to non-business customers);
  • industry specific requirements; and
  • data protection and privacy considerations.

It is also worth remembering that scrutinising a website is easy for regulators such as:

  • Local Authority Regulatory Services (Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Licensing);
  • The Competition and Markets Authority;
  • The Advertising Standards Authority; and
  • The Information Commissioners Office.

If you need any help then please take a look at our solutions  or get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Do you use testimonials?

The UK’s consumer protection and competition authority, the CMA, is going to look at the way businesses use online reviews and endorsements after concerns were raised about their “trustworthiness” and “impartiality”.

It will include those on web blogs, video blogs, social media, specialist review sites, trusted trader sites, retail platforms, and retailers’ own websites.

The roles that media companies, online reputation managers and search engine optimisers play in helping businesses to promote their products/services and manage their reputations in relation to these sites, will be included.

A spokesperson said “While the growth in the use of online reviews and endorsements has the potential to empower consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions, businesses can benefit too. Recommendations from reviews or bloggers can pull in new customers, feedback from consumers can help suppliers to improve customer services, and blogs and social media provide new opportunities to advertise and promote products and services. Conversely, false or misleading reviews or endorsements have the potential to mislead consumers and harm businesses.”