The impact of 5G on e-commerce and consumer relations

5G technology officially started in the city of São Paulo this August and promises to enable faster connection speeds, enabling faster downloads, faster data transfer, payments and collections needed for purchases and low latency, which means reducing the time between an order and its execution.

But these advantages arising from 5G, consequently, bring with them great expectations to revolutionize social relations and, above all, to catalyze the growth and development of e-commerce, which is already making great strides in Brazil.

The benefits arising from 5G, consequently, bring with them great expectations to revolutionize social relations.

5G with technology and in companies

With higher connection speeds, technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will find fertile ground for their development, in addition to enabling the proliferation of resources such as virtual reality, the metaverse, life trading and life marketing.

In addition to all this, companies operating in the sector will be able to adopt new strategies to optimize their products, services and customer service. Omnicality – the integration of physical and digital channels for a better consumer experience -, Conversation commerce – a strategy for interaction between companies and customers in real time, through chatbots and messaging applications -, community commerce – which means electronic commerce led by content creators, which aims to improve products and services – pricing practices and personalized advertising, among many others, will become more common.

Digital transformation and possible legal consequences of 5G

Undoubtedly, 5G technology will enable the use of new commercial strategies in e-commerce and the improvement of products and services, which will lead to even more hyperconvenience for consumers, who will become even more digital, contributing to the growth of the sector.

But it’s also a fact that with all this digital transformation provided by 5G, the Internet environment will eventually become even more complex, which could lead to more risks for digital consumers – it should not be overlooked, by the way, that Brazil’s consumer protection law itself recognizes the information vulnerability of consumers as an inherent characteristic and basic principle of relations with consumers (Article 4, I, CDC) – and companies, which may suffer transaction costs, especially those resulting from Brazilian judicialization, through court convictions, as well as administrative fines, such as occurs in cases handled by SENACON.

As the sector grew, complaints related to e-commerce began to grow, and in the latest report “Consumer in Figures 2021” produced by the National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon), it was pointed out that e-commerce is already responsible for 10.6% of complaints submitted to Procons, followed only by financial services (21.6%) and telecommunications (17.4%).

It is no coincidence that the protection of digital consumers is on the radar of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) =, which was revised in 2016 to include new recommendations to countries, such as: fair commercial and advertising practices, adequate information, efficient payment and confirmation processes transaction, product security throughout the e-commerce supply chain, meaningful access to effective dispute resolution mechanisms, consumer education and awareness, the power of competent authorities to investigate and take action at home and the ability of competent authorities to engage in international policy and cooperation on enforcement issues of the law.

Consumer Protection Code

In Brazil, the Consumer Protection Law dates back to 1990, when most consumer relationships developed in an offline environment.

But despite the fact that the Law on Consumer Protection was passed before this whole digital transformation, it should be remembered that it brings with it a basis of principles (Article 4 of the CDC) and fundamental rights (Article 6 of the CDC) that serve as guidelines that these new practices arising from the digital environment are implemented in a way that is beneficial to consumers and the economic order, which also results in reputational and, consequently, financial benefits for companies that comply.

But in addition to the basic principles and rights provided by the CDC, we should not forget that Brazil seeks to strengthen the defense and protection of digital consumers by developing new legislative instruments related to electronic commerce.

In 2013, Regulation No. 7,762, popularly known as the “E-Commerce Law”, was published to cover, mainly, three central aspects: clear information about the product, service and supplier, facilitated customer service and respect for the right to appeal within seven days. in the Consumer Protection Act.

The Civil Rights Framework for the Internet and the LGPD

The following year, the Framework for Civil Rights on the Internet was created, which brought principles, rights and duties to Internet users, who eventually embraced digital consumers as well.

The general law on the protection of personal data has also come to light and has become an important diploma for strengthening the protection and defense of consumers. It is worth remembering that the Committee on Consumer Policy of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has this topic as a priority for public policy making, mainly because most banks of personal data are compiled from relationships with consumers.

Law 13,543/2017 regulates the advertising of products and services sold in electronic commerce, and recently also Regulation 10,271/2020, which enabled the implementation of GMC Resolution no. of consumers in e-commerce operations within the Mercosura bloc and Decree 6523/2022, recognized as the New Decree of the SAC. There are also legislative proposals, such as no. 21/2020, which proposes the creation of a regulatory framework for artificial intelligence.

So, what can be observed is that Brazil is moving towards strengthening the protection and defense of electronic commerce consumers through its regulation.

But as Ronald Coase already defended in his work “The Nature Of The Firm”, from 1937, firms are market agents and seek to act to reduce transaction costs. For this reason, it is possible to conclude that the company has a leading role in defining the direction of the sector.

It can be explained: as stated, with the arrival of 5G, e-commerce promises even greater growth, and thus the risks may increase, especially for those companies that do not comply with the standards of customer relations, which will consequently increase the transaction costs associated with court judgments and administrative penalties.

It is concluded, therefore, that companies that have effective business management and have good management instruments and compliance with laws and regulations related to relations with consumers, along with a better reputation, will certainly contribute to the reduction of these transaction costs. on the continuity of its business, which results in greater confidence for consumers and enables the sustainable use of new technologies made possible by 5G.

Also read: 5G in Brazil: what to expect for your e-commerce

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