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Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to write e-commerce terms and conditions

By Alex Buka

e-commerce terms and conditions
Terms and conditions detail website policies and information
Terms and conditions are one of the most essential documents on your website. It provides your customers with information about your services and regulates legal issues, which may arise as a result of using your website.

You do not have to start from scratch, there are many terms and conditions generators available online, but we advise you to take a moment and think about your policy to make sure that your document contains the most important information.

Create terms & conditions specific to your business

Terms and conditions templates available online are usually very generic and although creating a document based on one of these templates is a good starting point, you should also consider the following things:

  •       What kind of customer data is required from your customers? How will it be stored?
  •       What delivery options will your customers have? What are your shipping costs?
  •       How do you plan to deal with complaints and returns?
  •       Are there any trademarks, copyright or intellectual property you want to protect?
  •       Do you accept any liabilities?

Before you move on to writing your own terms and conditions, answer these few questions and make notes, which will help you remember about the important things.

Get inspired by your competition

To make sure that you have not forgotten about anything important and to find useful expressions you can visit your competitors’ websites (online companies in your field of expertise) and copy parts of their terms and conditions. Of course, do not copy everything as it is, use only those parts, which can be applied to your type of business. Make also sure that you are comfortable with the conditions described by your competitors. Do not make any declarations, which you cannot support. For example, do not promise free shipping and returns, if you can’t bear the costs.

Keep it clear and simple

Your terms and conditions should be written in a simple, easy to understand manner. Legal terms and expressions are important, but use them only when you describe your legal obligations. Those parts, which describe the way you handle orders and returns should be written in a simple language. 

Make sure that information on important issues is easy to find. Divide your text using headings and subheadings. At the end of your terms and conditions put a few questions and answers explaining the most important functionalities of your online store. Create a separate privacy  policy, which describes in details what kind of personal information about your customers is collected, used and stored by your company. Provide a link to your Privacy Policy in your terms and conditions.
Make sure your terms and conditions are easy to find

Last, but not least, make sure that your customers can access your Terms & Conditions from every product page. Before completing the order, ask your customers to read and accept your Terms & Condition. If you need Magento customization services to improve the functionality of your online store and the placement of Terms & Conditions on your website, do not hesitate to hire Magento e-commerce designer. Remember that professional appeal of your online store and its functionality are crucial for your customers.       

About the author: Alex Buka is a writer and Social Media Marketer in the Magento custom development company with 3+ years of experience in SEO, IT copywriting and social media management.

Image: Author owned and licensed