Selling your products online: Don’t get caught out

Howes Percival

23rd October 2020

Covid-19 has had implications far and wide for the business community. However, with every crisis comes opportunity and it’s been fantastic to see businesses adapting and finding new ways to deliver their products to customers. A great example of this has been the huge shift to selling online.

E-commerce offers many benefits including increased margins, access to more customers and a route to market when others aren’t available. It does, however, come with some legal requirements that you need to be aware of:

1. Consumer Rights & Distance Selling

For those who have traditionally sold B2B selling directly to consumers can be a real culture shock. Almost everything about how you sell to consumers is regulated differently and those dusty old terms and conditions you’ve used in the past will not cut it. Even for those used to selling to consumers face to face will need to adapt to the specific rules for distance selling. E-commerce sales need e-commerce terms, if you don’t have any you need some.

2. Privacy Policies

Hopefully by now everyone knows about GDPR and what you need to do in your business to comply with it (if you don’t then you really should!). But have you thought about how that will change when selling online? If not, the starting point is to get a privacy policy that’s tailored for your business (not one you’ve stolen from someone else!).

3. Cookies and Acceptable Use Policies

Yes, I am talking about those irritating pop ups you seem to get on every website you visit nowadays, but they are there for a reason. If you don’t have them and don’t know why you need them ask someone who does.

4. Trading Standards

Just because you’re selling online it doesn’t mean that the rules and regulations for particular products go away, they don’t. Don’t make product claims you can’t substantiate and don’t forget to provide detailed product information for online customers (especially if you’re selling food, drink or health products).

These things may seem insignificant compared to keeping your business afloat, but don’t do all of the hard work building up a successful e-commerce site, only to get caught out on the small stuff.

If you need help making your e-commerce site compliant, contact Miles Barnes at Howes Percival by emailing or calling 07876 525 262. 


The information on this site about legal matters is provided as a general guide only. Although we try to ensure that all of the information on this site is accurate and up to date, this cannot be guaranteed. The information on this site should not be relied upon or construed as constituting legal advice and Howes Percival LLP disclaims liability in relation to its use. You should seek appropriate legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action.

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