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5 points to check that your e-commerce website fulfils newest French law

Dear webmaster and e-merchants, some changes are needed on your website if you do e-business in France. The Hamon bill must be enforced to avoid customer dissatisfaction !

Are you aware of the changes ? If not, reader further … you may get a few surprises.

General Terms and Conditions

The customer now has 14 days (instead of 7) to step back and renounce to a purchase. Returning goods is a major source of customer dissatisfaction (remember to read or re-read our article on sources of complaints in French e-commerce). The new regulation requires that customer be informed on returning policies and on costs to return goods. A major concern is indeed the question of who should pay for shipping costs.

Another major change regards the risk of the delivery process. Now, it’s up the e-merchant to cover the risk until delivery to the customer. More often than not, some e-sellers made customers liable for risks when the goods left their warehouse. If you want your customers to be satisfid and loyal, you may want to read our article on free returns and their impact on revenues. You may be surprized.

Identity of the e-merchant

Check that your complete identity is mentioned correctly : first name, family name, address, zip code, phone, email.

Product description

Your product description must give the detailled description of the good / service your are selling. Not only must the price be displayed, but the delivery times must also be visible on the product description itself.

Payment process

The payment process must clearly indicate that the customer commits to paying the amount of his/her purchase. Payment methods must also be clearly mentioned at the beginning of the payment process.

Purchase confirmation

The purchase confirmation must be sent on a long lasting medium. Emails are acceptable. The reason behind this is that the customer must be able to find it back even in case of e-seller’s bankruptcy. As such, archiving the purchase history on the website of the merchant without sending out an email is not acceptable.

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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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