Saudi government launches initiative to evaluate online stores with AI

The Ministry of Commerce has unveiled an innovative initiative leveraging artificial intelligence technologies to assess online retail establishments. Launched in conjunction with World Consumer Rights Day, the initiative operates under the theme "Responsibility and Fairness of Artificial Intelligence for Consumers."

The primary objective of this initiative is to empower merchants with insights into the evaluation of their online stores, providing them with the opportunity to enhance their ratings by adhering to predefined standards. These standards, outlined by the Ministry, encompass 11 criteria for assessing store compliance.

Among the specified standards are requirements for prominently displaying essential credentials such as the commercial registry number, requisite licenses, and tax identification on the store's homepage. Furthermore, stores are mandated to register their links with the appropriate registry and the Saudi Business Center platform.

The initiative also emphasizes the importance of implementing comprehensive policies covering various aspects, including safeguarding consumer data and privacy, facilitating processes for product replacement, returns, and refunds, addressing customer complaints and feedback, and delineating consumer rights and responsibilities pertaining to shipping and delivery.

Moreover, online retailers are obligated to ensure accessibility to customer service channels, maintain website security, and uphold high-quality website standards, encompassing factors such as site speed, user-friendliness, and the adoption of HTTPS links with robust cybersecurity measures. Additionally, stores are required to verify the absence of any outstanding fines issued against their establishments.

By adhering to these stringent standards, online retailers can enhance transparency, accountability, and consumer trust in the e-commerce landscape. The initiative reflects the Ministry's commitment to fostering a fair and ethical marketplace environment while empowering merchants to deliver optimal experiences for consumers.

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