Challenges for online retailers on age specific products


Online sales continue to dominate, with £133bn spent online through UK retailers in 2016 (IMRG Capgemini ERetail Sales Index). And while this is great for online retailer’s bottom line, the increased number of customers causes additional challenges for those selling age restricted products to customers they can’t see in real life.

Age verification and identity assurance solutions are essential for retailers in all industries; online gaming, tobacco/Ecigarettes, alcohol, entertainment, fireworks and knives. Companies must make every effort to verify that customers are legally entitled to make the purchase. If not, they can face hefty fines and a huge impact on their business.


  • Preventing minors from accessing age-restricted products is the most obvious challenge. Self-verification methods are still widely used, but are easily bypassed since users can simply input a false date of birth.
  • Providing a satisfying user experience is essential in ecommerce if you wish your customers to complete their purchases and come back again. Outdated verification methods can slow down the purchasing journey for the customer.
  • Exhibiting due diligence in age and identity checks to comply with statutory regulations.
  • Complying with requirements from credit card companies and other financial institutions increases the need for strong verification checks.
  • It is necessary to identify customers age at the start of the shopping experience so that stores can deliver appropriate content.

Online age verification and identity assurance solutions have come a long way in recent years, and solutions are constantly developing. Emerging technologies include mobile ID verification using customers smartphone camera, and utilising facial comparison technology.

Despite retailers being concerned with the loopholes in self-certify age verification, not enough of them are fully exploiting the power of KYC checks through specialist credit check or identity check software.

The latest age verification software integrates seamlessly into online stores, providing real time checks with no interruption for the user.

How can we help?

Capita Identity Solutions, a Security Watchdog product, can offer state-of-the-art technologies to ensure ID and Age Verification is an integrated part of your customers online experience.