What You Should Know to Sell Online in EU
If you want to sell online to consumers in the European Union (EU), you must follow certain rules and regulations. Whether your e-commerce site is running on Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Wix or another platform, it's important to fill it with all the necessary information.
If you are already selling or only planning to sell goods in the European market, be sure to pay close attention to the tips below.
Follow the EU Directives
First read the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Directive on electronic commerce, the Directive on Consumer Protection in the Indication of the Prices of Products Offered to Consumer and the Data Protection Directive.
According to these documents, every online store selling in the EU must post certain data on its website. This is necessary so that the consumer can familiarize themselves with the conditions for the purchase of goods in advance and take a purchase decision. So make sure your website has:
- The main characteristics of the goods;
- The price with fees and any additional charges for shipping, delivery, etc. included. We recommend that you familiarize yourself in advance with the principle of the European Value Added Tax (VAT) - it may vary depending on the country you are selling from, the country you are selling to, and the type of product;
- Information about the payment and delivery procedure;
- Information about the 14-days minimum return and refund policy;
- Address and identity (trade name) of the seller (trader);
- Guaranteed veracity of customer reviews (if they are posted on the site).
Make sure you‘re compliant with the GDPR
Reading the directives and following them is not all. If you want to sell in Europe, be sure to read the GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation. This is a set of rules in force in the EU.
Its provisions relate to personal data, payment information and some other information that you may collect on the site using contact forms, payment forms, and even analytics services. The main goal of the GDPR is to ensure the lawful collection of information by companies and thereby protect consumer data on the Internet.
No one will tell you more about all the requirements of the GDPR than the official website. Still, below we have collected the list of actions that you definitely need to perform within the framework of this regulation:
- Specify how the submitted information will be used (on the site and on all forms);
- Turn on cookie consent notices;
- Set up age verification and do not collect personal data from children under the age of 16 without parental consent;
- If the organization performs large-scale data processing or large-scale monitoring of individuals, appoint a Data Protection Officer;
- Set up confirmation of subscription to newsletters with double opt-in and do not send emails to users who have unsubscribed once;
- Work out the algorithm in case your server with the collected data is hacked to alert affected users.
What if the requirements are not met?
Compliance with existing requirements is highly important. Otherwise, you may face hardships and fines. For example, if you ignore the rules and do not post the necessary information on the site at all, post it out of time or even formulate it vaguely, then there is a big risk of earning a fine of up to 4% of the company's turnover in the relevant EU countries.
Non-compliance with the GDPR can also result in a fine ranging from €10 million to 4% of an organization's annual global turnover. Do you need it?
Entering the EU market may seem not an easy process. But once you have figured out all the requirements and applied them on your online store, you will at least be sure of the legitimacy of your business in Europe.
If you use one of these services, you have a great opportunity to optimize your online store by receiving instant notifications of new orders, payment receipts, and other events in Slack, Telegram, Messenger, Microsoft Teams, or 40+ other messengers, via push-notifications, SMS or phone calls.
Due to the instant delivery of information about new events, the work of managers and the entire store as a whole becomes more harmonious. And buyers get feedback and their order faster.
To take advantage of these benefits, register with Notify.Events, install the plugin from the app store of the platform you use and make the necessary settings. Read more about how to set up a Notify.Events account and get the first notification here.