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Choosing a clickthrough solution? Think of it as picking out a suit for yourself—you could either tailor a bespoke suit or select a designer off-the-rack outfit. Both have their merits, but which aligns best with your company's identity and legal needs? 

The decision ultimately depends on maintaining the perfect balance between the following:

  • User experience
  • Cost
  • Compliance
  • Control

In this article, we're diving into this crucial choice. On one side, there's the custom-made route: intricate, fitting your every need, but time-consuming and difficult to manage. On the other, the ease of a ready-made solution: efficient, no fuss.

Build vs buy a clickthrough solution: A comparative analysis

In-House (Bespoke) Solution
Bought (Off-the-Rack) Solution
User experience
Customizable but requires significant effort to align with user preferences. Fragmented user experience because these solutions are very basic.
Superior user experience with customizable interfaces that align seamlessly with brand identity, enhancing user engagement and satisfaction.
High initial development costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. Resource-intensive over the long term.
Cost-effective with lower upfront investment. Enables efficienct use of resources by eliminating the bandwidth usage of existing engineering and development team.
Responsibility for ensuring compliance to regulations like GDPR, ESIGN, eIDAS rests entirely in-house, requiring constant updates and monitoring.
Built-in robust compliance features, ensuring adherence to the latest legal standards. Simplifies legal processes and enhances legal integrity of your executed contracts.
Very little control over features. Rely on development teams to implement even minor alterations to their online agreements, resulting in a cumbersome back-and-forth process.
Balanced control with advanced features for real-time updates and version tracking, offering enhanced control over online agreements. Make instant changes to the agreements without dependence on engineering or dev teams.
Time to Market
Longer time to develop, test, and deploy. Delays in reaching operational status, very fragmented interface and no compliance.
Rapid implementation and integration with existing systems, significantly reducing time to market.
Requires foresight and continuous adjustment for scalability, often leading to additional costs and efforts.
Effortlessly scalable, accommodating business growth without the need for additional internal resources.
Support & Maintenance
Requires continuous in-house support, adding to operational costs and workload, not to mention the delays in getting the solution out.
Comprehensive support and maintenance handled by the vendor, freeing up internal resources for core business activities.
Customization Potential
High customization potential but often at a high cost and with longer timelines.
Customization that is both deep and user-friendly, enhancing the overall user experience while maintaining legal precision.

Now that we've seen the perks of buying a clickthrough solution, let's explore why building one in-house can be quite tricky.

The challenges of building a clickthrough solution in-house

While every situation is unique, in many cases, opting for an in-house clickthrough solution can be a double-edged sword.

#1 The need for continuous intricate programming and legal expertise 

Creating a custom clickthrough solution usually requires complex programming and integration with current systems. You'll have to design a user interface that is both easy to use and matches the website's overall look.

Your developer team must ensure that the consent is captured meticulously with all the required audit trails making the agreement enforceable in the court of law.

Clickthrough agreements must also adhere to regulations such as the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) in the U.S. and the European Union's Electronic Identification, Authentication, and Trust Services (eIDAS) regulation. These laws provide guidelines on the use of electronic signatures and records. The challenge for in-house solutions lies in several key areas:

  • Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of regulations like ESIGN and eIDAS is a daunting task, demanding ongoing legal vigilance and expertise that can strain in-house teams
  • Aligning the technical implementation of your clickthrough solution with legal mandates involves intricate collaboration between legal experts and developers, posing significant management challenges, such as bridging the communication gap, staying updated with ever-evolving legal standards and technological advancements, aligning project timelines and priorities between legal requirements and development goals can be tricky, etc.
  • Operating across borders adds complexity, requiring compliance with a variety of international laws, which necessitates a comprehensive understanding of diverse legal standards
  • Laws like ESIGN necessitate maintaining precise and retrievable electronic transaction records. This demands robust data management and security measures, a tall order for many in-house solutions
Also read: Click-to-Sign: Clickwrap Agreements vs eSignatures

#2 Deceptive simplicity over hidden complexities

At first glance, a user's click on a checkbox may seem straightforward, but it is accompanied by complex legal and technical demands. The most important among these is meticulously capturing user consent, a process far more intricate than it initially appears.

It's imperative that the system not only records a user's agreement but also tracks the specific version of the agreement they consented to. This requires sophisticated version control mechanisms. 

Additionally, accurately identifying the user—knowing who agreed and when—is crucial for legal validity.

The exact timing of consent is also vital. The system must pinpoint when a user agreed to the terms, ensuring that consent is tied to the appropriate version of the document. This temporal precision is crucial for upholding the agreement's enforceability.

Capturing consent involves creating a robust audit trail that details user actions, version details, timestamps, IP addreess, and screenshots of how the agreement was presented at the time of execution. This level of detail is essential not only for legal compliance but also for defending the agreement in potential disputes.

The disparity between the apparent simplicity of a user interface and the underlying complexities of capturing a legally binding consent often leads to underestimation. Developing an in-house system that reliably manages these intricacies can be significantly more challenging than anticipated, requiring a deep integration of legal and technical expertise.

