E-commerce and the GDPR

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This week a colleague and I went to the “2018 e-Commerce Expo”:

Our aim was to gauge the market for GDPR services in the SME e-Commerce sector: how did people feel about it, what was the privacy support like from their 3rd- party service providers?

In short, was there a need for JEM and our services?

On that front we came away feeling quite buoyed, albeit with the occasional sigh of disappintment. The Platform providers generally ‘got it’ when it came to privacy and security. For the most part, our data is respected. Understanding the value of a privacy culture was there too, and the impression was given that many SMEs ‘sort of knew it was important’.

But what was lacking, was the overall wherewithal to achieve it.  That’s good for us – clearly there is work to be done!  Maybe less good for those for whom GDPR is intended to work – the consumer,  who in another guise is you and me. But overall, we got the impression that they will get there – at some stage…

(We also found out things that we could use for our own online presence – if you are regular reader, expect to see some changes on the JEM website in the coming weeks).

We know that compliance with GDPR can be a pain in the rear – and for SMEs an extra administrative headache that seems to add effort without corresponding value.

For online retailers doubly so, as there is an awful lot or personal data flying about, and they are potentially sharing it with an awful lot of 3rd-parties.

But, but, but…

I know I keep banging on about the intangible benefits, but in the on-line retail world, “trust” is up there (with “speed” and “ease”):  right at the top of the Customer Experience tree.  We all know that given the right CX,  ‘word of mouth’ and personal advocacy are key to successful marketing.

(Online reviews have a trust rating of 84% compared to personal recommendation, see:   And this is one of the lower values I found – many sites put it even higher.)

If your customers don’t trust you to look after their data, they aren’t going to write about you (or even worse, they are going to write about you…) and you might as well wave goodbye to your dream, no matter how brilliant or unique your product.   And that doesn’t even begin to address what potential investors (VCs), or indeed the authorities might think of not complying. But if you want to be first and best, here’s your opportunity. Get compliant, and tell the world.

So – plenty for JEM to do:   Make it simpler. Make it quicker. Make it more relevant. Fortunately, that’s what we’re good at.

And what about the 3rd parties giving support to their clients?   Well, there was a range of reactions – Some thought it didn’t apply to them (hint: it does). Some had created tools for their clients  to measure their compliance, but that was about it.  And others were genuinely concerned, and wanted to help make sure that they  AND their clients met the requirements. It just wasn’t their core business.

More opportunities for JEM to help out then, and I think we made a few new friends at the show – hopefully they too will follow the rules and not bombard us with marketing emails…

All in all, a good day out, some insights and certainly some ideas for the future. I really couldn’t ask for more.

Not sure how to comply? Need help cutting through the jargon, to make it quick, simple and easy?  Call or mail us for a chat.  We’re nice people. Really.


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