Improving the effectiveness of terms and conditions in online trade
This article reports the results of a lab experiment that successfully enabled consumers to take notice of terms and conditions (T&Cs) in an online shopping environment and use these more when actively choosing between products.
T&Cs provide the consumer information on a range of important issues e.g. privacy-, transportation- and return policies.
Despite their importance, consumers seem to ignore T&Cs mainly because they can be hard to locate and compare across traders. This reduces competitive pressure on traders to provide their customers with the best overall bargain.
This analysis demonstrates, that T&Cs, which are easy to understand and presented up front to the consumer, at the time of purchase, are far easier for the consumer to use.
This may also increase pressure on traders to compete more regularly on providing better T&Cs and to innovate on developing better T&Cs to the benefit of the consumer.