The deadline is looming.
Yet swathes of retailers are still in limbo.
It is time to break-free from echo chambers.
Face up to GDPR reality.
Unfortunately for debilitating retailers intimidated by this complex regulation, GDPR will come into effect on May 25th 2018. Almost a third of retailers remain incognito of the legislation. While the remaining 66% of them are still tottering in their efforts to adopt. Majority of the retailers fret taking on this onerous task for it does not stop at aligning their data storage policy with GDPR norms. They have an equally formidable task of ceding to customer’s request for information.
Some of the potential roadblocks for retailers in complying with GDPR are :
Scope: The primary challenge is to understand and discern the policies within the legislation that will have an implication on their business.
Data Library: Retailers have been hoarding huge sets of customer data to strengthen their relationship with their customers. Often this data is scattered and disorganized. They will now be forced to take stock of their data inventory across channels.
Technological Viability: Most small time retailers are short staffed and technologically insufficient to close the gap between their existing process and the one mandated by GDPR. For example, businesses may have to rework on the core design of their product or service to safeguard data which may take months until ready.
Aligning Teams: To undertake a complete process overhaul, retailers have to foster collaboration between marketing, merchandising,customer service and product team, to name a few. Businesses have to restructure their teams to effectively combine, share and compare the information they possess and maintain them according to the guidelines laid down.
Process Documentation: It does not suffice to be process ready, retailers have to be audit-ready too. One of the most manually intensive tasks would be to maintain a record of all the specific requirement compliance such as customer consent to access personal data. Should there be a security audit, businesses have to present with evidence to prove their claims to be GDPR compliant.
Apart from these challenges, retailers have to be mindful of the potential third-party data breaches. This is no easy feat considering the recent events when large enterprises such as Facebook were found guilty of third-party data sharing without explicit permission. Ofcourse, the cost of non compliance amounting to 10 million pounds could be the final blow for retailers who are already sliding into irrelevance in their competition against Walmart, Amazon and such.
Here is a checklist highlighting the basic tenets of the policy.
For legal information on GDPR, refer to the guidelines stated by ICO.
The good news is that a centralized data controlling process and being certified as GDPR compliant could be a boost to your brand’s reputation yielding better customer loyalty. Letting customer’s gain complete control of their personal information helps retailers leap forward in their customer service offering. With GDPR leading the way, retailers should capitalize on this chance to honor their customer’s privacy.