Data privacy has become a major point of content in the eyes of eCommerce customers. In the wake of global data privacy incidents such as Cambridge Analytica, people have become warrior of who they trust their data with.

The GDPR data regulation act put into effect by the EU has managed to ease the worry, but it has also caused concern for eCommerce owners. Specifically, how do you write a GDPR privacy policy for your storefront and still manage to operate without any major changes to your business model? What are the implications of implementing GDPR, and how can you ultimately benefit from conforming to the GDPR checklist as outlined by the EU?

Importance of Writing GDPR-Compliant Policy for Ecommerce

To better understand how to write a GDPR policy for eCommerce, let’s discuss what GDPR is actually about. The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 serves to make people informed about how their data is used.

Given the free reign of most social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, such a regulation was inevitable sooner or later. While it primarily applies to EU citizens, eCommerce owners worldwide are required to abide by its protocols if they want to operate in EU countries.

Jenifer Abernathy, Legal Advisor and Writer, said: “You want your customers to trust you if you are to have any chance of building brand loyalty. Writing GDPR and its equivalents into your business policy document is a show of good faith from you to customers around the world.”

From the business perspective, you stand to gain important long-term benefits by implementing GDPR:

  • Better data management and security pipeline
  • Increased public trust and customer confidence
  • Alignment with contemporary data privacy regulations
  • More informed decision-making and marketing

Writing GDPR for Ecommerce

The Principles of GDPR

It’s worth noting that GDPR features a set of principles in regards to user data analytics before you write it into your privacy policy. The principles of GDPR should resonate throughout your policy so that customers have a good sense of how reliable your eCommerce store is with data.

  1. Lawful, fair, and transparent data management
  2. Purposeful limitation of data handling
  3. Minimal data requirement
  4. Accuracy in the policy application
  5. Data storage limitation
  6. Data handling integrity and security
  7. Accountability for GDPR implementation

Remember – even your privacy policy is an integral part of SEO content present on the storefront. As such, the following principles can also serve as keywords throughout your GDPR implementation to better align with customers’ expectations.

Define your Data Management Process

The first step in implementing GDPR into your privacy policy should be to write about how you collect and handle user data. You can use the following checklist of questions to fill out your data management process outline:

  • What types of data do you collect from your customers, and to what purpose?
  • How long do you store the data for and to what purpose?
  • Who has access to user data? (Third-party marketers, B2B network, or only your company)

You can rely on writing platforms to write about data management. These questions are relevant because you will have to ask for privacy policy compliance from each customer who may visit your website. If they are unsatisfied with how you handle data, they should have the option to opt out of the policy and subsequently leave your storefront.

Outline the Customer’s Rights

The key component of GDPR is to provide your customers with the right to stay informed about their data. As such, you should be prepared to provide customers with their data stored on your servers at a moment’s notice. The standard customer’s rights, as outlined by the GDPR, are as follow:

  • Right to be informed of personal data use
  • Right of access to personal data
  • Right to rectify personal data
  • Right to erase personal data
  • Right to restrict personal data processing
  • Right to personal data portability
  • Right to object to the privacy policy
  • Right to object to automated profiling

While this may seem like too much transparency, it’s important to think about the customer’s perspective on the matter. Companies often collect data which is completely unrelated to the purchase a customer engages in on the website.

Even simple eCommerce interactions such as product page browsing or account registration for later use can be abused by the company. If you are committed to writing GDPR into your eCommerce policy, make sure to clearly outline the customer’s rights in your document.

Keep your Wording Concise & Transparent

Speaking of transparency, it’s easy to get too technical and make your wording complicated for everyday eCommerce customers. This goes contrary to what GDPR is all about, so you should ensure that your GDPR-compliant policy is as easy to understand as possible.

This can be done in several ways, not the least of which is to keep your sentences short, actionable, and formatted into short paragraphs. You can use bullet points and numbered lists liberally to facilitate skimming.

As per Article 12 of GDPR, your policy should communicate its content in a transparent manner so that all ages can understand its meaning. Avoid using words which can have a double-meaning and never leave statements intentionally vague in terms of their meaning. This can have legal ramifications if a customer invokes GDPR only to find that your privacy policy is written with a company-first mindset.

eCommerce Privacy Policy Writing Redefined

We live in an age where government regulations such as CCPA and GDPR require us to rethink the ways in which we treat user data. This is not inherently bad for eCommerce platforms since standardized, centralized data management systems can make life easier in the long run.

Conduct an internal audit of your existing privacy policy, data processing pipeline, and user data handling before you write GDPR into your business model. It’s essential that you practically implement GDPR when the data regulation policy finds its way to your eCommerce platform to turn words into actions.