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Is online shopping in turmoil?

Apr 7th 2009

Despite the recession, it seems that internet shopping is one area where spending is on the increase. Although there are conflicting reports about the actual amount being spent online there seems little doubt that people are increasingly turning to the internet to find a bargain.

On the face of it this is good news for retailers with the foresight to develop e-commerce websites. However, there are two issues that online sellers need to take into account when trying to grow their online business.

The first of these is credit card fraud.

According to a recent report, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/90aa2af8-1552-11de-b9a9-0000779fd2ac.html online fraud has nearly doubled in the past year. This is not altogether surprising, as online sales increase so will unscrupulous sellers. Although the vast majority of online retailers offer very secure transactions, they nevertheless have to contend with the problem of gaining the customer’s trust. It is therefore vitally important not only to ensure you are offering secure transactions, but to be seen to be offering them as well.

Getting one or more security certificates for your site is well worth the time and investment, and something we’ve being a lot of recently.

The second, and more worrying issue, is a recent ruling by the European Court. They have decided that consumers are entitled to a refund on items they have bought online – regardless of how long ago they bought it.

This raises the bizarre prospect of a customer buying a book and then requesting a refund – without needing to give a reason – in 10, 20 or 30 years time. It seems as though if you sell anything online in Europe, you risk being asked for all the money back in years to come.

This as you can imagine could have serious ramifications to the small internet retail based business.

For more information take a look at http://www.accaglobal.com/databases/pressandpolicy/unitedkingdom/3192606