GDPR Compliance in eCommerce: What Store Owners Must Know?
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The eCommerce industry is full of potential and challenges. Retailers need to work on optimizing their eCommerce website’s SEO, designs, customer experience, marketing, and so many other things.
But, sadly, there is one more essential thing that they need to take care of if they are operational in Europe or serve European customers – and that is GDPR compliance. Now, what it is, and how retailers can make their online stores GDPR compliant, we will find everything in this blog.
So, let’s get started.
What is GDPR?
The full form of GDPR is General Data Protection Regulation. It sets the rules for businesses to manage the personal data of European residents. In May 2018, it took effect, and businesses started taking it seriously.
Now, if we talk about eCommerce businesses that collect a lot of information and personal data of users, GDPR is something they should be vary of. It sets rules for store owners to manage this data so that users’ personal information remains confidential and secure. Although GDPR is not a technical document, it holds importance for everyone selling online.
eCommerce is discussed just once in the GDPR and in the footnote. According to the note, eCommerce businesses should process consumers’ personal data in a way that serves mankind. It looks like a simple note, but complying with GDPR is a tedious task for businesses and an essential one.
Let’s see what it states and how to comply with all the rules to sail smoothly in the online world.
How to Comply With GDPR: 7 Rules and Principles
All eCommerce retailers selling or doing business in Europe or for Europeans should consider the below-mentioned seven principles to ensure no legal complications and proper eCommerce store management:
1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency
The first principle states that while collecting data from your consumers, you must abide by GDPR. Transparency and fairness mean that data collection should align with the required data usage and visibility. In other words, the data you ask for must show its importance in your actions, and customers must also have visibility over these actions.
2. Purpose Limitation
The second principle states that the purpose behind collecting data is limited, and it should be legitimate and specified beforehand. For example, if you collect your consumers’ email addresses to send them monthly newsletters, this email list shall not be used elsewhere or for other purposes.
3. Data Minimization
This rule suggests that you should not be asking for irrelevant customer information. According to GDPR, you are only allowed to save the required data. If you request more than what is needed, you will violate rules and shall face legal consequences.
Accuracy means exactly what the word means. In a nutshell, you shall only save the updated data and continue making efforts to keep the data up-to-date. That means you should be analyzing or filtering your data regularly. The outdated or inaccurate information shall be removed immediately without any delay.
5. Storage Limitation
It means you can only save data that is required in the future. You must delete any saved information that you no longer require for the purpose it was saved or collected.
6. Integrity and Confidentiality
This principle ensures that businesses take proper care of the data collected. Thus, you must have adequate or proper “organizational or technical” security measures to prevent data loss and theft – be it external or internal.
The last GDPR rule is the EU government’s approach to guaranteeing you are GDPR-compliant. It expresses that you must be able to exhibit what you have done to stay compliant. That implies having clear records of what was done when, whether you’ve recruited a data security professional, whether you’re auditing your data consistently, and whether and how you’re keeping GDPR.
We know that it can be a bit complicated for you to comprehend all that is mentioned in these seven principles. The above information may sound like a collection of technical or legal jargon, which it actually is.
So, here is a simple summary of all you need to do to comply with GDPR, ensure proper online store management, and avoid any legal problems:
- Never assume what your customers desire. Before taking any of their information, ask for consent.
- Just ask for the information that you need—never ask for something that is irrelevant or not required.
- Make things clear for your website visitors and always ensure transparency – users love it. For instance, always give them an option to unsubscribe.
- Do not get involved in practices like data selling. If you comply with GDPR, you won’t face any massive security-related issues, fines, and legal threats.
- Do not stop selling in Europe. Afraid of GDPR, some businesses stop selling in Europe, and it harms their business growth. It is a good place to do business, and the EU is even obsessed with creating a strong digital economy. GDPR officials understand that you need to collect data to continue operation. They just want you to do it carefully.
Make this policy easily available by including a link to it on your site’s footer. You can likewise add a link to it underneath any contact or sign-up form on your site.