12 eCommerce Legal Issues to Consider in Operating an Online Business

The following article provides a high-level summary of some key eCommerce law issues online business operators face in running a website or other eCommerce business. Conducting business online or maintaining a website may subject companies and individuals to unforeseen legal liabilities. The following is a brief survey of 12 key eCommerce law issues to consider:

1. Internet Business & eCommerce

A good starting point is analyzing a company’s online presence and auditing their procedures to determine how to grow their brand and online influence. As part of this, the company’s agreements and websites should comply with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting websites and online businesses, such as COPPA.

2. Domain Name Acquisition

Domains are often the key to an online business, but can present a number of problems. Domain name issues include securing a domain name initially, as well as protecting domain names from adverse parties that attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the company’s brand. Sometimes, the company needs defense, retrieval, and protection of domain names on the Internet.

3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Compliance

Companies operating websites, particularly where third-party content may be uploaded directly, should consider adopting agreements and procedures to shield themselves against claims of liability and copyright infringement. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “copyright policy” or “DMCA takedown” procedure. Compliance with the DMCA can provide the online operator with a safe harbor from liability.

4. Online Privacy

Online privacy continues to become a bigger issue. With the spread of mobile devices, tablets, and apps, privacy issues are becoming more complex. Companies should consider composing or updating their privacy policies as well as adopting internal security protocols aimed at protecting the online privacy of customers and website users.

5. Social Media Law

While a powerful vehicle to build brand strength and interact with customers, social media can create a number of legal issues for online businesses. A social media policy provided to employees as well as guidelines can be effective steps to reduce risk. A few key areas to consider are employment related use of social media, confidentiality, sponsorship, and branding guidelines.

6. Privacy Policies

Privacy policies should not be copied from online templates or rival companies. They should be drafted comprehensively to address unique issues of a specific online business and to accommodate future growth. Whether a company looks to collect analytics or more personalized information, the company should focus on its specific business needs and risk factors. Privacy policies should be updated as a business evolves.

7. Terms of Use Agreements

Terms of Use (TOU) agreements can limit liability for companies that maintain an Internet presence. These agreements should be optimized to address a company’s specific business and should not be simply cut and pasted from the Internet. What works for one company may not work for another company.

8. eCommerce Agreements

eCommerce agreements come in many forms such as licensing, advertising agreements, and payment processor agreements. eCommerce agreements should be drafted to address the primary legal risks involved in a particular eCommerce contract or business transaction.

9. Online Sweepstakes & Games

Online sweepstakes, contests, and games create a number of legal pitfalls. Depending on the sweepstake, contest, or game, compliance with the laws of all 50 states as well as the federal government may be required. Registration in specific states may also be required. Online businesses may benefit from guidance as to whether a particular new initiative is considered a sweepstake, contest, or game.

10. Domain Theft

Recovering hijacked domains can often be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, avoiding domain theft in the first place is much easier than attempting to recover a stolen domain. While difficult, it is possible to recover a hijacked domain.

11. Website Agreements

Website agreements can be customized to limit legal liability and reduce risks of disputes by analyzing an online business’s intellectual property portfolio, business processes, and brand objectives. Website agreements can be used for mobile applications in addition to websites.

12. Impersonation and Username Squatting

Impersonation and username squatting can occur when a third party registers a social media account using someone else’s identity. This can result in harmful posts and information being published in social media. Username squatting can also prevent a trademark or brand owner from controlling their trademark. Typically, registering usernames in advance is the best strategy to avoid impersonation or username squatting.

The Opportunity That Awaits With Mobile Business Solutions

Improved technology and telecommunications have enabled people to stay connected and also transact business from wherever they are. It is common to have access to emails, be able to open web pages and even conduct meetings using the telephone. The world of mobile technology and its applications have enabled so much that this is clearly the avenue where significant focus lies.

People are today more dependent on their mobile phones, which is among the main reasons why there is so much being made available to them. The option of surfing and researching the internet is something that is being exploited and worked upon tremendously.

Mobile business solutions enable users to not just look at and respond to emails, but also search and connect through various sites on the internet. For this to be made possible, there are two ends which must be in consonance with one another.

To start off with, it is important that the telephone have the ability to surf and register sites widely. Apart from this, the site must also be designed in such a way that it can be opened and used by mobile phones optimally.
The process is not very complex, and relies heavily on common sense. To begin with, the text must be minimal and to the point. No matter how large the screen of the phone may be, it cannot compare with the size of a computer screen, and too much strain may cause disinterest in the user. Therefore, using essential content, and accompanying it with visuals is certain to help. It is also preferable that you use standard fonts in a fair font size to reduce the strain.

Site navigation must be made easy so that people using mobile phones may also get through them without difficulty. Ease in navigation and use is a clear edge that your site can score on. When you use pictures, ensure that the images are in a format which can be opened and viewed on mobile phones as well. Avoid the use of either very dark or very light backgrounds as they might not e clearly visible on the phone. Also try and use pictures which have a good resolution.

A few simple pointers can enable you to make much more money through mobile business solutions. This is certainly the anthem of the present, and a permanent feature of the future, and it is best to keep with the times.

How to Create a Brand Professional That People Want to Get Behind

Have more than a blog and a social media account.

In case you desire to generate a significant impact as a business online, having a blog and a social media account is definitely not enough. What is crucial is to be aware that there has to be a brand behind that blog and social media account. There have to be something that make people feel is a whole, not just a bunch of posts and comments that are not tied together. Having a logo doesn’t automatically makes your site a brand. To have a real brand you have to comprehend what’s behind all the text you can write, it’s like the essence that is deep of your whole platform, it is that little something that makes it special. Once you have a brand you’ll have fans, in order to achieve that you need to create yourself and image, that image you create needs to get exposure.

