The 28th January 2020 marks Data Privacy Day in the UK and as the international holiday enters its fourteenth year, digital marketing agency Hit Search navigate the murky waters of customer data privacy and share five key strategies ecommerce retailers should follow when upholding data privacy and protection policies.

Andrew Redfern, Performance Director at Hit Search urges business owners to promote good online security culture, reminding ecommerce traders they are obliged to safeguard all customers shopping online and comply with five key risk-assessment strategies that should be deployed to celebrate Data Privacy Day:

  1. Review Privacy Policies

Since GDPR laws came into play in May 2018, online traders are urged to review and update all privacy policies and data security policies annually.  This is to ensure data subjects (customers) actively ‘opt-in’ to sharing personal data when shopping online, and that any changes made to data policies over the last 12 months are taken into account.

2.      The Rise of Data Transparency

One simple way of ensuring an organisation is compliant with data privacy policies is being up-front and transparent with customers.  Managing customer data is crucial within a business relationship and it’s a great way of building trust with shoppers; eliminating any confusion surrounding data capture. Be specific with how customer data is being used – whether this being added to an email database or signing up for push notifications. Transparency is key.

3.      Make Cyber Security a Priority

An often-overlooked element of data and privacy security by business owners is ensuring that organisations are protected in cyberspace. If they haven’t done so already website owners are advised to switch their websites over to HTTPS – which allows customers to access a site via an encrypted connection – rather than the less secure HTTP. There are other potential business benefits to upgrading to HTTPS too – for instance, from an SEO perspective, websites still using HTTP in 2020 won’t have the same ranking power in organic SERPs as well as those that have made the switch.

4.      Collect Relevant Information Only

A frequent error made by ecommerce owners is requesting more data than required of online shoppers. Avoid collecting more information than is necessary and use the data to the businesses advantage to better understand customer behaviour and how they interact with the company. This could be used to portray personalised marketing tactics and defining the marketing strategy, depending on how customers wish to engage with the company, e.g. via social media or direct mail.

5.      Protect Against Mobile Device Risks

Ensuring that all devices used by customers to shop with are secure and protected against any possible security breaches is key. With the average online customer often choosing to complete their online shopping using a mobile device, business owners are urged to protect customers from any possible mobile security threats, ensuring all credit card and payment information is secure and customers are asked to complete additional verification checks when completing online orders.