"Web stores, just be honest." That's what ACM says - the Authority for Consumers & Markets, which keeps an eye on web shops. The watchdog's warning went up on November 24. It relates to the delivery times of web shops. Because with the holidays just around the corner, while we are in the middle of the second corona wave, long delivery times are again hanging like thunderclouds over the market. It is already raining complaints from online consumers.

There is no doubt about it. Webshops are experiencing 2020 as a top year 'thanks to' corona. It can't end. The first lockdown alone resulted in more than fifty percent revenue growth in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. With the second partial lockdown, things go crescendo again, much to the chagrin of the physical stores. And then the big December purchases have yet to start.

All eyes on Ecommerce

Due to the enormous boost, all eyes of legislators and regulators seem extra focused on the Ecommerce business. Recently, Mona Keijzer already announced that she was fighting fake reviews. The Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Climate has submitted a proposal for a law that will enact the review law is called. With that, she wants to put a stop to reviews, customer reviews and recommendations that are not authentic.

Promises about delivery times of web shops under magnifying glass

And now, shortly before the holidays, promises about delivery times from web shops are under scrutiny. The cause is a tsunami of complaints about orders that were delivered much too late during the first lockdown or that did not even reach the consumer at all. Especially now, according to ACM, web shops must communicate more clearly and honestly than ever before. 'Because if you think you can unpack a package on December 5 and it will not be delivered until December 13, then that is very annoying.'

The message is unambiguous. 'Don't claim things that you cannot fulfill, because that is of no use to anyone.' ACM wants to take a tougher approach to companies that deliberately cheat with this. It is being threatened with fines and other sanctions, but how this will turn out exactly is not yet known. Companies have been reprimanded in the past. For example, Coolblue got a slap on the fingers of the Advertising Code Committee because of misleading advertising about delivery times. ACM has also called companies to the mat before. It was just warnings. Now the watchdog promises not to stop barking.

Honesty is the best policy

Ellen de Lange, logistics advisor, responds to the ACM's warning about tampering with delivery times for web shops on the homewnkel.org website: 'The sector is very busy and everyone is doing their best to get the parcels to the consumer on time. to get. We therefore advise web shops well before the end of the year period to be clear about delivery times and to make good agreements with the carrier. If you are unable to deliver a certain product due to pressure, you must clearly state this as a web store. The most important thing is that we as web shops deliver what we promise to the consumer. '

Honesty is the best policy. It is a classic expression that applies to any form of business, including E-business. Inadequate information and unrealistic promises are detrimental to the industry's reputation. But it survives. Not meeting the expectations that you create with your customers is especially harmful to your own business. You will never see customers that you lose again. So we repeat our tip that we preceded the ultimate buying month: always be honest with your customers and deliver what you promise.