Product Safety Online

The goal of e-commerce retailer’s pledge to improve product safety online is to shield customers from safety threats when purchasing online by improving online company-wide product safety initiatives. The eCommerce industry is rising exponentially, and, thanks to the pandemic, the boom in internet retail is more critical than ever for eCommerce retail companies to emphasis food protection. The pledge has now been endorsed by several major eCommerce retailers, signifying an increasing business dedication to the protection of customers. 

Safety of Products Sold Online

A variety of non-compliant and hazardous goods that have been barred from being marketed or recalled from the market or which have insufficient product labeling and safety notices remain available for online sale. According to the latest figures, 68% of items classified as banned or withdrawn have been delivered electronically. Furthermore, 55 percent of the 60 items selected don’t meet the food quality requirements. These dangerous or faulty online goods can cause harm, including physical damage, financial hardship, and even death, to customers and the wider community.

A closer look

An OECD global advertising initiative from 12-16 November 2018 in connection with the International Food Protection Week has aimed to increase awareness of the safety of goods offered online through online platforms, online vendors, and customers. The aim of this initiative was to ensure that customers buying goods online are healthy. It also told organizations about ways of navigating different jurisdictions’ food safety laws and recognizing product safety threats. The Competition and Market Committee of the European Commission and Australia organized the campaign.

The preceding 26 jurisdictions took part: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, European Commission, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, United States of America, Turkey, United Kingdom.

The Pledge

The pledge is a voluntary program that binds its signatories to a set of commitments relating to the protection that goes beyond what they legally need. It consists of 12 pledges aimed at improving the protection of consumers through online enterprises by a mix of preventive and corrective steps. The pledge is followed by a guide manual detailing implementation approaches to good practice to help signatories satisfy pledge obligations. Signatories include but are not limited to internet companies facilitating marketplace offerings, participating in online business-to-consumer or consumer-to-consumer business transactions. 

Consumer harm

Potential causes of consumer harm include the following:

  • Items banned and recalled: These include goods which have been:

Prohibited from sale both online and offline in countries, 

Recalled from the market in a voluntary or obligatory way. Remember that the banned and recalled products, often known as distinct product categories, get protected under the same product category.

  • Inadequate labeling of goods and safety notices

Things that do not follow the requirements of optional or compulsory protection.

  • Non-compliance rates at domestic and cross-border levels 

Protection of consumer product safety and empowerment programs

Additionally, over the last two decades, a number of measures to shield users from dangerous goods online have implementations by product protection agencies and companies. They include:

Acts for consumer monitoring and compliance. 

Market monitoring agencies focused on secure eCommerce platforms have been formed in some jurisdictions, and standards for market surveillance have been introduced to facilitate online identification of dangerous goods.

Further, with regard to compliance, coordination with other agencies, such as customs and/or other players, such as eCommerce security features. It has helped to enhance the monitoring of dangerous goods and to deter them from entering the market, in addition to measures taken exclusively by food protection authorities.

International collaboration saw an increase by the exchange of intelligence, sweeps, and shared market monitoring operations.

Individual and collective actions taken by corporations. 

By leveraging the customer data they gather for the purposes of merchandise distribution. E-commerce website security and internet stores can promote and seek to enhance the efficacy of product recall by policymakers or suppliers. Businesses may help boost consumer goods safety by countering counterfeit goods, as such products can pose health and safety risks. In order to eliminate counterfeit products from the market, both producers and most secure eCommerce platforms have taken steps. Sometimes by cooperative efforts or the creation of collaboration schemes between manufacturers and eCommerce platforms.

Initiatives for market and customer understanding.

In order to provide internet retailers and eCommerce site security with information and advice on the laws that are required to comply to ensure product protection online, several government agencies have introduced education programs. Few campaigns target at alerting buyers to unhealthy items offered in e-commerce security badges by providing: 

  1. Checklists related to concerns of online product protection
  2. Recall information for commodity
  3. Details regarding security testing for eCommerce websites accused of marketing dangerous merchandise
  4. Knowledge describing the possible hazards and risks that dangerous goods can cause through conventional and online media.

Scope of online product safety issues

On a global scale, business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce has evolved rapidly over the past five years. Around half of the individuals bought products online in the OECD region in 2014, up from 31% in 2007. A variety of factors have driven such growth, including facilitating customer access to:In a range of channels such as social media and price review and complaint websites, product information is available. A greater selection of brands at affordable prices. Items such as clothing, sporting goods, electrical devices, and toys have become common products bought by eCommerce by customers.

However, in today’s eCommerce world, such growth and market advantages have been combined with a number of product safety threats and problems that customers are rapidly facing. Consumers are usually unable to review goods until buying them in eCommerce. And their access to security information and alerts is more restricted than in conventional retail. Particularly as consumers use small-screen mobile devices. The safety challenges faced by eCommerce users are related to new goods but also to second-hand products. Head to Desertcart for a safe online shopping experience!

Related Posts