Online shops have until May 28 to comply with the requirements of the European Omnibus Directive, extending the protection of consumer rights. The new regulations are to prevent, among other things, unfairly inflating prices before making cuts or posting false product reviews. Adapting the operation of the store to these regulations can, however, pose problems for e-commerce, in particular with regard to the obligation to inform the consumer of the individual price adjustment. The significance of the new regulations for e-commerce can be found in the latest e-book from Polish software house Advox Studio, which specializes in e-commerce.
The Personal Data Protection Regulation 2018, commonly referred to as GDPR, has been a significant change for many businesses. Today, another EU directive, the so-called Omnibus, the objective of which is to strengthen the protection of the consumer as the weakest party in the purchase process currently carried out not only at a standstill , but also online.
Whip on dishonest sellers, but also hassle for e-commerce
The new regulations will regulate, among other things, price reductions. They are the most encouraging way to buy promotions in online stores, according to the report on online shopping habits of Poles prepared by Advox Studio, a software company with headquarters in Poznań and branches in Europe, which has implemented more than 200 online store projects. . According to data from Gemius, personalized promotions motivate more than a quarter of online consumers to make purchases from a specific online store.
Analyzes of Black Friday promotions in 2021 indicate that actual discounts were only 3.6% on average. Also, about 10-15 percent. of entities inflated the prices of their products compared to Friday a week earlier, and a few days later – on Cyber Monday – one in ten online stores increased their price again – says Rafał Gadomski, CEO of Advox Studio – It is because of such unfair practices that the new regulations introduce the requirement that, in the event of a discount, the lowest price that was in effect in the 30 days preceding the launch of the promotion must be placed next to the new price – so consumers can see if it was artificially raised before the reduction. What is very important in the case of electronic commerce, the obligation is also imposed on entrepreneurs to inform about the individual adjustment of the price to the consumer on the basis of the collected data on his preferences and consumer behavior, if such actions take place. This will cause many difficulties for online stores that organize complex promotional campaigns – for example, create package offers or direct a price reduction to selected groups of customers – and set prices dynamically.
An entrepreneur may also be fined for posting or posting or posting false reviews of their products, i.e. recommendations from people who have never used them. Deleting and hiding negative opinions or discouraging them from being posted will also be a violation of the law. According to the Advox Studio report, nearly ¾ of online consumers pay attention to product reviews posted on the store’s website, and up to 86%. check reviews on the store itself before making a purchase. The seller will be required to disclose the steps it takes to verify product reviews on its website, and penalties will be provided for non-compliance.
High penalties are foreseen in case of non-compliance with the new regulations
The Omnibus Directive will also affect the operation of sellers on marketplace platforms like Allegro, Amazon or the Facebook sales platform. Among other things, it will be necessary to provide information on whether the seller of the online platform is an entrepreneur or registers as a private person. Failure to provide this information will be considered an unfair business practice. Indeed, it is important from the point of view of consumer protection, because if the seller is not an entrepreneur, the consumer protection provisions do not apply. In such a situation, the buyer is not entitled, for example, to withdraw from the contract within 14 days of receipt of the goods. – explains Rafał Gadomski, CEO of Advox Studio.
The regulatory changes apply to both new and existing stores. You can read a detailed description of the new regulations and their impact on e-commerce in the e-book “New Deal for Consumers and the New Reality of eCommerce”. Prepare for the Omnibus Directive” prepared by e-commerce industry experts. By May 28, 2022, each online store will have to adapt its documentation and regulations to the new regulations, as well as implement new operating procedures in the area of customer service. Failure to comply can lead to fines of up to PLN 40,000 or, as in the case of applying fictitious discounts, 10%. turnover of the previous year.