As a seller (retailer), you are required to guarantee the buyers the same rights and opportunities as in traditional business, whilst you have to comply with all the obligations as you would otherwise, when selling goods at a boutique, department, or convenience store.
Besides that, there are additional obligations for e-commerce retailers.
In order to act in accordance with your duties, you need to provide all the necessary information about your store, products, and how can the customers, i.e., consumers, exercise their rights.
Thus, your first step shall be to adopt a comprehensive Terms of Services, which will provide the buyers with both the rights and obligations that they have in their relationship with you. For example, the Terms of Service shall contain instructions on how to complete a purchase, is the price VAT included, are the shipping costs are included, how to file a claim or replace the purchased product, who bears the responsibility for defective goods, and the proper functioning of things, etc. The more comprehensive your Terms of Services are, the less risk you face of eventual litigation or inspection.
How important the Terms of Services are to e-commerce retailers, we can learn from the lawsuit against Amazon.com. In short, a customer filed a lawsuit against Amazon for injuries received from a faulty coffee machine, which the customer had purchased through that e-commerce platform. As someone who enabled the sale of a faulty device, the questions of responsibility for the goods sold and the proper functioning were raised. Thus, if you have not prescribed the court jurisdiction and the application of substantive law in the Terms of Services, you are at risk of being subject to the law of the country where the injury has occurred, as well as running the proceedings in that country, which may be significantly less favorable to you.
For a giant like Amazon.com, the potential payout of USD 2 million and court costs could be perceived as pocket money. Still, ask yourself if your e-commerce startup would survive such a financial blow and negative publicity.