In the world of e-commerce, turning anonymous users into loyal customers is a challenging and costly endeavor. Building trust is crucial before users hand over their contact information. Even then, it’s important to manage their consent and preferences carefully to avoid harming your brand’s reputation with unnecessary communication. Opting out should be the last thing a user considers, and offering respect and options to opt down can enhance the power of a marketer.
In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of consent and preference management in driving e-commerce growth and why it’s a critical component of any successful marketing strategy.
Why is data privacy so important to e-commerce?
Gartner research indicates, “By year-end 2024, 75% of the world’s population will have its personal data covered under modern privacy regulations.”
Combining the pandemic shift in buying patterns and the significant rise in consumer protection via legislation emphasizes the importance of data privacy in e-commerce for these 4 key reasons:
- Trust: Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of data privacy and are more likely to trust businesses that take it seriously. By protecting customer data, businesses can build customer trust and loyalty, which are critical for e-commerce success, and McKinsey research indicated that 76% of organizations that invested in better privacy experiences saw business benefits from customer loyalty and trust.
- Legal Compliance: There are various data privacy laws that e-commerce businesses must comply with, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the US. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines, legal fees, and reputational damage.
- Security: Protecting customer data is essential to prevent data breaches and cyberattacks. Cybercriminals always seek ways to access personal information and financial data, which can significantly harm customers and your business.
- Personalization: E-commerce businesses rely on customer data to personalize the shopping experience, such as recommending products or offering promotions based on their interests and behavior. However, customers are more likely to share their data when they trust it will be used responsibly and securely and expect real benefits from sharing their personal information.
Customer expectations of online retailers
Customers expect that their personal information will be handled with the utmost care and that companies will take all necessary measures to ensure the security and privacy of their data. This includes being transparent about data collection and usage, obtaining consent before collecting or sharing data, and allowing customers to control their own data. Customers also expect companies to promptly address any data breaches or security incidents that may compromise their personal information.
Consumers today expect seamless and consistent shopping experiences across multiple channels, which has increased demand for the omnichannel presence among businesses. An omnichannel approach allows consumers to interact with a brand through various touchpoints such as physical stores, online marketplaces, social media, mobile apps, and more.
By offering a cohesive and integrated experience across all channels, businesses can create a more personalized and convenient shopping experience for their customers. For example, customers can start browsing for products online, pick them up in-store, and return them via a different channel without hassle. These user experiences can only be implemented if you have compliantly accessed your site users’ personal information.
Consumers are also becoming more tech-savvy and using multiple devices to purchase. They expect businesses to have a consistent presence and provide a seamless experience regardless of their device or channel.
The high cost of mishandling data: Why brands need robust compliance measures
In today’s digital age, data is the lifeblood of many businesses, but it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Brands that do not have robust compliance measures in place for handling data are exposing themselves to significant risks. The dangers of mishandling data can result in a variety of negative consequences for brands, including damage to their reputation, loss of customer trust, and large financial penalties.
One of the most significant dangers for brands not complying with data protection regulations is the potential for large fines. Governments worldwide have enacted stringent data privacy laws that require companies to adhere to specific rules and regulations for collecting, processing, and storing data. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty financial penalties, ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the severity and scope of the violation.
Aside from financial penalties, brands that mishandle data may also suffer reputational damage, which can be even more damaging in the long run. When consumers learn that their personal information has been compromised or misused, they may lose trust in the brand, resulting in a loss of customers, negative reviews, and damage to the brand’s overall reputation.
Preparing for the cookieless future as an online retailer
Following Google’s announcement in February 2020 to remove third-party cookies from its Chrome browser to promote consumer privacy, the digital landscape is set to undergo a significant shift known as the “cookieless future.” Google stated that users demand greater privacy for online profiles and want more control over their data processing. This has led to a need for the web ecosystem to align with these requirements by giving users preferences and control over their data. However, due to unanimous feedback, the deadline for this transition has been pushed back twice – first from the end of 2023 to the second half of 2024 – as companies require more time to “evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies” in Chrome.
Gearing up ready for a cookieless future, the team at Cassie has developed the Cassie Identity Service. The Cassie Identity Service resolves the cookieless future proactively, ensuring seamless identification even in the absence of cookies. Even if a visitor has previously given consent for first-party cookies and subsequently deletes them, or if the browser automatically clears them, Cassie’s Identity Service is capable of recognizing them. This is made possible because the service stores crucial information such as the cookie name, cookie value, and consent expiry date, allowing it to accurately identify past visitors and restore cookies along with their analytics identifiers.
What is Cassie, and how does it supports online retailers?
Cassie is the Consent and Preference Management platform (CMP) that powers sustainable, compliant revenue growth by building stronger customer relationships by respecting consumers choices, we’ve supported some of the world’s largest consumer brands to achieve data privacy compliance for over a decade while increasing conversions.
We’ve helped businesses with high data volume retailers and e-commerce to use granular preference management to power better targeting, experiences and ROI across all their channels.
Cassie gives e-commerce businesses a prime opportunity to focus on building customer trust and achieve the following goals:
- Ensure data privacy compliance – in real time
- Improve marketing efficiency by only sending the communication most likely to succeed
- Enable the most effective personalization for stand-out experiences
- Put the customer firmly in control of how the brand communicates with them
- Deliver seamless identification even in the absence of cookies
Changing the mindset and turning data privacy into a competitive weapon
Cassie uses powerful identification methods, high-speed integrations with all your marketing technologies and granular capture of customer preferences to enable you to deliver personalized customer experiences.
Simplify paths to purchase with real-time customer journeys
Cassie operates in real time. So a customer can be identified and served a message in micro-seconds…a message driven not by segmentation but highly-granular personalization. That’s why our customers see increases in campaign response rates and sales when they use Cassie as their CMP.
Recognized by Gartner as a Privacy and Consent Management leader
“Fully customizable, Cassie has developed a deep and rich feature set across all four service categories, especially where integration is concerned, equally handling data from legacy systems through data loader functions and complex CRM APIs.”
Gartner, Consent and Preference Management Market Guide 2022
Go beyond compliance to power growth with Cassie
Cassie will support your consumer experience, deliver on the importance of brand reputation, and provide granular data to provide more insights to drive more revenue.
To learn more how Cassie supports retail customers on their compliance journey, read our case study.