10 Best ecommerce practices for Australian businesses

January 18, 2022

Running a successful online business is much more than having brilliant ideas and a decent infrastructure.

Numerous financial, administrative, and legal considerations become apparent only once your organisation is operational. Oftentimes, a pre-defined structure may assist you in preparing for these types of difficulties.

We will give a simple guideline detailing recommended practices for Australian e-commerce enterprises in this post. We will concentrate on the factors that are critical to ensuring that your e-commerce firm earns the confidence of your customers.

Fundamental business procedures

Fair dealing regulation establishes the fundamental best practices for Australian business owners. Though you are most likely already aware with them, we will review the major aspects here:

  • Never intentionally mislead or deceive your customers. You must not make any false statements regarding your products or services. For instance, you should never disclose inaccurate information about the origin or quality of your items.
  • Ascertain that your clients do not have significant difficulties with the payment processor while obtaining the items or services they have ordered.
  • Your site's product details must be precise and accurately depict your items. For instance, if you state that the socks you are selling are made entirely of pure cotton, they must be made entirely of cotton.

Requirement for accessibility

If your business sells a product that requires specialized software or hardware to operate properly, you should inform your customers in advance.

Advertising standards

There are a few considerations to make to ensure that your advertisements are consumer-friendly and comply with all applicable requirements.

The first thing to remember is that your adverts must be easily identifiable from the rest of your site's content. For instance, your consumer review area should be self-contained and unaffected by self-promotion.

Make no deceptive promises about your merchandise. Ascertain that you can back up any claim or facts included in your advertisements. By using false information in your advertisements, you may harm your brand's reputation and may possibly face legal consequences.

Email marketing best practices

As an e-commerce firm, you will regularly communicate with your customers and subscribers through email and newsletters. The Spam Act 2003 specifies precisely which emails will be considered spam and which will be considered genuine business communications.

The Spam Act establishes the following fundamental requirements:

Sending unsolicited emails is prohibited

You are not permitted to send any commercial email to a recipient without first obtaining their approval. However, you may infer permission in certain circumstances based on how a prospective consumer interacts with your site.

For instance, if a consumer has not registered to your newsletter but often purchases things from your site, you may presume they would not object to getting special offer emails from you.

Nonetheless, the recommended approach is to request that buyers subscribe into your newsletter during the checkout process. A straightforward checkbox next to the checkout confirmation button is optimal.

Include the name and identify of your business

If a receiver opens your email, he or she should be able to immediately identify the sender. You must prominently display your business's name, internet URL, and physical location.

Make unsubscribing simple

Each email must have a "Unsubscribe" link, ideally at the bottom. Your receivers should be able to opt out of future emails if they so want.

Interactions with children and adolescents

Anyone under the age of sixteen is classified as a minor. This age group may visit your e-commerce site. If your site is specifically targeted towards this demographic, you must exercise caution.

Generally, children lack the legal competence to engage into contracts. Prior to initiating any commercial transaction or contract, your site must check the age of your clients.

Take reasonable precautions to guarantee that your paying customer is at least sixteen years old. If they are not, you should take extra efforts to get the approval of a guardian or parent who is authorised to conduct the transaction.

Provision of necessary information

For every e-commerce firm, it is necessary for customers to have easy access to the following information:

Name, location, and contact details for your business, including registration information (like ABN or ACN). This identifies who owns the website and company, as well as who is participating in any transactions conducted on the site

Ascertain that all contract provisions pertaining to the acquisition are transparent and readily accessible. Your website must contain comprehensive information about the pricing of your items and associated charges to assist customers in making educated purchasing choices.

A consumer should be able to check the specifics of the entire cost prior to engaging into a transaction. They should get a copy of this information upon payment.

Prior to the transaction taking place, the terms and conditions of the transaction must be given individually.

At the checkout step, the total price should be presented in its entirety. This implies that the final amount must include shipping and service charges.

It may not be possible to anticipate the whole cost in advance for subscriber services. Provide complete information on how the recurring expenses will be computed in this scenario.

Additional information that your consumers should be aware of (if applicable) includes the following: available payment methods (mentioned prior to the consumer reaching the checkout page), delivery terms, warranty information, subscription renewal information, after-sales service details, usage restrictions (such as geographical or age restrictions), refund or cancellation terms, and time period for special offers.

Allow consumers to examine and change their purchase before they get into a contract with your online company (such as purchasing a product or subscription). In other words, an extra step must occur prior to the ultimate transaction. For an e-commerce site, this involves allowing users to change their carts and requesting confirmation prior to completing the sale.

Consumer privacy protection

Consumer privacy is critical for every e-commerce firm, since consumers have a right to know how their personal information is utilised. You should use extreme caution while handling personal information.

The best course of action is to ensure that your firm complies with the APPs established by the 1988 Privacy Act. Adopting the APPs entails the following:

If your site gathers any personal information about your visitors, you must alert them.

  • Your customers have a right to know what data you have on them.
  • Your customers have the right to amend or modify any stored information if they so want.
  • Certain restrictions will apply to the use of personal information gathered by your website.

Following to govt privacy legislation simplifies the management of personal data obtained on your e-commerce site. Additionally, it will increase the trustworthiness of your website among prospective clients.

Requirements for fundamental security and authentication

One of the most critical components of your e-commerce security is the payment mechanism. It is your responsibility to establish a dependable and secure payment system for your online business.

Educate your consumers, if required, by offering information about authentication and security. For instance, you may dissuade them from emailing important information. Your consumers should have access to all pertinent information in order to analyse any risks connected with utilising your site to a fair degree.

Maintain the security of your site by performing frequent upgrades and ensuring that your crew has an acceptable degree of technical skill.

Face in mind that you must bear a portion of the responsibility if any of your clients suffers a loss as a result of your site's authentication or security failures.

Best practices for complaint resolution

Provide explicit instructions to your consumers about your e-commerce business's dispute resolution system. This will instill more confidence and trust in those seeking to do financial transactions with you.

Several factors must be adhered to by your complaint resolution procedure:

  • Consumer concerns should be handled in the shortest amount of time feasible and in the most reasonable way possible.
  • No price or charge should be linked with the settlement method.
  • Consumers will always be able to seek legal assistance if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of your internal dispute resolution procedure.
  • If the customer is dissatisfied with the conclusion of a complaint handling method, you should give information about other entities that may assist in addressing the problem.

Establishing the appropriate legislation

If any transaction involving your online company is subject to any special laws or jurisdictions, it is your responsibility to disclose this information as soon as feasible. In general, firms headquartered in Australia will seek resolution of consumer issues via Australian courts, if required.


The recommended practices outlined above will ensure that your e-commerce firm is built on solid ground. However, the success of an online shop is also contingent upon the product's quality, your business's marketing plan, and the characteristics of the e-commerce site that serves as your virtual storefront.

Nonetheless, keeping these ten points in mind will assist you in earning the confidence of your prospective clients and provide a solid foundation for developing a respected online brand.

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