#3 The hidden costs: time, money, and opportunity

While the upfront costs of an in-house clickthrough solution might seem manageable, a multitude of hidden costs—from opportunity costs to technical debt—can make it a far more expensive endeavor in the long run than initially anticipated.

  • Resource investment

Creating your own solution takes up a bunch of time from developers. It can take a long time, from several months to a year, depending on its complexity and how it fits with your system. 

All this time and effort also means you'll spend a lot of money, not just on salaries but also on other projects.

  • Maintenance and updating costs

The cost of building a clickthrough solution is not a one-time expense. You have to keep paying for maintenance to make sure the system keeps working right and stays compliant. 

Keeping up with legal updates and integrating them into the system requires ongoing expenditure on legal expertise and development resources, significantly increasing the total cost over time.

  • Opportunity costs

Focusing on building an in-house solution can lead to missed opportunities elsewhere. While your team is tied up in development, other business areas, like market expansion or innovation, might be neglected, resulting in lost potential gains.

  • Scaling and flexibility costs

As your business grows, scaling an in-house solution to meet expanding requirements can be costly and resource-intensive. Third-party solutions often offer more flexibility and scalability, allowing you to adapt more easily to changing business needs without additional significant investment.

  • Cost of errors and downtime

The risks of system errors and downtime are higher with in-house solutions, especially if they aren’t developed with robustness in mind. These issues can lead to lost revenue, customer dissatisfaction, and the need for costly emergency interventions.

  • Technical debt

In-house solutions can accumulate technical debt, especially if developed rapidly under time constraints. This debt manifests as future costs for reworking and updating the system, increasing the total investment over time.

#4 Legal oversights leading to non-compliance 

In-house solutions might lack critical features required for legal compliance. For instance, a system that doesn't capture consent meticulously can lead to legal and financial risks.

The law concerning electronic agreements is constantly evolving. An in-house system must be agile enough to adapt to new legal requirements as they emerge, such as changes in data privacy laws like GDPR or region-specific regulations. 

Legal non-compliance can significantly damage customer trust and business relationships. Customers expect reliability and legal integrity in their interactions, and any legal missteps can lead to a loss of confidence and potential business setbacks.

Also read: Digital Contracts: Are Clickwrap Agreements Legally Binding?

#5 Complex implementation and UI/UX fragmentation affecting legal enforceability

Developing a clickthrough system in-house often presents complex technical challenges. Integrating it seamlessly with existing systems, ensuring robust data security, and maintaining operational smoothness are time-consuming and demanding tasks. These technical hurdles not only increase the development time and cost but also affect the system’s reliability.

A critical but often underestimated aspect is the system's user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

In addition to the issues of UI/UX fragmentation in in-house solutions, another critical aspect that often gets overlooked is the effective capture of user consent and maintaining robust audit trails. When different parts of the system present inconsistent layouts and navigation steps, it becomes challenging to ensure that user consent is being captured consistently and in compliance with legal requirements. This inconsistency can lead to significant gaps in consent management, potentially exposing your company to legal risks and reputational damage.

The enforceability of a clickwrap agreement can be impacted by how it is presented to the user or customer. If the presentation of the agreement is unclear, hidden, or deceptive, it could undermine its enforceability. 

A confused user is less likely to engage meaningfully with the system, which can lead to disputes over the validity of agreements.

The user should also be provided with reasonable notice that they are about to enter a binding agreement, that way, you can establish that they’re fully aware of the consequences of their actions.

All in all, clarity and consistency are key to legal compliance. Courts tend to view third-party solutions more favorably in this regard, as they are often designed with uniformity and adherence to legal standards in mind.

Also read: Minimizing Legal Liabilities With Clickthrough Agreements

Compared to custom in-house systems, third-party solutions typically offer greater consistency and reliability. They are developed with a focus on user-friendliness and legal compliance, reducing the risk of disputes and non-enforceability in court. 

Why third-party clickthrough solutions can be better

Deciding to buy a third-party clickthrough solution gives you an advantage. It combines easy implementation with advanced features. This approach not only streamlines legal processes but also fortifies compliance and user experience. 

Let's explore why choosing the 'buy' approach can make a big difference for businesses that want to be flexible:

#1 Effortless implementation of off-the-shelf solutions

Choosing a third-party clickthrough solution like SpotDraft Clickthrough can smoothly integrate with your existing system and doesn't need much involvement from your developer team.

You won't need to engage with the development team for coding and complex system integration that building an in-house solution demands. 

Moreover, by opting for an off-the-shelf solution, you're not just streamlining the integration process; you're also freeing up valuable time and resources. Your team can redirect their focus from the laborious task of developing and maintaining a custom solution to your business's core activities. 

#2 Advanced features for enhanced control

One of the standout features of a third-party clickthrough solution is the ability for real-time updates. With a robust third-party solution like SpotDraft Clickthrough, any amendments you make to your agreeements are instantly reflected across all user interfaces. 

This ensures that your users are always interacting with the most current version of your agreements, maintaining compliance and clarity.

