Shopify’s policy generator not legally secure

Shopify’s policy generator not legally secure

To help merchants set up their general terms and conditions, Shopify has a policy generator. It is free to use, and according to the platform, it generates individually adapted terms and conditions for a shop. However, in Germany, it seems that the generated texts are not completely legally secure.

Shopify is a widely used ecommerce software platform. Earlier this month, it launched features to generate localized online stores. The platform offers a generator that helps merchants set up their store policies. However, while keeping German laws for online stores in mind, the texts from this generator are not up to code.

Customization not comprehensive

German retailer association Händlerbund looked into the Shopify policy generator. According to their research, the individualization in the general terms and conditions clause is poor. Merchants need to include contact details, their website and the company name. Other details, like products sold by the seller or whether or not the shop is B2B, are not included.

Essential points are missing

Online sellers have several legal obligations that they need to fulfill, for example in their general terms and conditions. The research shows that some essential points are missing from the policy generated by Shopify.

General terms and conditions should include the moment a purchasing contract comes into effect. In some cases, clicking on the check-out button is that moment. In other cases, the purchasing contract is concluded by shipping the ordered product. However, the policy provided by Shopify does not include this information.

‘Warranty rights for consumers are unaffected by a store’s policies.’

A second missing point is the fact that online sellers need to inform consumers about their warranty rights. These are unaffected by the general terms and conditions. However, Shopify includes a clause in the policy that the seller is not responsible for having accurate, complete or current information. In shops, sellers are absolutely obligated to provide all relevant information. Online sellers can not rely on this clause.

Additionally, companies need to inform how customers can save the general terms and conditions that apply to their purchase. If the seller changes its policy, customers should be able to find the terms and conditions that applied to them. This note is not included by Shopify’s generator.

Implementation is lacking

According to Händlerbund, there were more faults in the generated texts. While Shopify’s intent in making this generator is helpful to sellers, the implementation is lacking. It seems inevitable that sellers will receive warnings.



Pleuni writes all types of news and background articles for Ecommerce News, where she has been working since 2019.

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