When can you conclude you have a brand.

You may ask yourself, if I have my site logo, and it doesn’t is the brand, then what is it? Something is pretty obvious, a brand without a name is not a brand. When you register your company you give it a name right? That name will be your online site’s name at the same time. The big company Google, says, that brands are more successful at SEO nowadays, at the same time from the user’s perspective sites with brands can be seen as even more professional than sites with no brands defined. A good example for this: if you call your site “Sports World”, it will work much better than just calling it “Sports Articles”.

Visual language of your brand.

Something that is also very important in this concept is having “visual language” in your site. After your logo has been created, the next step is selecting the colors and also images that relate to your business brand and are the basis of your brand’s logo. At the moment you have all these elements, you have to combine them into everything else you develop to your site. For example if your logo has the colors black, brown and gray, then your website needs to use these colors, same for your social media accounts, it’s about expanding your visuals to everything that you create from now on for your business.

Your Mission Statement.

So, the work doesn’t end there. Now you need to be able to create what is called as “The Mission Statement”. This is the more important aspect of your brand. Some experts say this mission statement is what to need to be defined first. “The Mission Statement” is just a short paragraph that explains what is your business about. Basically what you do and the reason behind it. This includes the goal you have, the vision and also the commitment you put to make it works. After you define this, you’ll have a better vision of what your business is about and based on that you’ll get the inspiration you need to create the elements of your business, the logo and the name are a couple of them. At this point you made your business name and your logo stand for something, thus now people can stand behind you and your business.

What Are The Secrets Of Affiliate Marketing?

For years I struggled to learn affiliate marketing. I started over 10 years ago and began by building websites which I hoped would rank on Google’s free search engines. Back then, courses taught this strategy because it used to work well! Over time and with the millions more websites and affiliates attempting to rank their content, this strategy got progressively more difficult.

I ranked a few websites and made a couple of sales here and there though. But it was by no means a living and I had spent many hours watching videos and learning over a long span of time. I there in the towel many times but knew it was something worth pursuing.

One of the secrets to affiliate marketing is to stick at it until you have some results. Learn from your lack of results but continue learning and never stop. My strategies were flawed in the first instance. I was expecting an easy win. I suspect many people come into affiliate marketing expecting the same.

Over time I slowly realised the time and effort needed to make affiliate marketing work for me. I learned that, just because I wrote an article, it wasn’t necessarily going to be seen by millions of people! In fact, most of my articles were never even seen. I didn’t know how to promote them and get them seen. I just expected everyone to come, because, well, I was special and it was just going to work! How naive!

One of the ‘secrets’ of affiliate marketing is building an email list. I had the best results once I had a list of subscribers and promoted a product with paid advertising. This is probably the quickest way to see results in affiliate marketing. Content building takes time and there’s no guarantee your content will ever get a large enough audience to start selling anything.

Building an email list is vital for anyone who wants to build a real business from affiliate marketing. Without one, you’re relying on your website visitors buying from you after they land on your website. This only gives them a few minutes to make a buying decision. Get them on an email list and you can extend tis period of time to months and even years ahead. Plus you can build a relationship with your subscribers by offering them value, insight and information which may be of use to them.

Paid advertising is another ‘secret’ of affiliate marketers. I avoided paid strategies for a long time because I didn’t have the confidence in the products I chose. I didn’t know how to run paid campaigns and I was afraid of losing money, because I didn’t have very much of it! So I stuck to ‘free’ marketing strategies like article writing and video creation. However, the results were very limited because of the strategy I used and the niche I was in.

It takes much longer to get traffic if you focus on only organic strategies. Paid traffic in instant, but again, takes time to learn and master.

The other ‘secret’ to using paid traffic is in choosing the right products to promote. This again was something I took a long time to understand. Having products which continue to pay out, even after your initial sale is a major key to making affiliate marketing work for you. I initially sold products which only paid me once. Plus I only made $40 or so on a sale of a $100 product.

I later learned that top affiliates choose bigger items to promote for better commissions and they choose memberships to sell so they can earn continuous commissions every month. A subscription product which pays you a small amount every month is worth far more than a single product which only pays you once. For each customer, you can earn a residual income, potentially for a lifetime. 100 customers becomes a real income because of the continuous commissions you receive each month of their membership.

Up-sells are another affiliate marketing ‘secret’ too. An up-sell, is basically a product which is sold to a customer after they have already bought from you. If you’ve even been to a fast food franchise you’ll know they always offer up an up-sell. “Do you want fries with that?” is an up-sell.”Would you like to supersize?” is an up-sell. By offering many products to existing customers you can earn far more than by only selling one product.

An existing customer is far more likely to purchase from you because they have already paid for something. Top affiliates know the power of the up-sell and benefit from more commissions made from each customer. Repeat custom is a major factor in most businesses so it should also factor in your affiliate marketing business too.

Here’s a final affiliate marketing secret. Most affiliates starting out will concentrate on getting someone to their website in order to turn them into a subscriber. They will spend a lot of time working on their website visitors number. But there’s two factors in turning a visitor into a subscriber. The number of people visiting your website is one factor. The opt-in rate is another. You can get many more visitors converting into subscribers just by altering your opt-in offer.

Cross testing various opt-in offers and in particular, making a clear call to action with a benefit driven ‘giveaway’ offer is the best way to measure this. So don’t focus entirely on building traffic because you can make more progress by creating an enticing giveaway offer to build your email list.