Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tips good online business

Online trading can benefit both businesses and consumers. However, the online trading world can be a scary place for some consumers.

The Best Practice Model, a best practice guide for business, has set out practices for businesses to encourage consumer confidence in eCommerce (see the eCommerce website of the Department of the Treasury).

Using the principles in the Best Practice Model the following information is a general guide for businesses when developing an online presence.

The trader’s full contact details including a street address will give consumers more confidence. Some may even choose to make contact before making a purchase 'just to be sure'.
If trust marks or seals are used they should be easy to verify and relevant.
Secure online payments or the provision of an offline alternative are vital. Few consumers are prepared to trust their money to an unsecured site.
Terms and conditions should be clearly written and displayed, easily accessible and comply with all local and federal laws.
Warranty and refund policies are important to consumers. These should also be clearly written and displayed, easily accessible and comply with all local and federal laws.
Products/services should comply with all Australian standards such as product safety standards.
Advertising and any representations made about the product/service should be accurate with no hidden fine print. Consumers do not like surprises where their bank balance is concerned.
If prices are displayed, accuracy is the key. For instance consumers should be made aware of which currency is being used.
A reliable complaints handling procedure will also encourage consumer confidence in a business. No one wants things to go wrong but if a speedy, helpful service is in place the customer’s experience will ultimately be a positive one.
Special care should be taken when dealing with minors. Businesses should be aware they are dealing with a minor and when appropriate get consent from the child’s parent or guardian.
Online businesses may need to make adjustments in the provision of goods/services to ensure that they are accessible to people with a disability.

Good online business practices will encourage consumer confidence and this will generate more sales.
For more information

For more information on eCommerce and the Best Practice Model visit the eCommerce site of the Department of the Treasury and the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) now called the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).
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