Ecommerce Terms and Conditions Protect Your Online Store - Webinar
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Does your online business have Terms and Conditions (“T&Cs”) document? If you haven’t established one for your store yet, it’s good to dedicate some time and specify your T&C because they are crucial for protecting you from potential liabilities and misunderstandings. In the case of e-commerce, that’s a vital step that you shouldn’t miss as you handle sensitive client information.
What are Terms & Conditions?
While they cannot be used to avoid complying with applicable law (e.g., GDPR), they protect you for almost everything else and can be used to set favorable conditions for your business.
Who needs Terms & Conditions?
Almost everyone from Bloggers to E-commerce, SaaS, and Enterprise businesses – as they are both practical and preventative. They often contain legally mandatory information which makes them not just practical, but necessary in some cases which brings us to e-commerce.
What’s the legally required information that applies in regards to e-commerce?
Under most countries’ consumer laws, in addition to the default required privacy disclosures, you’ll need to inform customers of the following:
- Returns/Refund details;
- Warranty/ Guarantee information (where applicable);
- Safety information, including info on proper use (where applicable);
- Terms of delivery of product/ service;
- Identifying information such as a legal address and business name;
- Industry-related legal disclosures;
- Rights of consumers (such as withdrawal rights), where applicable;
- Seller contact details (e.g., email address).
Note: In some cases, e.g., in the EU, where return and withdrawal specifics are not stated, the user is granted extended rights. So, for example, where the legal withdrawal/return time frame is 14 days, if you do not state this in your terms and conditions, the user is granted 14 days under the law. Likewise, if you do not specify who bears the return shipping cost, the cost falls to you by default.
How Terms & Conditions protect you?
Aside from helping you to comply with the law, terms also help you with handling user-related issues when they arise and – even more importantly – aid in preventing problems in the first place. They do this by setting a legally binding agreement between you and your users, on the subject of your rules for accessing/using your service.
- In regards to protecting your business in a preventative way, be sure to include things like:
- Disclaimers & limitation of liability
- Shipping, processing and return rules
- Account creation & termination conditions, accepted behavior
- Setting your law of governance
How can I create legally valid Terms and Conditions to suit my specific business?
Iubenda’s Terms and Conditions Generator lets you easily generate and manage Terms and Conditions that are professional, customizable from over 100 clauses, available in 8 languages, drafted by an international legal team, and up to date with the main international legislations.
The solution is optimized for everything from e-commerce, and apps, to complex scenarios like marketplace and Affiliate scenarios. Read more about it here. We also have a 20% discount available for SiteGround users!
Watch the Webinar
To help you go through that process, we organized and held a webinar on the topic with our friends from Iubenda. Abbie Clement, Head of Content at Iubenda and Andrea Giannangelo, CEO of Iubenda, talked about how T&Cs protect your e-store, what you need to include in your T&C, and how their service can help you with that. You can watch the recording of the webinar below:
To make it even easier for you to start, we have set up a special discount for Iubenda’s services that you can quickly get from this link or by going to SiteGround’s Marketplace. You can find the coupon in your Client Area > Marketplace > Partner Perks.
Webinar Questions Recap
When you go to a website, and they ask you to “agree” to the Terms and Conditions, do they keep any proof that you agreed to it as proof?
Yes, this is often done. It is always a good idea to keep proof of any consent that users might give. There are several ways to keep track of this: one option is to do it manually, or you can use something like Iubenda’s Consent Solution, which records and stores proof of consent for each of your users. The solution comes with a dashboard from which you can review and manage these consents. For more information on this, please visit this page.
What should be included for a service business, such as а therapist, life coach, etc.? No products or shipping involved?
The T&Cs for this kind of service should, at the minimum, contain identifying information for the company, a description of the service, risk allocation, disclaimer and liability relation information is also important for this type of business. Also, if there exist any mandatory industry-related disclosures – it’s a good idea to also add them in your
Terms & Conditions. Do note, though, that product-based businesses and service-based businesses have different warranty and withdrawal requirements, so we invite you to read further here.
How do we know what to include in T&C and how to word it? Can we add whatever we want? Go through a lawyer?
Some of Iubenda’s clients chose to work together with their lawyer when determining which clauses to add to their documents – and this is always a good idea. With that said, the Terms & Conditions Generator includes a guided set-up to id you in determining what’s needed for your site or app. Furthermore, Iubenda’s customer support staff are available via live chat or email to help you.
What are the available languages?
All of Iubenda’s solutions are available in 8 languages: English, Italian, German, French, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese.
I have terms and conditions on my e-commerce site in the UK. I buy from a supplier that offers Dropship as well as wholesale. They have no terms and conditions on refunds of postage. With distance selling, I have to refund the original postage cost, if any, and the cost of goods if the customer returns the product as they don’t like it. But the supplier only returned my product cost, not the postage. Are the rules different for Dropship suppliers?
Dropshipping is a bit tricky because often, the customer cannot return the product directly to your supplier. One way to address this issue can be to state an alternative return address in your documents. Another solution can be to add in your T&Cs that the buyer pays for the shipping cost in cases where they return simply because they do not like the product.
Overall, when it comes to dropshipping, especially with overseas-based suppliers, it’s best to understand or set all terms before working with the supplier to avoid complications. Where you can’t do this, setting favorable terms and conditions document can help – provided that they do not conflict with applicable law.
How does a potential buyer who visits an e-commerce store agree to the terms and conditions stated on the site? If the visitor does not agree, can he/she still purchase from the site?
One way to implement an “agreeing” action can be to add a checkbox and statement linking to your terms and conditions at various points throughout your site (e.g., on a sign-up form). How you chose to set this up is entirely up to you – however, it is best practice to additionally link your terms and conditions from the footer of all pages of your site so that it’s always easily accessible to users.
Regarding purchases, in most cases, websites will not allow users to purchase without first agreeing to the terms and conditions. The terms can be linked at the point of payment so that the user can read and agree (by checking a checkbox, for example) before signing up or purchasing.
If the company is registered in one country but offers online services to another, to which law should we comply to?
A good general rule of thumb is to comply with the laws of the country in which you base your operations, as well as those of the country your site targets. You can read more on this topic here.
Does your Consent Solution integrate with WordPress?
Yes, it does. Here’s a guide on how to install Iubenda’s WordPress plugin.
When we work with kids and parents, what should be considered?
Regarding kids, there are enhanced requirements. The following resources will shed some light on this topic:
How can I apply the SiteGround/Iubenda discount code to the business bundle?
Is there a developer package, or would my clients need to purchase their own license for their individual site?
Yes, you can set up an account and purchase a multi-license subscription and resell to your clients yourself, otherwise, you can join Iubenda’s affiliate program and earn 30% on each purchase while giving a 10% discount to your clients.
On your site, you talk about a “license” is that per website? So 1 website = 1 license?
Yes, one license is needed for every website or app in 1 language. So if you have 1 website available in 2 languages, then you need to buy 2 licenses to create all the documents you need. (Note: Multi-license plans are available which offer huge discounts where more than 4 licenses are needed).
Do you give your clients a choice if they want to add terms and conditions to their site?
There are multiple integration options that include a simple embedding that allows adding a widget to the footer of your website, having a direct link that you can add anywhere on your site or app. Alternatively, you can also directly embed your document into the body of your web pages or via API. For further details, see this post.
Do you have a T&C generator for tour companies?
Iubenda’s solution works for any business – we cover everything from the most common scenarios to the most complex cases. You can read more about it here.