You might still be wondering why a Terms and Conditions agreement is so important for an eCommerce website. After all, when you purchase goods from a regular store, you don’t sign a contract with the cashier or the manager – essentially, a Terms and Conditions agreement makes it easier to resolve disputes if they arise.
Remember, if you’re selling services or goods, there’s a lot that can go wrong, and it’s very often not your fault.
In this article, we will lay out what an eCommerce website T&C agreement entails, what you need to consider to give your business the best legal cover possible, why T&C agreements are so important for your eCommerce website, and how to display your T&C Agreement.
What is an eCommerce Terms and Conditions (T&C) agreement?
A Terms and Conditions agreement is a legally binding agreement that allows you to protect your business and limit your liability. It includes the terms, the rules, and the guidelines of acceptable behavior and other useful sections to which users must agree in order to use or access your website or mobile app.
For an eCommerce store a good Terms and Conditions should contain the following clauses:
- Limitations of liability
- Intellectual property/trademark protection
- Pricing and payment terms, including shipping, returns, exchanges and cancellations
- Product information
- Dispute resolution
Why Does an eCommerce website Need a Terms and Conditions Agreement?
While it is true that hardly anyone reads a site’s T&C document, it does not hurt to create one, particularly if you are an eCommerce merchant. Below are reasons to outline your Terms and Conditions:
- It provides legal protection for you and your business especially from a liability
- It clarifies your online store’s checkout process
- It protects your intellectual property and trademarks and defines acceptable use cases
- It gives a detailed account of how you intend on handling and resolving disputes
- It gives you a platform to explain your payment terms, delivery terms, product information, warranties, return/refund policy, order cancellation and so forth
How to Display Your Terms and Conditions Agreement
The next step is knowing how and where to display it – since the T&C is there to protect you and your customers, it is in both your best interests to place it somewhere noticeable.
Below are a few key places to display them:
- Website Footer
- Account Creation and Login
In conclusion, you are not legally required to have Terms and Conditions, but it is a vital part of running an eCommerce business. It is in you and your customer’s best interests to have this agreement because legal disputes are a nightmare for any merchant, especially if it is an avoidable one.
You can write your own Terms and Conditions easily – just make sure you include the several important clauses discussed in this article, display it adequately on your site, and get explicit, active consumer agreement through click-wrap methods.
To ensure long term success, take preventing measures by setting up your Terms and Conditions agreement – once you have it done, you can focus on other things, like sales and profits.