There are two distinct types of legislation that affect online retailers.
Firstly, traditional laws to protect buyers that apply to online retailers as much as they do to traditional ones. Secondly, there are regulations designed specifically to deal with problems and issues facing retailers online.
These protect buyers (both commercial and consumers) whether they are buying the goods over the counter of a shop or over the internet. For instance:
There are also many other pieces of legislation, many of which will apply to different types of contracts and products.
These regulations are new and were brought into force largely to protect buyer's rights when they buy products either over the Internet or by telephone. They largely derive from EU Directives, and include the E-commerce Regulations, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations and the Electronic Signatures Regulations. The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015, as amended by the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Amendment) Regulations 2015 provide for resolution of disputes by Alternative Dispute Resolution. Although the traditional consumer regulations are important for all sales processes, the next sections focus on certain of the online regulations and how they affect the various stages of the online sales process.