Your Brand Is Your Most Precious Asset, Protect It
As you are aware, your E-commerce brand helps you become known, trusted, even loved. Customers identify personally with brands and fiercely defend them in the face of opposition. This level of commitment leads to a deep-seated emotional connection with your brand construct.
But consumers are not the only people who keep a keen eye on your brand image. Shareholders, investors and potential buyers look carefully at this, and your brand security, when making financial decisions relating to your business. Therefore, a reputable E-commerce brand is not only an intangible entity in consumers’ minds, but also a monetary asset, one that has cost you time and, often, large sums of money to build.
When your brand asset is priceless in human and financial terms, damaging it can have far-reaching consequences. Customers feel disappointed and aggrieved, switching brands in an instant; potential investors take their funds elsewhere and significant sums can be wiped from your corporate valuation overnight.
Age-Restricted Sales And Brand Damage
Potential brand damage is of particular relevance to E-commerce retailers providing age-restricted products (including vapes, alcohol, kitchen knives and pharmaceuticals), who run a higher risk of accidentally breaking the law when it comes to selling goods online.
Unlike a High Street retailer, you cannot easily demand proof of age at the point of sale. So, you often rely on the customer stating that they are over eighteen by using methods such as tick boxes and pop-ups. Reliance on self-identification is, unfortunately, not a particularly secure method of preventing fraud. Even if the customer uses a payment card, this is also not necessarily proof of age, as some cards, such as debit cards and pre-loaded cards, are used by the under-eighteens. Breaking the law by having insufficient age verification procedures means you might face legal sanctions, including licence removal and fines. News spreads quickly in this viral age. There is nowhere to hide, and bad news spreads faster than good. Suddenly, your brand is in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
The Age-Restricted E-commerce Landscape – How Do I Protect My Brand?
The government stipulates that you must “take all reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence to avoid committing an offence” (PAS 1296 – Online age checking. Provision and use of online services. Code of Practice).
But how do you do that exactly?
It’s clear that the government intends to crack down on non-compliance but “all reasonable precautions” and “due diligence” seem a bit vague and unhelpful. The government may give businesses a little leeway on occasion but it’s better to avoid tricky situations in the first place. You need a clearly identifiable, easy to implement, accurate solution, which is seamlessly integrated into the whole customer experience, with back-up checks available should the need arise. That’s where our online age-verification services step in. We believe that a simple, cost-effective, invisible point-of-sale process allows for compliance, while not interrupting the customer journey.
Making your brand compliant by using AgeChecked’s verification service protects you from unpleasant legal action and brand tainting. It also gives you assurance that you are protecting your most valuable asset around the clock in this age of 24/7 online shopping. For more information about the sectors that AgeChecked works with, please visit our sectors page.