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We Need Your Feedback


In Easy Digital Downloads v1.5, which is scheduled to be released in just under two weeks, we are looking to improve how the “Terms of Use” is handled on the checkout page.

We have had a lot of discussion on the subject, which you can read on Github and are now looking to you, the users, to provide a little feedback on what you think we should do.

There are two options at this time:

  1. Keep the terms of use exactly as they are.
  2. Move the terms of use to a normal WP page and link to it.

The second option, which is what we are considering would mean that the text that currently resides in Downloads > Settings > Misc > Terms of Use, would be automatically transferred to a new page. The text for “Agree to our terms” next to the checkbox during checkout would then be linked to this new page.

This may seem really simple and trivial, but it turns out there are actually a lot of different complications to consider, as have been detailed on the Github issue.

So what do you think? We want to hear from you!

Results

What's Your Preference?
Leave terms of use as they are (a setting in Downloads > Settings > Misc)
54%
19
Move Terms of Use to a normal WP page and link to it automatically
37%
13
Other
9%
3
Pippin Williamson

About Pippin Williamson

Pippin Williamson is the founder of Sandhills Development, the parent company for Easy Digital Downloads, AffiliateWP, WP Simple Pay, Sugar Calendar, and others. When not writing PHP, he can often be found sipping coffee or brewing beer at Sandhills Brewing.

@pippinsplugins

26 comments

  1. Pippin Williamson

    For my business, where terms of use can be stated clearly in a brief paragraph, the current system works splendidly. I absolutely would not want a buyer to be moved to another page if they want to read the terms, because that would interrupt the ordering process … maybe they would even get lost in the process.

    1. Pippin Williamson

      The link would open in a new window. With that in mind, would you still be opposed to the change?

      1. Pippin Williamson

        I am opposed to the change and here’s why:

        Opening in a new window might actually throw someone off who is unfamiliar with such things. Many of my customers will have little experience with such things and if they are taken to a new window or tab they might not understand what happened and then hit the back button to no avail. In other words, replacing the window might actually be a “safer” option than opening in a new window (I have found numerous articles on the internet supporting this claim).

        Why not offer both possibilities … the current system for most users and a new or replaced window for those who need to put forth a more lengthy contract.

        For me, the current solution is quite elegant an unobtrusive, in no way interfering with the ordering process.

        1. Pippin Williamson

          Thank you for the feedback, it’s exactly what we need.

          Offering both options won’t be possible, simply because it over complicates the feature. We’re trying to simplify it and make it more of a “normal WP experience” for site admins.

          1. Pippin Williamson

            That’s well and good, but I am focused more on my customer’s experience than I am on the experience of my site admins.

          2. Pippin Williamson
  2. Pippin Williamson

    From an international point of view, the new page approach really makes sense!

    I am from Germany, and by German law a shop owner MUST use such a terms of use page with lots of different legal stuff that really fits better on to an extra page than into a small toggle container.

    For Germany / European Union (and I guess lots of other countries too) we need a checkbox, a short text string that is actually a link to a modal window or a link to a new page in a new tab / window.

    As long as this functionality exists or could be made via functions and hooks / filters I am really for the page approach (and voted for it!).

    IMHO, it does not “damage” the customer experience – just the opposite! Modals and/or links in new tabs are really worth it in that context.

    Please don’t forget us international users 🙂
    Thanks, Dave.

    1. Pippin Williamson
      1. Pippin Williamson

        Well, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for me if the change was made. I imagine that the great majority of buyers don’t even read the terms. I rarely do.

        1. Pippin Williamson

          Fully agree, to be honest, I rarely read them myself. It doesn’t matter. The clicked checkbox is the signal for the shop owner the customer knows of the terms (and may have read them…). In Germany / EU all this is object of judicial clashes, so shop owners have just to go sure the users checked the box, then terms apply to that order, no matter if read or not…

          (Yes, these legal stuff can often go to far, and it’s really a hard burden to carry for shop owners here but in the end we have no choice…)

  3. Pippin Williamson

    In terms of quick purchase customers, any step between “add to cart” and downloading clouds the system. For me, terms and conditions scare customers, because they feel like there are strings attached to the purchase, or they’ve got to read a long list of fine print to feel comfortable making a purchase.

    I understand in Europe, the rules are much more strict, but essentially, I would want my users to have the fewest steps during checkout as possible, and feel confident doing so.

    That’s why I’m in favor of moving it to another page and not requiring further action… ie, “Purchasing implies agreement with our Terms of Service.”

  4. Pippin Williamson

    I agree with lang. I have quite a lengthy set of terms and conditions now but they slide down effortlessly and don’t distract at all from the checkout procedure. Anything that interrupts this process has been proven to reduce sales. I know people who are new to the Internet even now who have the habit of closing the window when another window pops up, not realising they have to get back to it somehow.

    Extra-long contracts can easily be added to another page via links within the slider as you have already pointed out. I have mailto links within mine.

    I really can’t imagine a strong enoguh argument for changing it. The cons far outweigh any pros. I think you have some far more useful modifications you could be spending your time on! 🙂

    1. Pippin Williamson
  5. Pippin Williamson

    FYI: I had to close the form down because a ton of spam starting coming in that was skewing the results.

  6. Pippin Williamson

    I prefer the current system mainly due to what has been stated already. I think the Terms & Conditions box works well as it seems to simplify the process. It’s possible a new window could deter someone from checking out due to confusion or a number of other reasons.

    I understand the other side of the argument though, especially in regards to David’s post.

  7. Pippin Williamson

    Opening a new window does not work well on many mobile and non-desktop devices, so I would say I want it to be on the same page.

    1. Pippin Williamson

      That’s a very good point. Especially bearing in mind that more people access the internet from their phones than from a PC these days.

  8. Pippin Williamson

    I vote for one link to a new page.

    Also, if the page opens in a new window, can we have a “Back to checkout” link on the page so the user can complete checkout, without it resetting the form?

  9. Pippin Williamson

    Hi,

    we had to create a new WP page cause the space for the ToU is simply not enough for the relevant ToU text.

    However, creating a new WP page is not the optimal solution to me as the new page can confuse a non experienced user for reasons we all understand.

    As a result this is what I consider best and what I’m voting for:

    A separate – scrollable – window – inside – the same page (Checkout) which will allow the customer to scroll down to it.

    These are used from most companies with a rather long ToU text to read and accept i.e. the ones selling digital products and/or services.

    1. Pippin Williamson

      Thanks for the feedback. We’re seriously considering all feedback that’s been given.

    2. Pippin Williamson
  10. Pippin Williamson

    I like having it on a page, but if you decide to keep it “as is” I wouldn’t have a hissy fit…. I actually think a separate page is easier for non-exerienced users, it’s easier to find and it’s familiar.

  11. Pippin Williamson

    Dear Pippin,
    I have EDD V1.5, and the transactions are going through, but when the customer tries to download a song, it just plays instead of downloads. With previous versions it downloaded without problem.
    I have enabled “Test Payment” if you wanted to go to the site and get a feel for what I’m talking about.
    We had a similar issue months ago, but you had me move the songs from the uploaded media file to the EDD file, and it solved the issue. But now they are in the EDD file, and not downloading.
    HELP

    1. Pippin Williamson
      1. Pippin Williamson
        1. Pippin Williamson

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