Customers more confident to shop in accredited e-businesses

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) has launched the CaseTrust Accreditation Scheme for E-businesses, co-developed with Nanyang Polytechnic’s Singapore Institute of Retail Studies. 

When consumers explore options to shop on e-business platforms, they often feel reassured by businesses that display trust or accreditations, said Shennon Khong, Senior Assistant Director of Strategic Development & CaseTrust at the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).

Khong said that these symbols of credibility and reliability guide consumers to platforms where they feel confident in making purchases. 

“Businesses without such accreditations might face challenges in handling consumer concerns like pricing clarity, product standards, and overall customer support,” she said.

She added that accreditations represent experience and expertise, providing assurance that resonates with shoppers.

Through CaseTrust Accreditation Scheme for E-businesses, shoppers can now identify online businesses that adopt consumer-friendly practices, while e-retailers and service providers can now distinguish themselves from their competitors by adopting proconsumer policies when handling complaints, refunds or disputes.

The accreditation, co-developed with Nanyang Polytechnic’s Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (NYP-SIRS), came in response to a notable increase in consumer complaints involving online purchases, which rose by 14.7% from 2021 to 2022. 

According to Knong, common complaints included delivery issues, defective products, and misleading claims. The accreditation program aims to address these pain points by setting comprehensive criteria covering all aspects of e-commerce transactions.

"Accredited e-businesses can differentiate themselves in the diverse e-market space, potentially attracting more customers as the e-commerce landscape matures," she explained.

Compliance with industry best practices, such as having an efficient online ordering system and transparent pricing, is part of the accreditation criteria. This not only helps retailers review customer touchpoints to mitigate common pitfalls but also prevents consumer complaints and returns, allowing companies to better utilise their resources.

Looking towards the future, Khong is optimistic about the impact of the e-CaseTrust scheme on consumer trust in online retailers. She remarked, "Through the introduction of more standards and accreditation schemes in recent years, consumers are certainly better off compared to a decade ago."

As small e-businesses adopt third-party accreditation like e-CaseTrust, consumer trust in online retailers is expected to continue growing. Khong encourages e-businesses to apply for the accreditation as a commitment to standards, consumer confidence, and service excellence.

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