Having an eCommerce website goes beyond the features... the checkout buttons, website copy, product images, and more.
It's more than that. Because you also need to lay out some rules when it comes to using your website and content.
And that's by having a terms and conditions section on your website!
But wait... you probably think writing legal agreements on your website can be daunting. Well, it's true... but you need to have one.
Fret not. Because in this blog, we'll discuss...
- What are eCommerce terms and conditions?
- Why do you need a terms and conditions page on your eCommerce website?
- What to include in your terms and conditions page?
- How to create your terms and conditions?
First, you need to know...
What are eCommerce terms and conditions?
Terms and conditions are the rules you set for your website and users. These are the rules your customers or users need to follow when using your website or app.
That's why if you noticed... when you sign up for an app or platform, you need to tick off a box that says you agree to the terms and conditions upon account creation.
But not everyone reads them, or they're lazy to do so. They think it's not necessary... but it is. And let me tell you why.
Why do you need a terms and conditions page on your eCommerce website?
Having eCommerce terms and conditions will...
1. Protect your content
Your terms and conditions will state that you own the copyright to your content. This means it will be a violation if someone steals your copyright, trademark, and intellectual property.
You can protect your digital assets and company's symbolisms to make sure no one can use them for their own benefit.
The terms and conditions can also...
2. Limit liabilities
You can limit liabilities by having eCommerce terms and conditions. Because usually, terms and conditions state a disclaimer and limitations of liability.
For example, you have a blog for your eCommerce store. You can state that if a user applies your tips in real life, you don't have any liability for the consequences.
It means they can't hold you liable for any damages or consequences. And think of it... that will save your company from legal disputes that may arise.
Overall, eCommerce terms and conditions will...
3. Protect your eCommerce business
Laying out your rules will protect your eCommerce business from abuses, violations of your intellectual property, and more.
And having terms of conditions will also allow you to do whatever it is that will harm others or won't do any good to your business.
For example, you state in your terms and conditions that no one can use any content from your website to intimidate others. If ever they do, you have all the right to take the necessary legal action.
So, already wondering...
What are the important things to include in your terms and conditions page?
Terms and conditions must be precise, but we'll discuss some of the most important clauses you need to have.
Let's start with...
You're obtaining personal and payment information from your customers as an online store. So, it's vital to disclose how and where you're going to use the information.
You can state that you will not share the information with third-party companies. Or you're going to use their emails to send promotional campaigns.
This is also crucial because some laws and regulations protect citizens' data. Like the European Union with EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Another one is...
Cookies are pieces of data that certain websites use to monitor users. Cookies can also remember information about the users.
This will inform your users or visitors that you're using them and the reason why. Here's an example:
This is from Amazon's Privacy Notice page. It was stated that cookies would help provide and improve their users' website experience.
3. Liability clause
A limitation of liabilities clause protects eCommerce stores from potential damages that may arise when customers or users use something from your website/business.
This includes physical or digital products, content, etc. This is an essential part of your website because that will protect you from possible responsibilities.
For example, state that you are not liable for consequences, personal injury, loss of profits, intangible losses, and other possible damages from using your products or services.
You also need to protect your intellectual property rights, so include an...
4. Intellectual property clause
To protect your assets and intellectual property, it's best to include an intellectual property section on your eCommerce website. This states that you own the logos, patents, trademarks, designs, etc.
An intellectual property cause will highlight how others can use your assets outside your website without prior written consent.
Also, don't forget to include a...
5. Termination clause
A termination clause states that you have the right to terminate a user's account if they violate your rules.
For example, you don't allow explicit content when customers interact with others on your eCommerce website. If someone does, you can deal with them based on your terms and conditions.
It can be through warnings, suspension of account, or worse... deletion. So, make sure that you have a termination clause to keep your website a positive and healthy space for other customers.
The next one is...
6. Third-party websites
You're probably linking to other websites on your web content. A disclaimer about third-party websites or links ensures that you have no control over their content.
You need to tell them you are not responsible for any problem that may happen when they take action using those links.
Another thing to remember is a...
7. Dispute resolution clause
A dispute resolution clause talks about how you will handle disputes with users. This will help both parties because it states how to resolve a conflict.
8. Governing law clause
Most websites are accessible anywhere in the world. That's why you must include a governing laws clause in your terms and conditions.
You need to include the country that governs your website. It can be where your business is located. This clause states which country or state has jurisdiction over legal disputes that may emerge.
So, these are some important clauses to have in your terms and conditions agreement.
If you want to see a terms and conditions page, you can check out Debutify's Term of Use to give you a glimpse of what it looks like.
Also, for you to have an idea when you make one. Speaking of which...
How to create a terms and conditions page on your website?
There are many ways to do so... but I'll give you three.
1. Write your own
Yep, you can write your own terms and conditions. Make sure to check out some inspiration, so you have an idea of how to draft your own.
Remember, the terms and conditions page is a crucial part of your website. So, prepare and research what you need to include in your terms and conditions.
This can guarantee you're not going to miss anything when creating one.
If you want to make your life easier, you can...
2. Use templates
There are terms and conditions templates available for your website. Aside from this will save you some time, you can also make sure you're not missing the important clauses.
These templates are customizable. You can create one based on your needs and the nature of your business.
Here are some terms and conditions templates you can check out:
If you're still in doubt, it's best to...
3. Consult a legal expert
Generally, you don't need a lawyer to create terms and conditions. But of course, it depends. You may need a lawyer to help you with trademarks, payment terms, or complying with data regulations.
You can check out legal writers or any legal counsel to help you. This way, you can assure that the terms and conditions are specific to your business needs.
So, if you need help in drafting one or outlining the rules you need on your online store... consult a legal expert.
Now, make sure to...
Protect your eCommerce business by having terms and conditions on your online store!
Since the internet can be tricky, it can confuse other people about what is allowed or not in the digital space. And it's best to protect your eCommerce store from unwanted circumstances.
But wait, that's not all... because here's another policy you need to have on your website that will benefit your customers!