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Four Key Contracts Between Your eCommerce Business and Customers

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When engaging with online users and customers, such as selling goods, your eCommerce business will form various contracts. Contracts are where two parties make a legal agreement with an offer, an acceptance, and an intention to be bound. Contracts can protect your online business and show best practices to ensure it complies with laws. This article will explain four key contracts between your eCommerce business and customers in the UK.

Key Contracts Between eCommerce Businesses and Customers 

As an eCommerce business, you will have contracts with customers and online users who may purchase from you. We explain four types of contracts below.

  1. Terms of Service

As an eCommerce business, one of your most commonly used agreements is your terms of service contract with your online users. You may also refer to this as terms of use. These lay out the relationship between you and your website users. They are crucial for your eCommerce business as they protect you from unauthorised access to your website.

In particular, your terms of service might contain rules like:

  • how internet users must use your website, including any limitations, such as that online users cannot upload defamatory content;
  • what you can do if your internet users do not use your website correctly, such as restricting the user’s access to your site and deleting offending material;
  • what services online users might expect when they are on your site;
  • your intellectual property ownership rights, such as trademarks you may own; and
  • what law governs your website.

When creating your terms of service contract with your online users, you must ensure that it complies with the law.

  1. Privacy Policy

Another critical contract to implement is a privacy policy. Under the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), all eCommerce websites must have a privacy policy. The GDPR concerns how you collect personal information from your online users and customers. Therefore, your privacy policy should explain:

  • what kinds of customer data you gather;
  • how you gather customer data;
  • how you use customer data;  
  • how you manage customer data; and 
  • how you protect customer data. 

As an eCommerce business, your privacy policy holds significant advantages. It functions as a customer contract between you and your customers. If a dispute arises regarding the handling of customer data by your internet brand, it provides liability protection. Moreover, it fosters trust among your customers in your eCommerce business. By offering transparency it establishes credibility with your internet brand and online users alike.

  1. Subscription Agreement

Your eCommerce business may have a subscription agreement with your customers. This will be necessary if you are a subscription-based business. This outlines the agreement between your business and online customers, defining the terms and conditions of your subscription-based relationship. For example, a subscription agreement may cover information about:

  • payment;
  • what the subscription is for; and
  • your termination policies.
  1. Warranties

As an eCommerce business, you can establish another essential contract with internet customers called a warranty. Warranties serve as valuable agreements by instilling confidence in potential customers, ultimately aiding in expanding your customer base. Additionally, they safeguard the products you sell, reinforcing your commitment to online customers and bolstering their confidence in product expectations. By promising product quality, especially for pricier e-commerce transactions, you enhance trust and satisfaction.

Moreover, offering extended warranties supports excellent customer service from your eCommerce brand. Warranties also provide flexibility for your customers, simplifying the cancellation process when necessary.

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Key Takeaways

As an eCommerce business, you maintain numerous contracts with your online users and customers. Your internet businesses establish terms of service or terms of use, outlining rules for online users’ site usage and expectations. Additionally, you’re obligated by law as an eCommerce business to possess a privacy policy, serving as a contract between you and your online users or customers. Another contract type you might have is a subscription agreement, should you offer subscriptions. Lastly, warranties serve as crucial contracts between your eCommerce brand and customers, making promises and protecting their products.

If you need help understanding key contracts between your eCommerce business and your customers, our experienced contract lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

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Clare Farmer

Clare Farmer

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