How will new GDPR regulations affect retail?

How should retailers be preparing for the new set of GDPR regulations? We take a look at what GDPR is and how changes will affect retailers from May 25th 2018…..

So what exactly is GDPR? 

GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation) is a regulation that will ensure companies have a clear and dependable set of rules when handling data as well as being used to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the EU. The regulation was ratified in April 2016 and will replace the Data Protection act 1988, covering the control, capture and consent to use personal information. A study conducted by Compuware found that 77% of retailers do not have a comprehensive GDPR strategy in place yet which could have a dramatic impact on the future of their business. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham described the consequences of failing to implement the new GDPR regulations as ‘leaving your organisation open to enforcement action that can damage both public reputation and bank balance.’

The relationship between customers and retailers is being transformed by constant innovations in technology. Customers are now able to connect anywhere in the world (or pretty much anywhere!), gain information about a product, compare prices and purchase. For retailers, these advancements in technology present new ways in which they can sell products and communicate with customers but they will have to abide by a new set of data protection rules in order to do this.

The global ecommerce market is continuing to grow and expected to account for 25% of overall ecommerce revenue by the end of 2017. The new GDPR regulations will reinvent the way personal data is used and collected and retailers will need to understand the priorities for online and offline retailing – this includes consumer consent, behavioural advertising and use of cookies. However, GDPR goes beyond technology, as personal consumer data includes a customer’s home address (used for home deliveries) and email addresses (used for marketing communications, loyalty and e-receipts). It’s going to be important for retailers to remember that technology is not the lone solution to GDPR….


What does this change mean for retailers? 

Data is essential to excavating more effective customer experiences and retailers use it to offer a higher level of bespoke service to customers. The introduction of this new EU legislation will mean that businesses will need to be completely clear about the personal data they are holding and where – failure to do so could cost 4% of a business’s worldwide turnover. The legislation will give much more authority to individuals, who will have more access to their data and have a transparent right to know how their data is being processed.

Customer confidence and brand trust are highly valued in the world of retail and any breaches in data regulations could destroy even the biggest names out there.


Forms Plus prepare for GDPR

Our finance director Jo Carter recently attended a course on how to prepare for GDPR; we have implemented a plan of action to update our current Data Protection Act 1988 policies and procedures and will be following it to bring us up to date and compliant by the May 2018 deadline.


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