When starting a new store, we all know the excitement of getting everything laid out how we like it. But when it comes to policies, most of us dont have a clue where to begin.
Thankfully Shopify has a nice generic template we can use…great! but is it really that great?
What newcomers need to understand is that it is only a template, not a finished, legally binding document. I would say at least 90% of new stores i see, have slapped the template on and called it a day. This is not how it works. Because Shopify thought they would make life easier for us by creating a template, and within that template, there are sections in brackets and nice big capital letters so its easy for us to see, telling us exactly what we need to add, or remove accordingly. they will look a little like [ADD/REMOVE AS NEEDED] or something like [DO/DO NOT ACCEPT RETURNS] or even sometimes it may say [ENTER YOUR EMAIL HERE]
Now these are fantastic for us to sweep through, change or add what they are telling us to, and we have an instant, legally binding document on our website that covers our arses should some undesirable try to sue us.
The problem however is this…..Too many people are not adding or changing their info in these brackets. They are putting the generic template up, without changing a single thing. The general public, and potential customers can see with their own eyes (Yes, those bracketed sections show up publically if not amended) that it is an unfinished document. Now this leads to 2 problems….
Problem 2 – You are opening yourself up to serious legal issues. I know this may sound absurd, but there are people out there that actively search out sites like these for an easy court victory and payout. You do not have a leg to stand on if your policies are not in order, and you run the risk of losing everything (not just your site, Im talking everything you posess)
So seriously, it takes quite literally 10 minutes max to change the required fields. 10 minutes to make your site compliant, look more professional, and cover your own backside if and when issues arise. Please, do yourself a favour and do it.
I strongly believe that Shopify should have a system that does not allow you to publish your site until the documents have been filled correctly (like when you fill in an online form and miss a mandatory section, it tells you and wont let you submit until its filled) This would stop people from throwing up these half baked sites, and help people understand the importance of these documents. As Shopify is the go to platform these days, I think they have a certain responsibility to their store owners. Maybe I will put this to them as a suggestion. But until that day arrives, it is Your responsibility to cover yourself.