Privacy Trends in Retail

Data privacy for consumers is going to be a key competitive differentiator in the Retail sector. Three emerging trends pointing to this are

  • Increasing regulations around data privacy

  • Chief Data Officer roles will gain more influence in organizations

  • A rise in a customer-centric approach

There is no denying pandemic-forced lockdowns have boosted the growth of online retail sales. Online retail sales increased from 16% of total retail sales to 19% in 2020. This increase in online retail has resulted in an unparalleled increase in data collection and increased efforts by retailers to deliver personalized marketing. This has raised issues around the privacy and security of consumers’ personal information.

Retailers routinely use AI to analyze data from chatbots, product reviews, and social media (including from consumer interactions online) to understand the customers. Additionally, discounts and loyalty programs are continuing to be used to incentivize customers to share data.

Data privacy concerns are also being taken seriously – Apple’s App Tracking Transparency features, Google’s plan to phase out third-party cookies by 2023, and stricter regulatory penalties are making headlines. It is important for retailers to take privacy seriously and provide more transparency, security, and data ownership control back to the consumers.

Safeguarding consumer privacy has always been a priority but has taken on more urgency in contemporary online shopping and marketing that is driven mainly by data. To gain a competitive edge in the market, Retailers need to be ahead of the rapidly evolving data privacy landscape and fully adapt to changing trends.