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How To Conduct Your Online Business Ethically in 2018

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James Helliwell
March 21, 2018

James Helliwell
James Helliwell has written 12 articles for WebKnowHow.
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Customers now have information on their fingertips and can make decisions in real-time. The online market has opened up to people from all over the world and now customers can get services without necessarily meeting with the seller. As a result, some people have compromised business ethics by providing misleading information and delivering substandard products. Such instances create mistrust and some customers even fall on the hands of cons who never deliver the products promised. The following are ethical areas that you should pay close attention to when conducting an online business.

  1. Substandard services

Most online customers do not get the chance to physically inspect the goods they are just about to buy. The seller may decide to ship counterfeit or damaged goods knowing that he or she will never interact with the customer physically. Some sellers will even fail to take responsibility for the goods while under shipment. As a seller, you should promise to deliver the products that customers order.


“Proving the customer with the correct item from dispatch is paramount to the success of your business this sounds a simple take but you must make sure that your systems are in place to correctly handle 100’s and 1000’s of orders reach day” - Xedi.com


You should have an elaborate return policy that clearly considers international shipping policies. Focus on repeat business rather than instant sales without referrals.

  1. Theft of Information

The internet world is full of malicious people who can hack your system and get way with loads of data. If your business requires customers to fill personal data, you have to promise them that their data is safe. Some of the information that you may require from such clients is their phone number, email address, date of birth, physical address and name. If your business accepts credit cards for payment, ensure that third parties cannot tap such information. It is also wise to encrypt communication between your business and the clients. Always use up-to-date software to keep away hackers.

  1. Issues on Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights

Sometimes people copy ideas, text, videos and photos from another business that offers the same products. Such people argue that the original owners of the content may not be able to take action just because they are not in the same region. It is, however, worth noting that search engines such as Google have punitive measures on duplicate content. Ensure that you get permission from the website’s owners if you must cite certain content from their sites. You are likely to avoid lawsuits and trolls if you respect other people’s intellectual properties.

  1. 4.     Enticing deals                  

Some online businesses advertise products that never exist. Some will even create a great banner with products such as musical equipment only for a customer to land on a website that offers products that are totally different. Most of such businesses earn affiliate commissions but they fail to run a background check on the sellers. If for instance, you sell lighting materials, make sure that your links, call to action buttons and banners lead customers to the exact deals.


  1. Customer care

How you handle your customers is an important pillar for your business. You should understand that online customers come from different regions whose beliefs and ideologies differ. You can handle diversity by recruiting a diverse workforce to handle specific customers. Collect feedback from customers and learn how to improve the business processes.

 Conducting an ethical online business is a great way to create a reputable brand. If you work as a team, set the conduct of ethics all employees should follow and lead by example. Let your customers know that you have ethics that govern your business.

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