eCommerce Policies 101

Store policies are almost as important as the products you sell. Why, you might wonder? Simply because they establish the confidence people need to buy from you, amongst other things. And when you sell, trust is everything. Your policies are a set of rules which explain what you can offer and what protocol to follow in certain situations. They present relevant information about what to expect from the website, how information and data are being collected, restrictions, conditions and many others.

Having them present on your website shows visitors and customers alike that you are devoted to customer service and you are taking measures to protect yourself and your shoppers. Many people consider policies an efficient way to remove uncertainties, doubts and fears they might have before buying a product. Definitely a key element worth having!

Let’s look into some tips on how you can have great policies on your website.

#1 Essential policies needed for an eCommerce shop

⦿ Returns & Refunds
⦿ Shipping & Taxes
⦿ Payment
⦿ Privacy Policy

#2 Use a simple language

Only use policies that make sense to your business and add important information that will help your customers. Keep the language simple and don’t overdo it. The simpler, the better. Nobody wants to deal with complicated statements which aren’t very clear. Write your policies using a friendly tone. Avoid authoritative language that comes across as a command. Always be on the customer’s side, acknowledge that they aren’t happy and let them know you have a solution to their problem.

Don’t forget to add a statement of gratitude in your content to show your customers you value their business.

#3 Placement on the website

All policies should be easy to find and most shops choose to display them in the footer, in the menu, on product pages and also on the checkout page. Having them present on checkout is recommended as it reassures the customers before buying and also gives them the chance to agree to the terms and conditions. Another popular place for your policies is the email confirmations your customers get after they purchase your products.

#4 What to include in your policies

Returns & Refunds

⦿ Include timelines – clearly state how many days they have to return a product from the date of delivery
⦿ If you don’t offer returns, don’t be scared to say that. Just be clear about your rules.
⦿ Mention any restrictions people should be aware about
⦿ Do you offer exchanges? If yes, explain the procedure.
⦿ Specify the number of days it takes for the customer to get the refund
⦿ Return conditions – packaging requirements for example
⦿ Reimbursement options and additional fees
⦿ Consider building an FAQ page for your returns, they are very popular and user-friendly!

Shipping & Taxes

⦿ Domestic or international? Customers need to know.
⦿ Include special shipping costs and special offers (free delivery on orders over $100)
⦿ Mention the shipping handling time
⦿ Specify your shipping methods together with the expected delivery time
⦿ Explain additional costs if any, as well as taxes that might apply

Payment

⦿ Include the accepted payment methods
⦿ Explain more if needed – how Paypal works for example
⦿ If you accept vouchers or gift cards, make sure your customers know about it

Privacy Policy

⦿ Talk about what information is collected
⦿ Explain how the collected data is used
⦿ Mention how the information is stored and protected
⦿ Include disclaimers
⦿ Talk about cookies and other tracking software, if any

#5 Additional policies

There are a lot of things you can include on your website that would improve the customer experience. To name a few, you can add pages to explain more about warranties, wholesale inquiries, membership policy, size charts, coupons, discounts, packaging and so on.

Always have your customers in mind when you create your policies. Think about what they need to check, read and be aware of. The smallest detail can make a difference and people really appreciate when you take the time to offer them additional information.