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HomeBUSINESSE-commerce Site: New Obligations Come Into Force In 2024

E-commerce Site: New Obligations Come Into Force In 2024

A European directive has just been transposed into French Law. It provides for a more restrictive information obligation for traders and, in particular, for e-commerce websites. The aim is to increase consumer protection. At the same time, the text provides for heavy sanctions in the event of non-compliance. He describes, in fact, practices that do not respect these new rules as “misleading.” Here are the new obligations that come into force for e-commerce sites in May 2023.

In The Event Of A Promotion, An E-Commerce Site Must Indicate The Old Price Charged

Promotions are sometimes misleading. They can mislead the consumer. In fact, the price indicated before the application of the reduction is often overvalued. This can suggest a significant promotion and push the consumer to make a purchase. In other words, this “false discount” can potentially mislead the consumer. As of May 28, 2023, all websites that announce a price reduction must indicate the price they previously charged.

It will, therefore, no longer be the “average,” market,” or “observed” cost but the lowest price offered by the company that manages the website during the last 30 days preceding the promotion. However, this new rule only applies in one case. First of all, it does not target perishable products likely to undergo rapid deterioration. Then, it does not concern professionals who compare its prices with those charged by its competitors or other professionals.

Certain Practices Become Prohibited For E-commerce Sites

Several practices have become prohibited. As of May 28, 2023, e-commerce sites will no longer be able to:

  • Referencing products in their search results for which a third party has paid to obtain a better ranking than others without clearly informing the consumer;
  • Resell tickets for events if they were acquired using an automated means, making it possible to circumvent any applicable ban (number of tickets per person, for example);
  • The claim that reviews are posted by consumers who have actually purchased or used the product in question if they have not taken the necessary steps to verify this claim;
  • Disseminate or cause to be disseminated from consumer opinions/recommendations or modify the ideas left by them to promote certain products.

Supervision Of Information Disseminated On Online Marketplaces

Several additional obligations come into force for online marketplaces (also called “marketplaces”). As a reminder, online marketplaces are websites operated by professionals that allow consumers to conclude distance contracts with other professionals or with consumers. These are, for example, Amazon or Cdiscount. But the list doesn’t end there. There are a multitude of marketplaces (Veepee, Fnac, Vinted, eBay, etc.).

From May 28, 2023, marketplaces must:

  • Display the status of “professional” or, conversely, that of “non-professional” (individual) of a seller referenced in the platform,
  • Indicate the main ranking parameters used to present the products to the consumer on the forum,
  • Specify the elements, thanks to which the professional can guarantee that the opinions disseminated come from consumers who have purchased or used the product.

Sanctions For Non-Compliance With The Obligations Presented Above

Companies that do not follow the rules presented above expose themselves to significant risk. The Law, in fact, equates these practices to deceptive commercial practices. The sanction may take the form of a fine of 300,000 euros, with or without a prison sentence of 2 years.

Also Read: Tips To Enhance Remarketing Actions For Your E-commerce

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