Internet retailers are risking committing a criminal offence which could leave a company and its officers facing fines, lawyers have warned.
IT specialists at national law firm Shoosmiths have said that some e-tailers forget or simply ignore the need to include full details about themselves on their website.
Under the Company Trading Disclosures Regulations (2008) and the Electronic Commerce Regulations (2002), any business operating a website must make full details about themselves available to customers, including the identity of the company, what services they provide, and how they can be contacted, as well as additional information such as details of their service provider.
Shoosmiths partner Michelle Sherwood said, "If the information provided on your website is clear and unambiguous, and gives customers information equivalent to what they would obtain from physically entering a store, it should satisfy UK and European regulators."
To avoid falling foul of the regulations, Sherwood suggests taking steps such as conducting a complete website review, as well as providing an alternative method of communication for customers, such as a phone line, which are displayed on the website.
Several studies have shown that e-tailers are failing to meet the needs of online customers, and that they generally only have one chance to make a good impression if they want their customers to return.