Last year on May 25, 2018, the time had come: The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced and has turned e-commerce upside down ever since. Collecting customer data and using personal data to optimize the customer experience? Not so easy anymore! But how can online retailers now address their customers with personalized content without breaking the GDPR?
We get to the bottom of this question!
The GDPR turns the E-Commerce upside down
Online retailing is booming. Nearly ¾ of Germans browse the web and buy online. In contrast to a few years ago, users can go online anytime and anywhere, use low data rates and WLAN hotspots for unlimited surfing. So it's no wonder that e-commerce sales have increased enormously in recent years, giving online shopping the highest rate of all time. A major reason for this boom is the online customer experience. This is perceived by many users in the online world as much more pleasant than in the stationary business.
The explanation for this is simple: online shoppers can do product research, read reviews, obtain price comparisons and be addressed by individually relevant products at any time. But the last of these is based primarily on the use of personal data in the course of the necessary personalization of the shop. These can no longer be processed as usual due to the GDPR, which has already come into force. It therefore seems as if an individualized online shop and the basic data protection regulation are mutually exclusive.
Is the GDPR the end of the individualization of the customer experience?
The GDPR and its consequences for shop owners
The challenges that the GDPR brought into being last year and which many shop operators have already failed miserably to overcome relate above all to the entire consent process for the use of data. For example, the well-known "opt-in" procedure for consenting to the processing of personal data, which was originally available with a tick in the box, must be replaced by new, very sensible consent procedures. According to the GDPR This means that the data subject must be precisely informed of the purpose for which his or her data will be used, after which he or she may decide which of these procedures he or she wishes to approve. This so-called "Double-Opt-In" procedure, which is now considered compulsory, presupposes that the check mark is set actively and that the link provided must be clicked in the follow-up e-mail to confirm consent.
Who consents, must also be able to revoke. The granting of revocation must therefore be just as simple as consent. For this reason, the so-called "opt-out option" must always be clearly indicated. Should a revocation occur, no tags may be loaded on the page.
Also problematic: According to the GDPR, minors may only give their effective consent to the processing of their data from the age of 16. This age reference must also be taken into account when planning social media campaigns.
There are also complications in the area of tracking and website cookies. Here it often happens that users refuse to consent to data processing and cookies cannot be loaded as a result.
Conventional personalization solutions are therefore increasingly reaching their limits. Because: Of all users who surf to an online shop, only 20% are known to the shop operator. The remaining 80% are only registered as unknown users, as their personal data can no longer be processed and used as before.
The result: uniform website content for almost all users. The requirements and interests of the customers are so simply faded out - individuality looks differently. In order to solve this so-called GDPR dilemma, operators should urgently consider new processes as part of their personalization strategy!
The GDPR is driving many online retailers mad. We'll show you how to master the challenges with ease!
Individualization of the Customer Experience despite GDPR
The individualization of the Customer Experience and the DSGVO: Two things that couldn't be more different. But the solution to this supposed imbalance is simple: in addition to the personal data used in conventional personalization, online merchants also have other data sources that allow them to deduce the interests of users. These data sources result from situation data or situation-related data, which are automatically supplied with every access to the shop. They consist of various freely accessible information such as referrers (Facebook, Google, newsletter, etc.), devices (smartphone, desktop, etc.), operating systems (Windows, macOS, etc.), browsers (Firefox, Chrome, etc.), weekdays or times of day. The identity of the shop visitor is completely irrelevant, because the data is only processed as a set of abstract properties and is anonymous.
With this situation-related data, even the interests of an anonymous visitor can be analyzed before his first click without interfering with his privacy. These characteristics of the shopping situation represent the basic framework for solving the dilemma of personalization, as well as for individualizing the customer experience - the Situationalization of ODOSCOPE. This is regarded as a new dimension of personalization and individualizes all digital touchpoints instead of using personal data on the basis of current user needs derived from situational data. The result: the automated playout of products in product lists, tailor-made product recommendations, article feeds, promotion pages, landing pages etc. which have the highest conversion probability for the user. This makes the customer experience much more efficient and convenient.
The situationalization solution also offers further possibilities for optimizing the customer experience: Since the platform not only works with situation-related data but can also take existing data from other systems (CRM, CMS, or ERP) into account, optional data about users such as purchase history, brand affinity or preferred size can be integrated into the situationalization process.
In addition, the integrated business logic enables shop operators to define their own target functions and align them with their business objectives. In this way, returns can be reduced, margins increased, private labels pushed, or stocks sold off. Via the intuitive ODOSCOPE Dashboard, the shop operator can also view the data at any time and control the system fully automatically.
This is how GDPR-compliant individualization for E-Commerce works!
GDPR meets e-commerce: With the next generation of personalization, online retailers can solve the GDPR dilemma.