E-Commerce & Consumer Protection

The ever increasing use of the internet has led to rapid growth in the number of consumers shopping online and most retailers can no longer afford to ignore this lucrative market. A key factor in this growth is the heightened trust which consumers are placing in online sellers as a result of improved transparency and a greater understanding of their statutory rights before, during and after an online transaction.

These rights were harmonised throughout the European Union (“EU”) by a number of directives which were then implemented by member states into their own national legislation. These EU directives introduced a wide spectrum of e-commerce requirements which govern how online sellers must interact with consumers.

This guidance note firstly summarises the statutory information which any online retailer must provide when selling to consumers in the UK and secondly outlines some of the legal requirements which any online retailer should be aware of when assessing whether its website is compliant with UK legislation.