Convincing and perceptible legal compliance is a decisive reason for the choice of a service or the online purchase of a product for most users of websites and web shops.
The EU carries out regular studies of the user and consumer behaviour on the Internet. In the region of (cross-border) online trade, inadequate product or service description, lack of user-friendliness and, above all, legal uncertainty, such as the (cross-border) enforcement of consumer rights, are mentioned.
Mystery Surfer® has, basically, three ranges of duty covering OPE- and SME-relevant issues, such as customer satisfaction, customer orientation, legal compliance and related organizational and ICT measures for electronic commerce:
- Commissioned and own data collection
- Structuring of task-oriented databases
- Know-how transfer (e.g. for projects within the frame of EU funding programs)
To produce an evidence of the current situation of Austrian OPE and SME web sites resp. web shops, Mystery Surfer®, since 2005, regularly collects empirical data regarding the level of legal compliance in electronic commerce through a strictly objective evaluation of the following criteria of the suppliers' websites or web shops:
- Legal Notices
- Data Protection Regulations
- Consumer Rights Directive
The Mystery Surfer® Project is supported by the Chambers of Economy of the particpating Austrian Federal States as well as by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs in accordance with the promotion programs for the electronic commerce for OPE and SME within the terms of the Lisbon Goals of the EU. Last, but not least, the Austrian E-Commerce Trust Mark is a strategical partner since 2002.
In accordance with the periodical studies and in cooperation with the Austrian and European Institutions of economic promotion, appropriate measures for awareness raising as well as different subsidised counselling programs for OPE and SME are developed.