E-Commerce Terms and Conditions
More and more sales are being made online, both by traditional high street shops which are increasingly expected to have an online store, and by businesses which have set up primarily on the web. With this burgeoning trend of e-commerce, it’s vital that you have a set of appropriate terms and conditions that are properly applied. It should be noted that e-commerce Ts and Cs deal with online sales and are distinct from website terms which cover general use of the website.
What should be included in e-commerce terms and conditions?
If your business sells goods, services or digital content online, there are various details which should be included in your Ts and Cs. You’ll need to specify your full company details, including the geographical address and email. Payment details and delivery arrangements and charges must all be included. It’s important to outline cancellation rights, particularly for consumers who have a “cooling off period” of 14 calendar days. Also remember to give details of your returns policy and process, as well as any guarantees you provide to customers.
It’s important that you adequately describe your products in your online store and provide a full breakdown of costs. If your sales are B2C, getting the description right is even more crucial, as it’s an implied term of a consumer contract that the goods match any description. It’s best to use a different set of Ts and Cs depending on whether you’re dealing with other businesses or consumers.
How can I properly implement e-commerce terms and conditions?
As with any type of contract, terms and conditions will only be applied by the courts if they were clearly brought to the attention of the customer before the contract was formed. So you need to consider the way a purchase is made on your website and the various steps that are taken by a purchaser. You should ensure that your Ts and Cs are available via a link on every page of your site. To increase the likelihood of your terms being applied to the contract, try to use methods which indicate that you have taken efforts to encourage customers to actually read the terms, such as making them scroll through a box containing them and clicking on an “accept” button prior to payment being made. Make sure that any onerous or unusual terms are very clearly highlighted; the more onerous or unusual, the more important it is to bring these to the attention of the customer.
We have a range of up-to-date e-commerce terms and conditions which can be used by your business and adapted to your needs. These can be downloaded from our Business Documents Folder. Click on the relevant links below for further information.