Every functioning e-commerce business is subject to a number of statutory obligations by which it shall abide. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of them. This article aims to demonstrate that GDPR should not be considered a binding constraint, but rather an ally in establishing a consent and preference management strategy that will allow you to boost your marketing performance.
For years now, when it came to collecting customer data, e-merchants have been all too often focused on the quantity.
This approach results in essentially unexploitable massive amounts of data rarely put to use, while any form of consent and preference management is conveniently overlooked. Indeed, according to a study spearheaded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Aarhus University and London’s Global University, out of 10,000 websites, 32.5% make use of implicit consent to benefit from a quicker access to their customers’ data.
Implicit consent can come in many shapes and sizes, including pre-ticked checkboxes, dark patterns and any other design that discourages a person to make a positive act of consent.
Even though the data protection regulations have become more consistent and nuanced in the past couple of years with the adoption of GDPR, only 1 website out of 10 is said to fall in line with GDPR consent requirements (according to a study released by Cornell University). It doesn’t come as a surprise, for the e-merchants are most likely afraid of collecting less data under the pretext of undermining their marketing performance.
One of the fundamental notions of GDPR is about privileging quality over quantity when it comes to collecting data. When customers are free to choose the ways in which their data is used, they are more likely to put their trust in your business and, therefore, share the most relevant information.
Thus, GDPR compliance provides businesses with an opportunity to launch extremely efficient marketing campaigns, all while respecting all rules and regulations.
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What will you find in this article ?
Building an GDPR-compliant consent management system into a website
GDPR : General Data Protection Regulation
Data collection is a key issue for e-merchants, and should be treated as such. For several years now, businesses have been chasing after personal data. This information allows companies to contact and keep in constant touch with their customers, in order to sell, increase conversion rates and grow revenue.
However, in their hot pursuit, e-merchants tend to forget all about customers and their consent. That’s precisely why the GDPR has been adopted in 2016. Its goal is to guarantee protection of all of the personal data held by European (EU) citizens.
This list of regulations tackles a lot of topics, including those in connection to marketing strategies and customer relationship management. Such elements as contact forms, newsletter subscriptions or account creations are all subjects to the law.
As long as one of these elements is featured on the e-merchant’s website, the business owner is inevitably bound by the rules of consent. Which means that there shouldn’t be any unwanted pop-up ads, for instance, that affect customer experience and keep the shopper from accessing the website directly.
Obtaining valid consent
According to the GDPR, a valid consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. Let’s now focus on what exactly each of these characteristics means.
- Freely given consent means that the customer has real choice and control. Whether the choice is negative or positive, the quality of provided service should not be affected. In other words, the customer should not feel obliged to give consent because otherwise they will lose certain advantages while navigating / shopping on your website.
- Consent has to be specific, which means that every demand for obtaining personal information must include an accompanying notice, detailing for which purpose the data shall be used. For instance, if you intend to use your potential customer’s email address to send over promotional materials, you have to ask for a separate consent. Your customer has to know every little thing they consent to.
To learn more about the informed and unambiguous dimensions of consent, we invite you to download Didomi’s guide.
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Overcoming the Marketing Challenges of Data Collection and Management with the help of Consent Management
With countless rules and regulations imposed by GDPR, marketing and CRM professionals, as well as e-businesses are rather sceptical in regards to the data collection procedure. The reason behind their scepticism is the fear of collecting less data than before, as suggested by regulatory authorities on customer consent.
Again, this is all about privileging quality over quantity when it comes to collecting data. This is about collecting the most relevant data, the information that the customers are choosing to share. It would contribute to the efficiency of marketing campaigns, as well as to their degree of customization according to the customers’ preferences.
Thus, the customer would never file a complaint for breaching their privacy, for they’d have chosen to give their consent to be contacted.
The most important benefit of establishing an efficient consent and preference management system is the ability to customize user experience and to improve the CRM. By focusing on your customers’ choices and by asking for their consent, you are offering them a unique and personalised experience. You allow them to take back control over their preferences.
Your marketing goals must be perfectly aligned with the user experience your website provides. Adopting a customer-centric strategy should be your number one priority. For it will help you to improve your CRM and optimise client satisfaction rates.
There are different tools, such as the Didomi Preference Center, that can help you achieve that. The same goes for the different methods, one of them being customer-centric marketing, that can combine your marketing strategy and consent management for the best results.
To learn more about the challenges that marketing professionals are facing in regards to data collection and the GDPR, we’re inviting you to download our free eBook below.
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