Approaching consumer data collection without stepping on toes

Customer Management

Data has become core to the success of any merchant, and customer information is of the utmost importance. The more merchants know about their customers, the better they can improve their eCommerce operations. The right information can play a pivotal role in improving customer service, enabling retailers to offer relevant product suggestions determine which products their shoppers will be interested in and take other important actions.

That all being said, retailers must also carefully consider how they get that information. Whether it is the leaks regarding the level of access that the National Security Agency has of everyone’s personal information or the recent breaches at major retailers, customers are more aware than ever that their private data does not always stay private. Retailers must approach their shoppers with respect and gain this information in a way that does not leave prospects feel as if they’ve been taken advantage of.

If merchants want data, they need to be transparent with customers.

Practical eCommerce writer Jerry Jao noted two easy steps for retailers to ensure they do not step on customer toes when trying to aggregate personal information:

1. Do not use complicated language:

Long terms of service, technical jargon, disclaimers and other industry lingo may cause customers to put on the brakes. If merchants want their customers to share information, the best way to handle this is by outlining conditions that are easy to understand.

2. Remember it is a two-way street:

Why should people give merchants their private information? The fact of the matter is that unless customers get some value out of doing so, they should not. Simple incentives such as loyalty programs, however, can help retailers gain mission-critical data while still providing some benefits to customers.

If merchants want data, they need to be transparent with customers.

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