November is Retail Privacy Month
Another major trend is the move towards omnichannel retailing with a mix and match approach. A website may, for example, allow customers to check whether specific products are available in specific stores, minimizing wasted trips.
Retailers will also try to accommodate customers with shipping options for oversized items or items that are taking longer than expected to get at a certain location. While such ad-hoc activities show a direct commitment to the consumer, they may not always go through good security and data handling reviews.
Retail staff and businesses must keep in mind that any change in the business operations introduces a certain level of risk with respect to misuse of technology or data.
Accurate, comprehensive, and available data, often personal data, is at the heart of these improvements. Retailers are required to get consumers to consent to provide that data, but they may choose not to and, under the relevant legislation, now have more ways than ever to seek to get that data back.
Consumers are on high alert about their rights under privacy legislation. If they cannot trust the retailer to hold their data safely and use it sensibly for their benefit, they will simply take their business elsewhere to someone they do trust. This reliance on trust is only going to grow, with digital capabilities moving from ‘nice to have’ to ‘business critical’.
Without effective cybersecurity, and indeed data privacy-protective programs, retailers will lose that trust and the ‘license to innovate’ which rich, accurate, and complete data can support.
Surveys conducted at the Federal level in Canada and in other countries concluded that consumers would take their business elsewhere if they did not believe an organization was handling their data responsibly.
Retailers should always remember that without effective strategies and techniques they can become ‘collateral damage’. Even where they are not targeted themselves, retailers may be caught up unwittingly in a cyberattack on other retailers, their suppliers, or other sectors of the economy, which will either undermine confidence generally or will have a direct impact on the business.
Retailer organizations that conduct reviews of their omnichannel strategies, can attest to the fact that good privacy and cybersecurity practices directly support the business resilience, reputation, and growth.
At Managed Privacy Canada we have developed best practices and documentation to support retailers to thrive and reduce risks introduced by innovation, through solid risk management practices.
✅ Our approach to practical privacy begins with your free 20-minute consultation. For more information, visit www.managedprivacy.ca
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