privacy policy for ecommerce website

Adding Privacy Policy to Your eCommerce Website (Download Sample Privacy Policy)

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18 min read

What is a privacy policy and how to write privacy policy for your eCommerce website?

A Privacy Policy is a legal agreement that summarizes key details about how a business or website collects, manages, and protects the personal information of its customers.

If you run an eCommerce store, you must have a privacy policy. It reassures customers that their private data will be protected and helps you meet regulatory requirements. Moreover, in some countries, these privacy policies are subject to privacy laws as well. For example, if your eCommerce store is based in Arizona but you are doing business in China, Japan, Korea, etc, then you must comply with the privacy policy of all four regions.

In other words, a privacy policy is important for any eCommerce store because-

  • Required by Law: It protects your business from unnecessary risks and lawsuits. Some countries even passed privacy bills to protect personal information used in eCommerce stores. like GDPR, CCPA, PIPL, PIPEDA, etc.
  • Required by third-party services: Google Analytics, Google AdSense, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Chatbots, etc all collect information from customers. You should let customers know which services you use and how they collect personal information.
  • Promotes transparency: A privacy policy will help build trust and loyalty with the customers.
  • Important for SEO: Privacy policy will help you build trust with Google as it finds your content valuable.

Since the privacy policy is a legal document, writing it can be tricky. You will need to assess how you treat customer data while also staying in line with government regulations. That is where we come in.

Along with what clauses to enter in your privacy policy, we will also tell you how to write a privacy policy for an eCommerce website. We will also provide a template that you can use to create your own privacy policy with ease and end with some frequently asked questions.

Let’s get started.

What Clauses Should You Include in Your eCommerce Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is one of the most essential elements for an eCommerce store. It ensures you are within your limit and ensuring compliance with local, national, and international laws.

79% of Americans feel concerned about how their data is being used by companies.

Although privacy policy of your online store will depend on some additional factors like your product/service type, advertisement, and third-party integration.

But still, there are general clauses you need to include in the standard privacy policy for eCommerce websites. We will take a look at them as it will help you comply with most of the laws out there.

  1. Type of Personal Information You Collect
  2. How Do You Use Personal Information
  3. How and Why Do You Share Personal Information
  4. How Do You Use Cookies and Similar Technologies
  5. How Do You Protect Personal Information
  6. Add Usage of Opt-Out Policy and Privacy Rights
  7. How Do You Handle Children’s Personal Information
  8. Add Contact Information

1. Type of Personal Information You Collect

First and foremost, your privacy policy should start by letting your customers and website visitors know what type of personal data you collect. And you need to be as detailed as you can because they have the right to know.

The best practice is to organize this information into categories for better clarification, such as:

  • Information they provide you
  • Information collected automatically through our website
  • Information gathered through cookies, pixels, and similar technologies
  • Information obtained from external sources.

Keep in mind that most privacy laws require that you only collect data that is needed to run your business.

Here’s how eCommerce giant eBay presents this clause in their privacy policy,

A screenshot of the ebay data collection privacy policy

Related link: Adding Essential Pages & Features to Your eCommerce Website.

2. How Do You Use Personal Information

After identifying what type of information you will collect, next you need to let customers know how you are going to use that personal information. For example, eCommerce stores usually use this kind of information for shipping, showing ads, retargeting, processing payments, etc.

You need to describe them clearly in your privacy policy.

Here’s how Walmart uses this clause in its privacy policy.

A screenshot of the Walmart usage of the personal information privacy policy

3. How and Why Do You Share Personal Information

As we said earlier, eCommerce stores have integrations with many third parties. They need to share the data they collect for many purposes. For example, they share home addresses with their shipping partners, credit card details with their payment partners, demographic information with a marketing agency, etc.

So you need to be upfront about who you are sharing the information with and why in your privacy policy. Also, you can add a business transfer section so that in the future if your business merges with another business how the customer information will be handled.

Here’s how Apple handles this clause in its privacy policy.

A screenshot of Apple sharing personal data

4. How Do You Use Cookies and Similar Technologies

Cookies are small text files created by browsers and stored on users’ devices when visiting a website. They are often used to store personal information, observe browsing habits, and provide a personalized experience for customers. You may see them when you visit a website as a pop-up or a banner.

This is an essential privacy clause every eCommerce store should have. They need to address the usage of cookies and similar technologies. Also, if your third parties use cookies or similar technologies, then you need to let your customers know as well. Alternatively, you may create a Cookies Policy on a separate page on your website.

Here’s eBay’s policy about using cookies and similar technologies.

A screenshot of the eBay cookie using policy_how to write privacy policy for ecommerce website

Related link: 8 Actionable Tips to Protect Your WordPress eCommerce Website.

5. How Do You Protect Personal Information

This is a critical section of your eCommerce store’s privacy policy. You need to mention how you are going to store and protect your customer information. As an eCommerce store owner, you handle a lot of sensitive data like credit card details.

If you don’t want to bring down any penalties for negligence, you must implement reasonable security measures to protect personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

You can accomplish this by:

  • Restricting access only to authorized personnel,
  • Employing organizational and technical measures to protect personal information like firewalls, encryption software, two-factor authentication, etc.

Here’s Walmart’s approach to protecting users’ personal information.

A screenshot of the Walmart privacy policy of Securing personal information

6. Add Usage of Opt-Out Policy and Privacy Rights

Customers should be able to control access, update, and delete their personal data as well as opt-out of sharing certain information with you or your third parties. And this should be part of your privacy policy. it should clearly inform customers about their privacy rights and opt-out options.

