New scheme aims to increase consumer trust

A new scheme to provide shoppers with more information about web retailers and help them avoid online scams is set to be launched on Monday.

Developed by the Trading Standards Institute's European Consumer Centre (ECC), the tool aims to address issues such as non-delivery goods by allowing consumers to check sites’ reputation and ownership details.

It will include UK etailers, but the ECC hopes it will also increase shoppers’ confidence in sites based elsewhere in Europe.

A spokesperson said:

"It’s there to assist consumers in making informed decisions when buying goods from traders. Only one in four people make cross-border transactions because rightly or wrongly, they don’t think they have the same rights as they do when buying from UK websites."

It remains to be seen how widely the scheme is adopted, and how it will sit alongside kitemark programmes such as the IMRG’s Internet Shopping is Safe and local authorities’ Buy with Confidence schemes.

But IMRG head James Roper has welcomed the move, telling IT Week that it will "make it harder and harder for the cowboys to gain any traction".

It also won't involve any extra effort from retailers, as all the information it provides is in the public domain.

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