And like we said before, keeping track of various versions of agreements can be a logistical nightmare. A third-party solution simplifies this by giving you access to a comprehensive history of all previously published versions. 

You can easily access and review and download different versions of your agreements, ensuring that you have a complete history at your fingertips. This feature is invaluable for maintaining accurate records and simplifying audits.

#3 Legal integrity with robust documentation

Third-party clickthrough solutions are comprehensive systems developed with a deep focus on compliance. 

Every interaction a user has with your system is meticulously recorded. These audit trails are the backbone of legal accountability, providing clear and detailed records of user actions. 

Third-party clickhthrough also offers centralized agreement repositories, eliminating the need for you to store online agreements in your local systems or the cloud, like Google Drive. Not only does this centralization allow you to seamlessly search and retrieve contracts based on specific criteria, but also gives you access to a complete trail of all the version of the agreement.

With these systems, rule adherence becomes more manageable. They are designed to not only capture and store user consent but also to flag any discrepancies or non-compliance issues. 

Also read: Why Folders Fail at Contract Organization

#4 Enhanced user experience and legal efficiency

Imagine a clickthrough solution that not only ticks all the boxes for legal compliance but also beautifully mirrors your brand’s unique identity. Customizable interfaces are a key feature here. They empower you to modify the design and feel of your clickthrough agreements to blend seamlessly with your brand's look and messaging. 

This customization is not just skin-deep; it encompasses the entire user journey, ensuring that every step is intuitive and resonates with your brand’s ethos.

By doing so, you make it easier for your customers to understand and agree to your terms, which can greatly enhance their overall signing experience.

The result? A noticeable boost in user engagement and satisfaction. 

When users interact with a system that is both easy to navigate and visually appealing, their overall experience is positive. This enhances their perception of your brand and encourages higher rates of agreement acceptance and interaction with your digital content.

Also read: Minimizing Legal Liabilities With Clickthrough Agreements

Why you should consider SpotDraft Clickthrough

The digital landscape demands not just legal compliance but a user experience that builds trust and clarity. SpotDraft's Clickthrough solution is a leader in changing how you manage consent for online agreements. Here’s how SpotDraft enhances both user experience and legal efficiency:

#1 Terms management

SpotDraft has a reacceptance feature, which is essential for ensuring ongoing user consent. Whenever your terms and conditions change, users are prompted to agree to the new terms, ensuring that their consent is always up to date. This keeps your agreements legally sound while reinforcing trust and transparency with your users.

Plus, you get access to a comprehensive history of previously published versions, so you can compare the update in terms that has been made all this while.

#2 Real-time updates

SpotDraft Clickthrough makes it seamless to update contract terms quickly. You don't need to mess with any code, thanks to the HTML editor.

This means you can update terms right away, so the newest version is always shown. You end up saving 8 to 10 hours quarterly by avoiding the need to coordinate with other teams.

#3 Legal precision with comprehensive audit trails

One standout aspect of SpotDraft's Clickthrough is its thorough audit trails. These logs capture important things about agreement, like the exact time the agreements was executed, which version it was, IP address, screengrabs, etc. Users can also customize the information captured by certificate of completion based on their needs.

This detailed information makes it easy to be compliant with regulations like ESIGN and eIDAS, cutting down audit problems by 79%.

#4 Efficient agreement management with clickthrough repository

The SpotDraft Clickthrough system keeps all the agreements in a dedicated centalized repository and lets you search and make reports with them.

#5 Legal Hub for public templates

The Legal Hub is a web page hosted by SpotDraft that shows all your public templates. It makes it easy for counterparties to easily access, review, and download them.

This feature is invaluable in a dynamic business environment where terms and policies frequently change. 

Also read: Announcing: SpotDraft Clickthrough

#6 Seamless user experience with customizable interfaces

SpotDraft's layout is user-friendly, allowing customization to align with your brand's style and user experience preferences. It fits well with your brand's look and feel. This feature ensures users navigate and understand terms, fostering transparency and trust. 

You have the flexibility to tailor how the clickwrap agreement appears to your users. You may want to add distinct checkboxes for different agreements. 

Moreover, you can personalize the appearance of the contract by using your own domain and incorporating your branding to fall in line with your overall website look and feel.

Also read: How to Customize a Clickthrough on SpotDraft Clickthrough

Unlocking clickthrough clarity with SpotDraft Clickthrough

It's clear that the path of buying Clickthrough over building offers unparalleled advantages— saving time and resources, avoiding legal troubles, and enhancing user experience.

In the world of legal technology, especially in managing contracts and following rules, the trend is towards solutions that are fast, precise, and easy to use.

SpotDraft's Clickthrough is leading the way in this change, showing these qualities and more.

For businesses poised to make a strategic decision, the choice is evident. Embrace the efficiency, embrace the innovation, and most importantly, embrace the peace of mind that comes with SpotDraft's Clickthrough solution. 

Ready to revolutionize your online agreements? Request a demo for SpotDraft Clickthrough and start your journey towards seamless legal compliance and user engagement today.

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