Today’s businesses are all transitioning to incorporate an online presence as consumers shift their preferences for digital purchasing options. And for some companies like yours, some organizations and core offerings have always existed online as eCommerce retailers or service providers. As a leader of one of these types of companies, there are certain ethics policy concerns and potential risks you should know and assess routinely. And it’s the ethics hotline that can be the answer to your ethics risks and potential issues as a digital brand.
Intellectual Property Concerns
Ethics risks are evident for online businesses in the form of intellectual property violations and concerns. Inadvertent and deliberate mishaps concerning unauthorized use of images or video, for example, could result in litigation and fines. There are also instances of image or content theft or use of unoriginal digital designs that could wreak havoc within your online organization. In more severe cases, brands selling counterfeit or misrepresented products and services also exist. While you might already have ethics policies and guidelines in place to prevent such issues from occurring, it’s the ethics hotline, with its method of anonymous reporting, that can be the best way to stay ahead of these potential ethics risks.
There are countless online retailers who sell products from other manufacturers or suppliers. And in some cases, it’s the vendor that owns the product until it sells. Online businesses that exist as reputable third-party sellers, in these instances, are subject to vendor compliance guidelines. And there exists the potential for violation in securing permissions, approving brand representative content, or pricing. An ethics hotline allows anyone who comes in contact with your brand online to report any concerns before they translate into vendor violations that result in fees, terminated partnerships, and litigation.
Email and Communication Spamming
Part of your eCommerce brand’s marketing might include deliberate email or outreach campaigns. And you’ll want to be mindful of certain ethics risks of spamming or communication violations. Phishing can transpire without your knowledge or unintended spamming. Providing your customers or target audience with a transparent statement about your zero-tolerance for such behavior, along with an ethics hotline for anonymous reporting, can ensure you stay on top of such activities before they become costly.
Privacy and Information Security
Probably the most prevalent ethics risk your eCommerce, or digital company faces involves privacy, data management, and information security. Because every aspect of your business is online, you likely collect and manage silos of data. Providing your employees, vendors, and customers the privacy protections they need is paramount. But you also need to stay on top of new cyber threats or concerns as hacking and data breaches become even more and more common in today’s digital landscape.
As the owner of an online business, having an ethics policy along with an ethics hotline can help protect your customers, your employees, your brand, and your bottom line. Let Ethical Advocate assist with an ethics audit of your eCommerce company to find risks and set up an ethics hotline today!