Singapore – The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nanyang Polytechnic’s Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (NYP-SIRS) to develop a new CaseTrust accreditation scheme for e-commerce businesses, which will serve as an industry benchmark for e-commerce businesses in Singapore which are committed to fair and transparent business practices.

The new CaseTrust accreditation scheme will cover the entire range of e-commerce practices from pre-sale to post-sale, and address common consumer pain points when shopping online. These include factors such as ethical advertising, price transparency, good sales and aftersales service, and business integrity.

As part of the MOU, NYP-SIRS will also assist to develop a one-day workshop to give e-businesses an overview of what the accreditation scheme entails and the corresponding assessment criteria; and curate one-on-one mentorship programmes for e-businesses to help them identify and address gaps in the consumer experience they are offering online, before guiding them through the accreditation application process.

According to Melvin Yong, president at CASE, there have been more businesses that have set up retail websites or online shop to cater to the growing number of consumers shopping online. Unfortunately, the low barriers of entry, coupled with the lack of minimum service standards, have led to an increasing number of complaints against e-businesses. 

“Currently, there is a lack of a comprehensive accreditation scheme that encourages and guides e-businesses to adopt fair-trading practices and safeguards the interests of online shoppers. With this new CaseTrust accreditation scheme, we want to put in place a framework whereby consumers will be able to recognise e-businesses that have adopted the requisite e-commerce standards and consumer-friendly practices. Ultimately, we hope that consumers can have an assured and positive experience when shopping online,” Yong said.

Meanwhile, Jeanne Liew, principal and CEO at NYP, commented, “As Singapore’s e-commerce industry continues to grow, there is a need for industry accreditation and certification to remain relevant for retailers and consumers alike. NYP-SIRS provides market-driven retail training programmes to support the growth of retailers and keep up with the rapidly evolving e-commerce industry. We are glad to partner CASE to co-develop the CaseTrust accreditation scheme for e-businesses and the training programmes to help e-businesses identify and address the gaps in their business practices to become more consumer-friendly.”