Shortly answered – yes, you do! And in this article I will explain why it is necessary and worth to do it! Especially in your handmade business 🙂
I decided to start from the legal issues because are the hardest and the most important part if you want to succeed. If you make this part you may gain customers’ trust and make them feel that you are actually a professional.
THIS IS NOT A LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD CONTACT SPECIALIST IN ORDER TO GET SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CASE.
No matter where you set your shop you should have clearly described:
- Your shop rules
General terms about the contract you make with a customer and answers to all questions that may appear on the way. When they can still cancel the order? When they can change some specifics about it? E.g. you approve the orders every day at some time – write it and give them time till this hour to cancel their order. If there is a personalized product and it includes someone’s text and you know you add it in the end of the production, write that they may still change the text till then! Customers like to know that you are open to help them to be the most satisfied with your product ?
You have probably some experience with what customers ask about (FAQ). You should clarify them as well. This way, a customer that is on your website and is looking for some more information may find it easily and not give up when he doesn’t find it at all – most customers don’t bother to write a question to you because they want to buy immediately. So answer those questions in your terms and make everything clear. E.g. you sell some ceramic pieces and it may seem a sensitive product to send by post. But you know that you protect your products for shipment and you have never had any complaints about it. Write it then or even underline. Convince them that there is nothing to worry about.
2. Product description:
Write all the details about the product – dimensions, weight, materials used etc. On top of it add how to clean or preserve the product so it serves longer. Add how long does it take for you to make it (including some extra spare time for extraordinary situations – you may have a lot of orders or something personal may happen. It is better to write that it takes longer and do it actually faster than to write to the customer that you will have to postpone it. Remember that they may also need it for some particular time and you don’t want to disappoint them!).
Write what is included and if there are any supplements to this product that a customer may buy as well – on our platform you will be able to add such products as up-sells and cross-sells but I will write more about this topic later.
3. Shipping methods:
Customers like to have a choice. Some of them prefer using post, some of the prefer DHL, UPS or some parcel lockers. Don’t underestimate this topic as some of them may resign from your offer because the delivery option doesn’t suit them. Write also all the prices to each EU country (or wherever you send your products to) and estimated time for delivery. Maybe you offer free shipping starting from some amount? That is great, write it! I also want to write about this later because customers love free shipments! But you should just know how to set your prices right way so you can do it efficiently ?
4. Payment metods
In your shop you can have different payments options. The most common one is credit card and the best provider of safe transactions is Stripe (also used by FB). Make an account and give your customers another possibility. The same for PayPal. Everyone knows PayPal. If you have those payment methods that means you are trustworthy as well (even if they would choose some other payment method in the end!
5. Returns policies
Customers have a right to return a product that doesn’t fit them during some period of time (even 30 days in some countries) – it is for products that you already have and you want to sell them. However, if the product was made on request and/or with some personalization, this rule doesn’t apply. Even if it is a general law – write it. Some customers are still not aware of it and this way you will avoid any problems and their disappointment afterwards. It is better to write more then less in such cases.
You should give a possibility to a customer to complain about your product. Here you should write what is the procedure to do so – e.g. date, order number, subject of the complaint, what happened, what are his expectations etc. sent to your email or via platform? Maybe you have a special form to fill?
Customers also like guarantees – that means you are convinced about the quality of your product! Guarantees are not obligatory but if you give them you gain more trust. As I saw already what you make, I would say that it seems very reasonable to give them for furniture pieces. It is something more expensive that by default should serve them longer without a break. But there are many different guarantees and you can make one too that is not related to strength of a product – “satisfaction guarantee” or “great present guarantee” (remember to explain what does it mean and what are the conditions)… There are many inspirations on Internet, think what could work for your type of product.
8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Write couple of questions that customers ask you about and answer them. You will limit the questions afterwards, safe some time and make yourself look more professional! Dispel all their doubts. They are looking at your product now, later they can find some other offer. Make them stop here and be sure they are making the right choice buying with you.
Here is the official EU law on this regards I recommend to read in a first place.
It may take some time to do all this but it is important if you want to succeed and get more orders. This way you are building image of your brand and gain trust of your potential customers.
As a BONUS I attach a file below so that you can print all the questions from today’s post and really take time to think about it. So let’s grab a pen and let’s start from the scratch ?
And don’t forget to write in the comments your thoughts! ? It is important to me know what you think!
Have a great day,
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