When setting up an E-commerce website, there are a few steps to keep in mind. Some of these steps are not optional. Most are required by your payment gateway to help you lower your risk of fraud or complaints.

1) SSL Certificate for your domain (i.e. HTTPS)

To ensure you are securing vital data coming from your clients or customers, you should have a SSL Certificate installed on your site. This will encrypt the data sent from the client’s or customer’s browser to the website. Most users, if they are cautious, will notice if you are not using a secure communication during checkout as most browsers call it out. For example, Google Chrome will place “Not Secure” next to your domain if the URL used is not secure. You can get free SSL certificates, but paying for a higher encryption certificate does make a difference.

2) Privacy Policy

When you are collecting data such as addresses, phone numbers, and credit card details, you want to make sure that you have a Privacy Policy in place and that an end user can find that policy on your site. This policy states how you will use, gather, or manage their private data. Examples of Privacy Policies can be found and customized to your needs. Shopify has an easy generator along with other policy examples.

3) Terms and Condition Policy

Terms and conditions policy exist to maintain your rights for your site. This allows you to exclude users who abuse how they use your site. This policy is also called Terms of Service or Terms of Use. Have this policy available on your site as well. Typically you see policies in the same general area such as the footer of a site. Shopify has a generator for that too!

4) Refund Policy

Having a refund policy on your site will help your customers and clients understand what would happen if something goes sideways with your product or service or the item isn’t what they expected. This will clarify exactly where you are when it’s time to work out this type of situation. This does not mean you HAVE to accept refunds. Just where you stand on the topic. Shopify has a generator for that too!

5) Contact Info

Contact info is key for customers or clients to feel like there is someone on the other side of this purchase. If they needed to get a hold of you with a question or an issue on the site, they can find a way to contact you.

6) Detailed Description of Product / Services

The more descriptive you can be about your product and services means less support calls or emails. Not all individuals are visual nor are they all readers. A variety of images, dimensions, terms of service, various file formats… if someone could ask a question about the product or service, add the answer to preemptively squash that question.

7) Instructions or FAQs

To help lower support calls, emails, or bad reviews, provide videos or documentation on how to use your product or how to access that service that the client just bought. It may be as simple as having a list of questions and answers you’ve received and answered time and time again. Providing a way for users to self serve will go a long way for the hours needed for support as well as for reviews afterwards

8) Shipping costs

Be upfront about shipping costs. No user likes to be surprised by how much a $5 pen will actually costs $13 with shipping.

9) Automate

Managing orders will require a system to keep tables on where orders are and when items will ship. If at all possible, automate any part of the after purchase workflow.

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