''Boundless confidence'' - Twinkle Magazine about Safe.Shop

Safe.Shop must lower international purchase threshold


Of all worldwide consumers who have access to the internet, only 51% purchases online. Half of the digital shoppers refuse to buy across the border at unknown webshops, which makes it a huge potential for Safe.Shop. Our trust mark gives consumers the needed confidence and opens doors for markets in terms of purchases abroad.


With 258 million inhabitants, Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world - after China, India and the US. Within this country, around 15% of Indonesians are online and 29% of these Internet users purchase online, which consists of more than eleven million webshops and is estimated to significantly increase in the future. Moreover, Indonesia has the fastest growing number of webshoppers in the world: i.e. each year by 24%. In fact, nearly fourteen million Indonesians can be the potential buyers for your product.


As Indonesia, the number of online shoppers are rising in Australia and Turkey as well. However, the main implication is that Australians and Turks are unaware of Dutch webshops such as Coolblue, fonQ or Wehkamp. Therefore, the global trust mark Safe.Shop was developed by the Ecommerce Foundation in order to, among other things, address unawareness. In fact,‘’trust is the key word for international purchases’’ and the Global Ecommerce Country Report 2017 illustrates that 42% of consumers having a lack of confidence are less likely to purchase from foreign webshops.


The Global Code of Conduct

Another essential conclusion of the Global Ecommerce Country Report 2017 is that e-commerce is still booming: Growth in Asia (20%), North America (9%), South America (16%), the Middle East and Africa (11%), and Europe (19%). However, language barriers and country borders are still hampering the growth and efficiency, while German webshops are also perceived better than, for example, webshops from Senegal and Ukraine. These difficulties are also being addressed by the Ecommerce Foundation, and a way to do this is via Safe.Shop.


‘’Safe.shop is a worldwide umbrella brand, a guarantee linked to local hallmarks, which will bring more unity and overview to the hallmark forest. In doing so, we want to boost consumer confidence in cross-border purchases. Our contact with the local quality marks is crucial. In the Netherlandswe are affiliated with Thuiswinkel.org and WebwinkelKeur. Each country has its own quality marks where we work together with when they can carry Safe.Shop. The logo needs to be recognized by consumers who do not know a foreign shop, but who have seen an interesting product and are considering a purchase. The recognizable logo stands for "safe" and will draw them over.’’


In autumn 2018, Safe.Shop will go live in twelve countries; e.g. Germany, Brazil, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Senegal and Switzerland. ‘’All web shops can join. We test them against the Global Code of Conduct, for which we set the criteria with twenty countries last summer in Barcelona. Once the webshop is certified, it can put itself on the map abroad. The customer who clicks on the logo receives all the information in his/her own language.’’


Proliferation – Other parties

In terms of what other parties think, Twinkle inquired, among others, at Trusted Shops, who stated: ‘’We are aware of the Safe.Shop Activities. Unfortunately, we cannot connect with that’’ – Tim Heinen, Benelux country manager. He also states that both trust marks are different:


"What we do is more than a quality mark. We already saw ten years ago that only a quality mark is too limited. That is why we developed our "buyer protection". Consumers who want to buy something can be insured for free with Trusted Shops. This increases conversion and sales. Then we also added a review system. We continuously develop. We started as a hallmark and have now become a trustbrand.’’


Currently, there are three hundred quality marks worldwide and It seems to become a bit cluttered and even looks like proliferation, which Mr Heinen agrees to. He is also not particularly positive about the services:


‘’These labels almost do all the same thing: a legal check and a seal. That's where it stops. But the consumer especially wants security. And the webshop wants to know for sure that the quality mark will be earned back twice through conversion increase, otherwisethe quality mark has no right to exist. We are very aware of that.’’


The originally German firm has 25,000 connected webshops in thirteen European countries, all of which are prepared to pay the €99 monthly fee. Additionally, ten million consumers have already had a free insurance contract with a purchase.


The green light is given – International Webshops

According to Shirt by Hand, an e-tailer specialized in personalized shirts which is active in the Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Portugal and Dubai, it is ‘’Nice and international!’’. However, the firm’s online marketer Max Reilman states:


‘’We do not think it is necessary. I must say that we have a slightly different ordering process than many other web shops. We always visit the customer first to take measurements forthe shirt. That personal contact takes away a lot of doubt. We can answer all questions that people have face to face. What we find more useful than a quality mark is to collect more reviews, to be transparent about our business operations and to add new payment methods. This means that we do not need a quality mark for us as an established name. This is different for starting webshops. They can distinguish themselves with it. '


A happy Brazil and Malaysia

The associations in Brazil and Malaysia are completely satisfied, since they did not have a seal of approval there prior the arrival of Safe.Shop. Safe.shop has also become the national trust mark within these countries.


‘’There is a lot of interest from the web shops and we are working hard to process the first applications from the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. (Consumer) Associations are also enthusiastic. Certainly, we still have a long way to go, but I think we got a bite on it. There are conversations with France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the US. We want to be at thirty member countries by the end of 2018.’’


The costs for Safe.Shop depends on the subscription you prefer: ‘’The entry model costs €159 per year. You can use the quality mark worldwide for this. You get legal support from our local partners in case of conflicts and you also have access to all reports of the Ecommerce Foundation on market developments in more than forty countries. If you are already certified by Thuiswinkel.org or WebwinkelKeur, you get a big discount and you only pay 99 euros per year.’’


Ecommerce Europe Trustmark

A cross-border trust mark, however, is not new; e.g. Ecommerce Europe has provided its own international guarantee since 2014. Although this fact, Safe.Shop differs in two crucial ways:


‘’If you want to implement the Ecommerce Europe trust mark, you must apply for a certification for each country. Yet for Safe.Shop there is only one certificate, which you can then use in all countries where you are active. We do not therefore standardly approve our quality mark on the applicable laws per country, which we offer as an additional service. Besides, Ecommerce Europe concentrates specifically on Europe while we form a global umbrella brand. Which quality mark you choose as a web retailer depends on a cost assessment when working according to local legislation: If you earn a few tons or less in a certain country, it does not pay to pay for specific certification in accordance with the applicable laws and If you earn 80 percent of your turnover in the Netherlands and Belgium, you can better get certified locally. The point is that the consumer knows that you are reliable: the further away you live, the less important are local quality marks. That is why we work together as an umbrella organization.’’


Ecommerce Europe also stated, in relation to Safe.Shop’s vision, that unreliable web shops are deterring consumers, resulting in loss of revenue for e-tailers: ‘’A respectable trust mark increases the  reliability of a web store.’’ – Annegret Mayer, Chairwoman Ecommerce Europe Trust Mark.



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