Woman using phone for shopping showing need to implement data protection and privacy policies in retail
How to Implement Data Protection and Privacy Policies in Retail

How to Implement Data Protection and Privacy Policies in Retail

If you’re looking to implement data and privacy protection in your retail stores, you’ll definitely love today’s post.

We discuss how to implement data protection and privacy policies, so you can be on the safe side.

In other words, the article is geared towards “…retailers implementing data protection, privacy policies, and the like across an entire organization and multiple stores, etc.”

Why is it important to comply with data protection regulations? We cover that as well.

Do you have a privacy policy for your organization? Are you GDPR compliant? Are you risking hefty fines without realizing it?

In a digital world, ecommerce is a growing aspect of retail business. Are your digital assets complaint with data protection laws?

That aside, do you have a data protection policy for your retail stores? Have your employees read your data privacy policy? Keep in mind, human error, neglect and disgruntled employees are linked to data breaches.

We go over all of these questions briefly, and help you to implement data protection and privacy policies in your retail business.

With that preamble, let us dive in.

Are you GDPR compliant?

GDPR (short for General Data Protection Regulation) is the latest change to the European Union (EU) Data Privacy policy in the last 20 years. It was implemented in May 2018 to protect personal data of individuals in the EU.

How does that apply to a retail business in another part of the world?

GDPR applies to all retailers who process personal data of users in the EU, regardless of where the retail business is headquartered. And since you most likely process data from EU users in one way or another, it’s important to be GDPR compliant.

So, do your current data privacy policies address GDPR? But even with severe penalties such as the $240 million fine facing British Airways, you’ll be surprised to note that only 26% of retailers are GDPR compliant, despite the fact that retail is one of the top industries serving as a model for cyber security. Clearly there’s a lot of work to be done yet.

Yet with growing cybercrime comes a greater responsibility to protect user data at all costs. For starters, familiarize yourself with the GDPR.

Then ensure your retail business is GDPR compliant at all points of contact be it in-store or on your website and mobile apps.

Why is it Important to adhere to data privacy regulations?

Personal data is just that, personal. If a user entrusts you with personal data, it’s your responsibility as a reputable business to protect it with your blood, sweat and tears.

Loss of brand reputation

For starters, your brand reputation hangs on the line. Data breaches are usually nasty, especially when personal data gets in the wrong hands. It’s not a mere inconvenience; it’s devastating to your customers, and bad for brand credibility.

Data breaches are expensive

GDPR fines are brutal, but that’s only one part of the story. Data breaches are costly, no matter how you look at it. Investigating, sealing the security hole, and recovering data are time consuming and costly.

If you cannot run your business thanks to a catastrophic data breach, you lose revenue every second your business is out of operation.

Battling it out in court, too, doesn’t come cheap, especially when you’re made to pay huge amounts in compensation fees and so on.

Therefore, it is important to implement data protection and privacy policies in your retail business. Firstly, it’s honorable and, secondly, it shields you from huge losses.

Tips to Implement Data Protection and Privacy Policy in Retail

The following tips will help you to implement data protection and privacy policies in your organization and multiple stores. The tips cover everything from your points of sale, websites, apps and all other methods you use to collect data.

Use transparent methods

How do you collect data in your retail stores? Do you use surveys, POS, field studies, questionnaires, quizzes, and giveaways to collect user data?

Do you collect personal data on your website or apps? Do your users understand how and why you’re collecting their data? Do they know how you plan to use the data?

And how do you plan to protect the same? Simply put, if you collect user data, let your users know as soon as they interact with your business, which leads us to our next point.

Publish a privacy policy

A privacy policy is a legal document that details how you collect, use and protect user data. Also, it’s a powerful tool to earn your user’s trust, since you’re essentially guaranteeing you’ll protect their data.

A privacy policy also establishes the user’s rights, which legally restricts the business from misusing or mishandling user data.

Sit with your team and let your lawyer pen down a solid privacy policy, and implement it across your organization or retail stores using technology; our next point.

Leverage technology

Do you use WordPress? With a huge chunk of websites running on WordPress, your answer is probably yes and protection from hacking is necessary. If you don’t have a website for your retail business in this time and age, please step out.

The rest of you, you can use a plugin such as Cookie Notice to make your website GDPR complaint. There are many other GDPR compliance WordPress plugins out there, so pick one that suits you.

While making your website GDPR compliant is commendable, implementing data protection goes far and beyond merely using a plugin.

You must implement stringent data security measures to keep data breaches at bay, online and offline.

That being said, let us get back inside your brick-and-mortar store. How can you leverage technology to implement data protection and privacy policy?

You can leverage a tool such a Zipline to manage your data protection and privacy policies across the entire company. The tool helps you to stay on top of in-store communication, allowing you to deliver and manage relevant documents/information from a central dashboard.

Stay in the know

Data protection and privacy laws change all the time. GDPR is just one of the latest changes to EU data privacy regulations. In every jurisdiction, there are different data protection and privacy regulations, and they change from time to time.

How many of these regulations apply to your business? Are you compliant? Staying informed is the only way to stay ahead. Data privacy regulations change all the time, which is why companies update privacy policies regularly.

Stay in the know by following popular websites such as Deloitte, and TechRepublic, among others. With new & malicious cyber threats every second, you need information to stay ahead of the criminals. As such, your data protection team must have the guys who ensure your “…company is current and compliant with data privacy regulations.”

Take a comprehensive approach

So, we rushed to implement GDPR complaint notices on our website, and updated our privacy policies. Now what?

Is that all you need to be really GDPR complaint? Is that all there is to data protection and privacy? Certainly not.

There are many in-store changes needed to make your retail business compliant with data privacy regulations.

How do you protect data in your stores? How is the data used? Has the user said, “Yes, you can use my data?”

Think beyond your website, and consider how you handle data in stores, headquarters, district office and so on. Think beyond GDPR, and mull over the other regulations with which you must comply.

To implement data protection and privacy policies across your organization, you need to take a comprehensive approach that accounts for every aspect of data and privacy protection.

At the end of the day, data privacy protection is all about ensuring the user’s data does end up in the wrong hands. It also means the integrity to use the data for its intended purpose only.


We hope the post offered you the impetus you need to start implementing data protection and privacy policies in your retail business.

There is no one single approach to implementing a solid data protection strategy since each business is unique. All the same, we would love to know what you think.

How do you implement data protection in your retail business? Do you have a different opinion? Please let us know in the comment section too ?

Other than that, invest in data security. If you implement data protection effectively, you’re free of hefty fines to the tune of millions of dollars. Now, you don’t want that, do you?


Staff Writer at CPO Magazine