Addressing this clause is not only a good business practice to adopt but is mandatory under most privacy laws such as the GDPR and CCPA.

Adidas’s policy of privacy rights.

A screenshot of the Adidas data rights privacy policy_how to write privacy policy for ecommerce website

Related link: eCommerce Glossary: 80+ Terms You Should Know in 2022.

7. How Do You Handle Children’s Personal Information

If you collect information on customers aged under 13 then you should state that in your privacy policy. The foremost authority here is the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). If you fall under its scope, you must comply with all its requirements, the most important of which is seeking parental consent.

The best practice is to include this clause so that even if you accidentally acquire their information, you aren’t at any risk.

Here’s how the famous brand Kappa uses this clause in its privacy policy.

A screenshot of the Kappa children data protection privacy policy_how to write privacy policy for ecommerce website

8. Add Contact Information

Provide your contact information in the privacy policy. So that customers can express their concerns, suggestions, and inquiries easily. You can add your email address, phone number, or physical address.

Here’s Nike’s contact information at the bottom of its privacy policy.

A screenshot of the Nike contact information at the end of it's privacy policy

Now that you know what clauses you need to include in your privacy policy, let’s see how to create a privacy policy for an eCommerce website.

Related link: 7 Proven eCommerce SEO Tips to Get More Traffic.

In the next step, you’ll learn how to write a privacy policy for eCommerce website-

How to Write a Privacy Policy for eCommerce Website

You have done your research and you know what to include in your privacy policy. Now it is time to write your privacy policy. Here is what you need to do-

  • Make a list of Everything You Need to Include
  • Write Your Policy
  • Publish Your Policy

Step1: Make a list of Everything You Need to Include

Create a list of everything you need to include in your privacy policy. We have discussed in the previous section what you needed to include in your privacy policy. For your convenience, here is a summary,

  • What type of information you will collect
  • How you will use that information
  • How you will share that information
  • Handling the cookies and similar technologies
  • Protecting the customer information
  • Figuring out opt-out and privacy rights
  • Handling children’s personal information
  • Adding contact information.

Besides these general factors, you may want to include,

  • How you’ll treat reviews posted by users
  • Whether there is a minimum age for users to view the site
  • Whether you store sensitive payment information, and if yes, where and how.

You are almost ready.

Step 2: Write Your Policy

Now it is time to write your privacy policy. You will need a quality template to create the basic structure. But you need to customize it according to your business.

However, you need to keep a few things in mind while writing the privacy policy,

  • Make it easy to read: Just because this is related to laws and regulations, that doesn’t mean you need to use meaty words. Also, it shouldn’t read like blog posts either. Write in simple words so that anyone can understand.
  • Keep it Brief: It may look like you need to include everything in the privacy policy. It may be true, but make sure to add a summary before every section so that customers get the rule right away and aren’t bound to read the whole policy.
  • Don’t forget to add contact information: Give users phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses where they can get in touch for clarification or redressal.
  • Include a date: Include the date when the policy was last updated.

Step 3: Publish Your Policy

You are almost done. Now it is time to publish your privacy policy.

While publishing your privacy policy you have to remember the intention behind your privacy policy. It is supposed to communicate trustworthiness and keep you within legal regulations. But it is also important to make the privacy policy visible and easily accessible.

To do that you can publish your privacy policy on the,

Account Registration/ Sign-up Page

The first logical place you can publish your privacy policy page is the account registration/sign-up page. That way customers should be able to review and consent to your privacy policy before creating an account.

Adding privacy policy at the bottom of the account registration page

Footer of the Website

The footer is one of the most popular places for websites to display their legal agreements, including their Privacy Policy.

Adding privacy policy at the footer of the website

Checkout Forms

This is a great way to remind customers to check out your privacy policies. Add your privacy policy to the final checkout page, so they will be reminded of them before confirming their orders.

Adding privacy policy at the checkout page

Email Newsletters

Your Privacy Policy can be displayed when offering email newsletters to your customers by placing a link to it on the sign-up form.

adding privacy policy at email newsletter signup

So, now you know how to write a privacy policy for eCommerce website that keeps your store away from all legal complicacy.

FAQ(s) On How to Create Privacy Policy for eCommerce Website

Do I need to add a privacy policy on my website?

Yes, you need to add a privacy policy on your website. If you collect personal information from users, many laws require you to include a privacy policy on your site that explains your data-handling practices.

Can I write my own privacy policy?

Yes, you can. You don’t need to hire a lawyer to write a privacy policy. You can use an online tool or template to write your own privacy policy.

Can you copy and paste the privacy policy?

No. it is illegal to copy a privacy policy. Privacy policies are protected by copyright, so copying another website’s privacy policy puts your business at risk of legal penalties. Your privacy policy should fit the unique needs of your website and comply with any applicable data privacy laws around the world.

Can I use someone else’s disclaimer?

Yes, you can. However, other sites’ disclaimers will not be specific to your activities. This can expose your site to legal liabilities if your copy-and-pasted disclaimer doesn’t include the correct information.

Learn How to Write a Privacy Policy & Protect Your Site From Any Legal Action

We are at the end of our blog and hope you have become a master in writing privacy policies for your eCommerce store.

Writing a reliable privacy policy will let customers know what they can expect from your business regarding their personal information. It also promotes transparency and protects your business from potential legal issues.

When writing your agreement, it’s important to make sure your privacy policy is not overly complex but written in simple, plain language. You must also place it in prominent locations on your website.

Do you have further queries on how to write privacy policies for eCommerce websites? Do use the comment section below!

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