If you're searching for advanced eCommerce solutions to improve the functionality of your website, its standing in a Google search or simply to abide by the latest directives set out by national and international governments, here at Advansys, we are able to offer you all the advice and assistance you need.
One of the latest regulations to come into force recently has been GDPR; it can probably go without saying that if you've checked your e-mail inbox in the last few weeks, you would have received a multitude of e-mails about this. But what is it and how can you ensure that your eCommerce website abides by its best practices?
What Is GDPR & How Advanced eCommerce Solutions Can Help
The General Data Protection Regulation is a new EU directive that is designed to give web users 'more right over how their information is used'. As such, those online companies you may have signed up to (either via a mailing list, or simply by buying their products) are required to notify you of their changes, with some even refreshing their terms and conditions.
GDPR affects every company whether they employ a single person to a workforce of thousands – if they handle data of people who live in the EU, then GDPR will apply. Despite being a requirement for all data collecting websites who aim their content at EU users, GDPR contains different requirements for companies of particular sizes. For example, there are certain rules in regards to record keeping that apply only to those firms that have more than 250 employees.
How Can I Comply With GDPR?
The importance of GDPR is underlined by the fact that consumers in Europe account for around 25% of global GDP. As such, companies who fail to abide by the best practices laid out may be liable to pay a fine; the most severe administrative penalty being up to 4% of the company's turnover (or €20m, whichever is higher).
Here are some things that you should keep mind when thinking about applying the new GDPR regulations around your advanced eCommerce solutions:
- Data consent. GDPR gives internet users in the EU the ability to control how their data is managed. This means that you cannot assume what your users want – for example, pre-ticked boxes on forms or inactivity with their account does not constitute consent to send them/sign them up to marketing e-mails.
- Data collection. The central aim of complying by GDPR is to protect people's personal data; this can be limited by collecting data that you simply do not need. As an example, if there is no value in your company knowing what a particular user does for a living, then GDPR provides an opportunity to not ask for it in the first place – helping to keep your sign up processes simple and quick; no doubt something that will be appreciated by the user.
Abiding by the data collection aspect of GDPR should be built around one simple statement: if you're not going to use the information, then don't ask for it. If you need to ask for personal data, then you will need to explain and be clear about why you're asking for it. Which leads us to…
- Avoiding 'sneaky techniques' whilst acquiring data. Aside from placing a sense of trust in a user, being transparent with your intentions for their data will avoid any issues that you may experience with regulators (who will be looking to see if your website is indeed abiding by the rules and not using any ways and means to collect data underhandedly). Fines are handed out to those companies who don't comply with GDPR, however if a company is seen to have done everything they can to abide by their best practices, then regulators will work with them on any issues that may arise.
What About Brexit? Will GDPR Still Apply?
With the UK due to leave the European Union in 2019, any mention of EU legislation will naturally lead to questions about their validity post-Brexit. Whilst the UK is required to still adopt current EU legislation into its own law before it leaves, it's possible that sometime in the future, the rules in the UK regarding this issue may change.
However, any international eCommerce business is still required to abide by GDPR if they want to reach users within the European Union. Recently, news websites in the United States, such as the LA Times, have been unable to display their content to people in the EU due to their current set-ups not being GDPR compliant. With such a large audience to reach, it's likely that many companies around the world will reshape their websites' policy in regards to the collection of data – meaning that GDPR will have a strong influence on the way all international websites handle their data. Ensuring that you can get your website to abide by the rules now will save much time, endeavour and cost in the coming years.
Improve Your eCommerce Website With Us
Here at Advansys, our advanced eCommerce solutions have helped many types of businesses to improve their standing on the World Wide Web over the years – from new start-ups to some of the biggest brands around. We believe that GDPR represents a great opportunity for eCommerce businesses to reimagine their websites, improving them to meet the demands of an ever-growing audience.
If you would like to ensure that your website is abiding by GDPR, or if you're looking to improve its functionalities, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today to learn more. Give us a call on 0845 838 2700 or alternatively, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org