How to prepare your business’ data privacy strategy for the post-holiday shopping surge

data privacy

Gal Ringel, CEO & co-Founder of Mine for Business, tells us how businesses should prepare their data privacy strategy for the post-holiday shopping surge.

Each year, the holiday season results in swathes of consumers heading online to purchase gifts and reap the benefits of discount days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Spending always booms during this period, and PwC predicts this year consumer spending in the UK is set to increase by 12% more than last year on average, reaching a staggering  £21 billion on presents and celebrations alone. While brick and mortar stores are reopening around the world and so far remaining open during the holiday season in the UK amidst further restriction fears, Deloitte expects that 62% of holiday spending will still take place across digital channels this year.

Alongside a surge in online spending, a significant amount of consumer data, including personal information, is set to be exchanged with businesses. However, consumers are becoming ever more conscious about how valuable their personal information is due to widespread media coverage about recent data leaks. Last year, Mine found a 1574% increase in data reclaims to businesses in early December, and with this in mind, businesses need to prioritise data privacy more so than ever. Part of this includes preparing to handle an increase in Data Subject Requests (DSR) that are expected as the holiday season comes to an end and privacy-conscious consumers request their data back.

This article will offer advice on how e-commerce businesses can prepare accordingly, including putting the right processes in place to manage this expected spike in data privacy requests in accordance with GDPR.

Why the sudden surge?

Public distrust following widespread media coverage on data leaks has led to consumers wanting more information regarding where their data is being held, which can be attributed to this surge in reclaim requests. Mine’s recent findings also show there has been a 75% increase in sign-ups to shopping services over the festive period, and with two-thirds of shoppers stating they are worried about potential data breaches, it gives businesses a great deal to be concerned about and to prioritise. This can also be evidenced by a 423% increase in reclaims from the annual average after Christmas last year. As consumers race to buy last-minute gifts, it’s highly likely businesses will experience similar spikes following these shopping sprees again.

Managing a snowball of data reclaim requests

There are many steps businesses can take to ensure they are prepared to handle this influx of data reclaim requests so that not only do they have the best infrastructure in place, but the staff is equally ready to respond quickly. Businesses must assess how users submit their privacy requests and what could be optimised within the customer journey to avoid inefficiencies. By creating an overall frictionless and seamless process for both the submission and subsequent handling of requests, businesses can boost efficiency as well as improve customer experience and overarching customer retention. If privacy-conscious consumers have a positive experience reclaiming their data from a company, this will increase trust, and a consumer is more likely to shop again with the brand. Remaining transparent and demonstrating how trustworthy you are as a business by providing customers’ information and easy access to the data that you collect can convince new and already existing customers to stay loyal.

Equally important to forming a successful data privacy strategy involves providing employees with the right tools to carry out the strategy consistently. This includes robust and ongoing training programmes and keeping them abreast of any potential changes or new knowledge. Ensuring everyone in the business is aligned by implementing an automated and standardised approach will be key to implementing the strategy, and this includes clearly outlining the appropriate steps to take when handling any requests. Essentially, developing and executing against a robust privacy management strategy means it’s less likely crucial stages are missed, and the risk of exposing your business to compliance risks is reduced.

Implementing the right solution

The current data privacy climate doesn’t offer a user-centric approach for businesses to effectively manage and action the plethora of privacy requests expected at this time of year. It is often an extremely manual process that requires significant time and resources to provide an exceptional customer experience that businesses work so hard to achieve. While solutions are available to help handle these requests faster, they often lack personalisation that considers consumer needs and behaviours and unnecessarily waste precious resources on getting crucial information about the data request and locating it within their data sources.

Therefore, implementing the right solution that includes an automated and orchestrated process that helps deal with global privacy standards is key to enabling businesses to be more efficient and focused on the business itself. Having an end-to-end data privacy platform that adds an automation and operation layer allows businesses to easily automate request handling and privacy processes at scale, ultimately saving a vast amount of time and resources.

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As consumers become more aware of how valuable their data is and therefore more protective over their personal information, it will become imperative for businesses to have solutions such as this in place, including standardised processes for DSR. Not only will these protect and retain customers, but they will also ensure businesses are staying compliant with privacy laws and therefore avoiding potentially significant fines.

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Gal Ringel

Gal Ringel is Mine's Co-founder and CEO, an AI smart data assistant that connects consumers and companies around data privacy rights. With Mine, consumers can discover and manage their personal data online, while companies can use the end-to-end platform to streamline and automate their privacy management and increase brand trust. Gal is an accomplished leader with a rare fusion of technology, entrepreneurship, and VC experience. During his 4.5 years as a VC investor with Nielsen and Verizon Ventures, Gal had the opportunity to deploy ~$50mm in 20+ amazing early & late stage companies in the Israeli eco-system. He is also on the Forbes Technology Council as well as Forbes 30 under 30.

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