Retailers facing challenges over GDPR regulations

Loyalty programmes will need to overhaul their entire operational guidelines under GDPR
Loyalty programmes will need to overhaul their entire operational guidelines under GDPR

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26 January 2018 | 0

This year sees the implementation of the new GDPR regulations, whereby all businesses will be required to adhere to strict guidelines when it comes to data protection. Accordingf to the Irish Independent, up to three quarters of Irish businesses are unprepared for the May 25 deadline, while a study out of Sweden’s Thoren Business School has revealed that 70% of retailers surveyed are not currently adhering to the requirements that WILL be required under the new laws.

When subscribing to a new membership programme in store, the research found that customers were not being asked to legally opt-in to the programme’s specifics.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires retailers to collect clear confirmations of their terms and conditions. Those retailers who lack opt-ins might have to delete large parts of their databases or have to collect updated opt-ins from existing members. For example, long-stanging members of Tesco’s ClubCard programme may need to reaffirm their wish to be a member, and clarify all of their details and specify how they do and do not want their information to be used. In order to comply with GDPR a proven consent is required. The GDPR regulation stipulates fines up to 3% of the retailers turnover for those that don’t follow GDPR.

The research carried out in Sweden came to the following conclusions and recommendations:

  • All retailers should ask existing and future members to confirm the terms and conditions of a loyalty programme. Even if the retailer has prior consent and confirmation, they should still explicitly ask existing members to confirm the terms and conditions the next time they visit the website or the store with customer facing displays.
  • If customers are able to type in their own email, mobile number and legal opt-in themselves digitally, a 50-100% increase in confirmation takes place. If an existing member identifies on the iPad they can simply update and confirm the terms and conditions that apply from the retailer. This option should be carefully planned and implemented by the reetailer to ensure retensionn of those customers and their details.


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