The total compliance expenditure per 1,000 employees between 2017 and 2019 increased by 42%, from $114,000 to $162,000, according to Gartner’s latest report. Running a successful business is a dream many people have.
But being a business owner comes with a set of responsibilities. And the most challenging one is understanding legal issues and staying compliant. Failure to follow set laws, especially online, can result in serious financial and legal implications.
While online marketplaces and e-commerce platforms make it easy for businesses to sell their products, they expose customers and entrepreneurs to cyber risks.
So, whether you’re running a tech company or baby store online, there are essential business guidelines you should observe to protect shoppers from data breaches and deceptive marketing campaigns.
If you’re looking to run your e-commerce trade successfully, check out these 4 online compliance tips for e-commerce business owners.
4 Online Compliance Tips For Ecommerce Business Owners
1. Stay Up-To-Date With Changing Laws And Regulations
Being compliant with online business laws isn’t something you do once. It’s a continuous process that involves tracking changing legal regulations in the e-commerce sector. To ensure you’re up-to-date with current online laws, identify areas in which they affect your business significantly.
And then focus on implementing policy changes within your organization. Most importantly, search for rules that apply to your specific trade and stay on top of changes. That way, you’ll be ready for any upcoming regulation changes, meaning you won’t feel overwhelmed when new laws are enforced.
With more and more businesses moving their operations to online platforms, data privacy has become crucial. Strict regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) require online businesses to have strong privacy policies.
That way, e-commerce companies can keep customers’ confidential information safe from hackers. It’s worth noting that even a single data breach can lead to the closure of your business.
The latest National Cyber Security Alliance survey shows that 10% of small businesses that suffer a data breach go out of business. Therefore, focus on creating solid data privacy policies that reassure clients the information they share with you is safe. To ensure you comply with data protection regulations, build your data security policies into products and services from the start.
Collecting the customer information you need and erasing it once you’ve completed transactions is another effective way to enhance data protection. But if you need to store data, make sure to integrate tight security measures like encrypting and setting passwords to protect it. You may also want to hire a data management personnel to monitor the data you’re storing and its exact storage location.
3. Ensure Your Content is Compliant
In today’s digital economy, companies of all sizes are pressured to personalize their marketing campaigns to attract their target audience. Like most online entrepreneurs, you’re probably using dynamic content to engage with customers.
Typically, dynamic content management systems (CMS) rely on personalized videos, newsletters, and images for marketing purposes. According to content compliance expert advice, dynamic CMS providers enable marketers to provide excellent website experiences. However, this marketing strategy is proving to be a challenge for an online compliance.
So, in addition to adding a copyright notice to your website’s footer, you need to learn and implement various tactics to keep your online content compliant and secure. The last thing you want is someone else copying your blogs, videos, or podcasts and reusing them on other sites without your consent.
One way to ensure your content is compliant with online regulations is by conducting audits. This step helps you send out marketing content like eBooks and email newsletters only to customers who have opted to receive such communications. Also, ensure you can provide or erase customer data upon their request.
4. Update Your Terms & Conditions
Online regulatory guidelines keep changing, so you’ll want to update the terms and conditions on your website.
Your business terms and conditions are ground rules that provide in-depth explanations regarding your business policies, from data protection to refunds policy, shipping and delivery rules, and payment terms.
Your terms and conditions can also limit your legal liability if there is a conflict with a customer. When writing terms and conditions for your website, make sure to include product pricing and payment policies.
Furthermore, list your company’s guidelines for order cancellation, shipping, delivery, returns, and refunds. A well-detailed terms and conditions page will also explain the process of solving disputes and your liability limitations.
Understanding and complying with online regulations is key to running a successful e-commerce company. These legal requirements go beyond reducing risks and preventing legal liability for the business owner. They are symbols of respect to website users and help entrepreneurs establish long-term relationships with customers.
To ensure you’re compliant, stay up-to-date with the latest e-commerce laws, create data privacy policies, and update your terms and conditions agreement. Most importantly, make sure your content is compliant with the current data protection regulations.
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Author: Charolette Danzig