Expatica news

Belgian e-commerce firms launch quality mark

10 June 2005

BRUSSELS – Around 50 Belgian companies have united to launch an internet shopping quality mark.

On Friday, ‘La Libre Belgique’ reported that the firms want to encourage customers to buy more online.

Belgium is way below the European average for internet shopping, with just 18 percent of distance purchases made online, compared to 30 percent throughout Europe.

The Belgian Association of Direct Marketing (ABMD), which is launching the initiative, believes more Belgians would buy online if they felt it was safe.

“We notice that once the first purchase has been made online, the customer then goes on to make other transactions,” said communication manager Patrick Marck.

“But the press sometimes repeats the problems of security, protection of privacy or commercial tricks. E-commerce companies, in fact, are making significant investments in making transactions safe and creating customer trust.”

ABMD has united around 50 firms, some of which sell only on the internet, and others like SN Brussels Airlines and La Redoute which sell through various channels. The companies are launching the label BeCommerce.

“The label is the assurance to the consumer that he is dealing with a Belgian e-commerce company which is honest,” said Marck.

“It’s the assurance to the internet shopper that he can buy on the site without worrying.”

A BeCommerce label will mean the firm has signed up to standards on having an accessible customer service, being polite to customers, having property security for payments, good delivery codes and respecting privacy rules.

Customers who feel a BeCommerce company breaches those standards can complain to the surveillance committee of ABMD, which will work closely with the ethics jury of advertising.

Firms can be censured, fined or – in the most serious cases – thrown out of the ABMD.

“That would cause a lot of damage to an e-commerce site because they would find themselves completely isolated,” said Marck.

 [Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news