How has GDPR Affected Online Business?

Posted by admin at 5:53 PM on Oct 25, 2019


Preparing for GDPR may have been a big project, but now that the legislation has come in it is emerging that not all companies are fully compliant with the new laws. Research conducted by RSM suggested that only 30% of medium sized European businesses are compliant with GDPR, with the main reasons for non-compliance coming down to not understanding the scope of the regulations and how they are supposed to practically implement policies to ensure compliance.

Research by capgemini revealed that only 28% of businesses surveyed are up to speed with GDPR, and also that businesses that are compliant have outperformed non-compliant businesses by up to 20%. The research was conducted with 1,100 top level executives from a range of industries and a range of countries, to get a big picture overview of how GDPR has affected businesses overall.

These executives reported an improvement in many metrics including customer satisfaction, reputation and trust, as well as revenue and, surprisingly, employee morale. Participation in loyalty programmes and online purchase metrics have also improved, suggesting that thanks to the opt-in nature of customers' interaction with brands these customers are being encouraged to make more purchases and to interact with companies. Executives also said that the targeting of their marketing campaigns has been better, leading to a higher quality of lead, and therefore a better conversion rate.

There have certainly been far fewer high profile privacy breaches from hackers stealing customer information from businesses since GDPR came into effect; a development which can't have hurt customers' perceptions of companies and how they use their data.By shining a spotlight on data, security and privacy many businesses have vastly improved their security policies, which is not necessarily a feature of the regulations but a significant knock-on effect of scrutinising existing security policies which may not have been watertight to start with.This could be part of the reason why GDPR compliant companies report a high level of customer trust.

Far from GDPR making it harder for brands to advertise to and interact with customers it seems that the impact has been generally positive. Perhaps this overhaul in privacy policies and how businesses store and use data has effected an attitude shift within companies to improve their collection and use of data across all departments, leading to a boost in job satisfaction for those who have been involved.

We know that accreditation by regulatory bodies and membership of professional organisations has a positive impact on how consumers perceive a business, which is why these achievements are usually prominently displayed on every page of a company's website. It's no great leap to see that compliance with GDPR and the effect of displaying this (either by privacy settings and cookie acceptance or by having this information published on the website) also improves the reputation of a business and encourages consumer trust.

If you're not quite up to speed with GDPR regulations, or you are looking at the implications of the new rules on analysing website data we can help get you there, and help you take advantage of the benefits which GDPR compliance has given to businesses that are ahead of the game.

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