Five Tips to Ensure Your User Data is Squeaky Clean
Since it went into effect on May 25, 2018, the European Union (EU)’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law has reached companies well beyond the borders of European countries, affecting the way that businesses large and small collect, interact with and store user data. When the EU announced the new rule, all companies that engage with those in the EU, whether it be selling to them directly or storing their data for any reason, had to rethink the way they handle user data.
As a result, business owners frantically attempted to figure out what this change meant for them and their customers. Now that the GDPR has been in place for nearly two months, we have a better idea of how this shift to protect the private information of consumers will continue to affect the eCommerce industry.
How Has the GDPR Impacted eCommerce?
One of the biggest and most obvious impacts GDPR has had on the eCommerce industry is the need to update privacy policies. If you haven’t already done this, it’s imperative that you do so as soon as possible, or you could be subject to massive fines from the EU—up to 20 million Euros or 4 percent annual revenue, whichever is higher.
New privacy policies must explicitly inform users of who is using their data (including any third parties) and how that data is being protected. Now, eCommerce stores must ask for direct consent from its users if the company intends to use any of their personal information.
Unfortunately, we’ve also learned over the last couple of months that it can be to ensure that your business is 100 percent GDPR-compliant, making it more difficult for smaller businesses to meet all the criteria. As a small business owner, it’s essential to be attentive in your treatment of user data.
With GDPR in place, you also need to have very specific reasons for obtaining certain information and you must be able to justify why you are collecting data. Using a data-driven eCommerce marketing tool like Springbot to manage analytics can make the task of tracking user data and following GDPR guidelines much easier, especially for small to mid-size businesses.
Why Regular Data Cleaning and Maintenance Is Necessary
When businesses were preparing for the implementation of the GDPR, most were conducting mandatory cleansing of user data. That can seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming process, but it’s a helpful process that will benefit eCommerce business that do so in the long run.
According to a study conducted by Experian Data Quality, 70 percent of your user data could be outdated or inaccurate after just one year. So, not only does routine data cleaning help with GDPR compliance, it also filters out unnecessary information in your database, leaving you with more high-quality leads.
Tips on How to Ensure GDPR Compliance
Ideally, you should be cleaning data out every one to two months to ensure all information is accurate and that you’re not holding on to data from users who have unsubscribed. The European Commission declared that user data should be retained for the “shortest time possible,” based on what kind of information you’re gathering and why.
Any details that you do not use should be discarded and you should develop a system for how long data is kept. For example, you can plan to review data every two months and determine what is still necessary at that time. Certain types of information are permitted to stay in your database for a longer period of time if it is essential, such as a current customer’s name or contact information.
Five Quick Tips on Cleansing Your Data for GDPR Compliance
- Ensure that all contact information is up-to-date. During your regular data cleaning, the first thing you should do is check whether or not any of your user’s data is outdated. If it is, removing this information first is a simple way to begin the process.
- Remove user data of those who have unsubscribed from your platform. To adhere to GDPR, you must provide users with a , and you must also remove all of their information from your database once they’ve unsubscribed.
- If your company has the resources, you should consider hiring a data controller or data protection agent whose entire job would be to oversee the company’s data, ensuring that compliance is met.
- When cleaning your data for the first time, consider how you obtained each user’s information and delete anything that may have been gathered through means .
- Only ask for the user data that you need. To avoid any issues with GDPR compliance, it’s best to limit the quantity and type of data you collect to only information that is completely necessary.
Still have questions on the best GDPR practices or want to know more about methods for managing user data? Springbot can help by creating personalized marketing campaigns and tracking user analytics, making managing data easier than ever.
Springbot provides advanced eCommerce marketing technology for small to medium-sized retailers. We make the overwhelming task of running and tracking multi-channel marketing campaigns ridiculously simple, from email and social marketing, to online ads, Amazon Marketplace and more. The key is Springbot’s integration with BigCommerce, Magento and Shopify to deliver the power of data management, marketing automation and analytics. We then take that information and make data-driven marketing recommendations specially tailored towards needs.