As an eCommerce brand, you want to make sure you are covered with the right policies. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to go over 5 online store policies your Shopify store needs.
I know that this isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s important to have it in place so your customers can feel comfortable shopping your online store.
Plus, online store policies if not put into practice can expose your business to fines & fees. And we want to avoid that, so let’s take care of it now.
What Are Online Store Policies?
They are a set of guidelines that help protect your customers and your business from confusion. Policies exist so that it’s clear what is happening when people interact with your business. It’s also a great way to set the tone for how you do business online.
5 Online Store Policies Your Shopify Store Should Have
Here are a few online store policies you should have for your Shopify store. So you can ensure that you are providing an amazing customer experience for your customers.
Online Store Terms & Conditions
Terms & Conditions are in place to state the rules of engagement for your online business. Whether you are using third-party links like (social media, email marketing, etc.) You need terms and conditions for some of the following reasons.
- Protect intellectual property or copyright infringement. If you create your own products, this is vitally important.
- Maintain control of your website and its users.
- Reduce the liability of any warranties you may offer for purchases on your website.
- Address commonly asked questions by customers so they can complete their purchases.
- Cover any potential damages you may be responsible for in case there is a dispute.
When you’re serving quite a few people on a day-to-day basis, you can see why all of this is important.
Online Store Return Policy
Another essential online store policy is your eCommerce return policy. Having a clear return policy will help you reduce questions regarding how to handle concerns with purchases.
Depending on the type of products you are selling. You’ll want to be clear on exactly how your return policy works. Things to note so that customers are clear on your return policy are.
- Can they do returns at all?
- What types of products are allowed for returns?
- What is the expected condition of returned products?
- How many days do they have to request a return?
- How does the return process work?
Make sure that this policy is in a visible location so that customers can refer to it as they are shopping. Having a clear return policy will also instill better trust in your brand & business.
- How information is collected and used
- Where the information comes from (such as sales transactions, analytics tracking.)
- The legal basis for using this information (such as fulfilling an order transaction, or contacting you regarding a purchase.)
- How information is shared (for ex. With third-party apps like subscriptions tools)
- How you protect your customers’ information
Honestly, privacy policies are constantly changing as they adopt new rules all the time. With the advances in technology such as artificial intelligence and beyond. More and more people are really looking into how their information is being used.
Seriously, look at any of the latest news regarding Facebook. Privacy and the use of information are one of the top conversation pieces.
Online Store Shipping Policy
A hot topic for any only retailer is shipping. Whether your customers receive their orders or something happens during transportation. An online store shipping policy is a must.
Set the expectations around shipping timelines & costs early so there aren’t any surprises for your customers. Especially when outside circumstances can affect how customers receive their items.
Communicate the right information that your customers need to help make better decisions.
Here are some ideas that your shipping policy should include:
- Order processing times (for ex. If 2-day shipping is not possible, let people know)
- Where do you ship? (Only domestic and/or international)
- Shipping costs (what qualifies for free shipping? if any)
- What are the delivery options? (for ex. Local pickup, in-store pickup, etc.)
- Order delays (life happens, so keep people up to date)
Tip: a good way to communicate your shipping policy is through an announcement bar on your website. This will help with transparency and also help with sales conversions.
Online Store Personalization Policy
As a way to offer something unique to your customers, you may offer personalization of items such as embossing or engraving. If so, you’ll want to ensure you have a clear policy on how special products are handled.
Your customers will want to know
- If they can return personalized items
- Can they exchange personalized items
- What are the wait times for personalized items
This special addition to your products can add a more exclusive touch to your customers’ purchases. By being clear on how you handle personalization in your business. Your customers will know what they are investing in and also that they should be sure that they are taking the time to review what they want before purchasing.
Where Should Your Online Store Policies Be Placed On Your Website?
A good place to showcase your policies is in the footer or bottom of your website. Most customers expect to find that information in those areas of your website.
Another great place to add your policies is via the FAQ section of your site. For example, you could have a FAQ question that asks. What is your return policy? Then answer the question as a response.
You may choose to pull out parts of your policies and place them on your website. For example, use an announcement bar on your website to communicate shipping information.
Now that you know you need these policies, where do you find them?
Resource for Online Store Policies
You can write your own policies or use some verbiage Shopify starts you off with. Or you can purchase a template that gives you most of the information you’ll need to have an effective policy for your website.
One of my recommended resources is Termageddon (aff. link). Termageddon keeps up with all the latest privacy laws that are happening in the world. One of the major benefits of using their templates is that they keep them up to date. So instead of buying a one-off template that never gets updated, you’ll have the latest information.
Termageddon offers a variety of templates that supports eCommerce websites such as
- Cancellation policy
- Refund policy
- Subscription clauses
- Intellectual property rights clauses
- Protection from liability and lawsuits
- Plus, more
Using their online generator, you can generate your policies in no time and change them to include the custom language of your business.
So check Termageddon out, it’s cost-effective and can help you have ease of mind while navigating online.