Promoting consumer confidence and ensuring a safe environment for online users is key to guaranteeing the competitiveness of the online retail sector. The Ecommerce Europe Trustmark does just that. By establishing one European set of rules, and by ensuring clear communication on these rules, the Trustmark aims to boost cross-border e-commerce through better protection for consumers. The Trustmark thus recognizes the pivotal role that consumer trust plays in the world of e-commerce.
One European label for all consumers and merchants
The Ecommerce Europe Trustmark is a non-profit trustmark based on self-regulation, widely available for companies involved in online and cross-border selling of products and/or services. Companies which are a member of one of the national associations of Ecommerce Europe can carry the Trustmark for free. The Trustmark is based upon a common set of criteria which complies with the required level of European law. Through a clear, recognizable label the consumer is informed immediately about whether an online trader complies with official standards. One click on the label leads to the Code of Conduct outlining a clear explanation of the rights of the consumer and the commitments made by the trader. “By clearly signposting their rights, the Ecommerce Europe Trustmark assures consumers that they are using a safe and secure service, which in turn increases the trader’s chances of selling – it is a win-win formula,” explains Marlene ten Ham, Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe.
More protection and transparency for consumers
The Trustmark has been developed in continuous dialogue with consumer organizations, both at a national and European level. These consumer organizations, and almost 20 national e-commerce associations, have come together within Ecommerce Europe to commit themselves to the Trustmark’s Code of Conduct which obliges online traders to, for example, be transparent about the offer and prices before the consumer enters the order process, and to offer the consumer transparent, easily acceptable and safe payment methods. Furthermore, Ecommerce Europe provides a cost-free and easy-to-use complaints handling service ( “Trustmark Service Center” ) in the consumer’s own language.
“Buyers are still wary of untrustworthy and unreliable traders. Loss of sales and falls in revenue are the consequences,” claims Annegret Mayer, Head of the Legal Department at German e-commerce association Händlerbund and Chairwoman of the Ecommerce Europe Trustmark Working Committee. “A respectable trustmark can offer the opportunity to demonstrate potential customers that the webshop is trustworthy and that they comply with the law. Online traders with an online trustmark will stand out from the competition.”
Ecommerce Europe is currently in the first phase of the roll-out of the Trustmark, where the Ecommerce Europe Trustmark is connected to membership of its participating National Associations. This means that more than 10,000 online shops in Europe can already carry the European Trustmark next to their national trustmark. The second phase envisages more harmonization at a European level, and will involve upgrading the Trustmark set of criteria in all countries to ensure even better consumer protection. Ecommerce Europe will also launch a specifically designed website dedicated to the Trustmark this month.