1. Clear information for consumers
If you do not provide complete and understandable information, you are exposed to a high risk not only that your buyers will not purchase from you but also that you will attract the attention of consumer watchdogs.
2. Right of withdrawal (and when it doesn’t work)
Consumers within the EU can withdraw from distance and off-premises contracts within 14 days of the delivery of the goods or the conclusion of the service agreement, subject to certain exceptions. Sellers shall not only provide the consumer with the opportunity to withdraw from the goods or services but also adequate information on the procedure for exercising the right of withdrawal.
If you do not provide information about the right of withdrawal at all, the consumer has the right to unilaterally withdraw from the contract within a much more extended period – one year from the end of the initial withdrawal period.
Remember that the right of withdrawal is not applicable in all cases, for example, if the product was made to the consumer’s specifications or was clearly personalized. That happens, for example, when goods are printed to order, or engraving is carried out. Important – the right of withdrawal is not applicable if your buyer is another company (not a consumer).
4. If children can access your website
It is even more critical to provide information concisely and visually if the service is offered to children or if they can access it. It applies to social media, online gaming platforms, ed-tech and learning services, connected toys and services, and even the homepages of professional sports organizations such as football clubs. The GDPR, UK Children’s Code (or “Age appropriate design code” to give its formal title), and Ireland Fundamentals for a Child-Oriented Approach to Data Processing determine that children are entitled to special protection. Where the processing concerns a child, information should be provided and communicated in such clear and simple language that the child can easily understand it.
6. Do I need consent before sending marketing materials?
You can send advertising materials only in two cases – either based on consent or in accordance with the company’s legitimate interests to provide information to existing customers. In the first event, everything is simple – the visitor enters his or her email address through the homepage or mobile app and expresses the desire to receive promotional materials. It is important to remember that you must provide a convenient and easily accessible option to withdraw the consent. In the second event, i.e., in accordance with the legitimate interests of your business, you may send advertising materials only if all three conditions are met:
• you obtained the email address as part of a commercial transaction (for example, the customer has already placed an order for a product), and you send the notification about similar products or services
• the recipient has not initially objected to the further use of the email address
• each email letter contains a free option to opt-out of further use of the email address
An essential element of website development is the content – text, pictures, videos, sounds, and songs. Someone has created all these works, and copyrights protect them. The use of these works without consent is strictly prohibited. When you outsource website development (either to an agency or a freelance developer), you must verify the content used and its origin.
One option is to choose the pictures and other copyrighter materials from a photo bank, such as Freepik, Pixabay, or Giphy (remember to read their licenses). The other option is to engage a professional photographer (remember to sign a copyright agreement).
But you definitely must avoid randomly searching for images and other content on the internet and using them without permission. The copyright owners can easily find their pictures and claim copyright infringement compensation from you for using the work without permission. The exact amount depends on several factors, but the claim can easily reach EUR 5,000 and go beyond.
Understand your legal obligations
eCommerce owners, just like all other entrepreneurs, must deal with legal issues. You should make sure to include policies that would be specific to your store. Each shop is unique, so make sure to adjust your policies accordingly.
Do not forget to consult with an attorney to ensure you do your best to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Be compliant and pick legal document templates for your eCommerce store from the RockTerms builder.