Indeed, surveys show that almost 40 percent of users who bought online last year agree that privacy concerns kept them from shopping again, and nearly 60 percent express concerns about companies selling their information to third-parties.
I strongly disagree with the well-known Silicon Valley executive who told consumers last year they have no privacy rights and they should "Get over it."
Rather, I say privacy concerns are not going away, so e-commerce companies should get over that!
All this privacy frenzy makes governments nervous—and that should make us, as marketers, nervous. We must take steps to slow down a legislative push that could significantly restrict our ability to conduct business online.
If you're serious about doing some or all of your business transactions on the Web, you have a golden opportunity to make customer privacy part of your brand image and your strategy for building customer loyalty.
Try to demystify the subject. Privacy is about an individual's right to have his or her personally identifiable data protected, whether at home or at work. It applies to all the data you collect about your customers on and off the Web.
Following are a few simple basics:
• Awareness is telling the truth about what customer information you collect, why you collect it and who you let use it. Note that your internal practices must match your policy.
• Accuracy and access refer to letting customers review and correct their data. This can be a great opportunity to have your customers help you maintain your database. If you don't yet have online access to your customer data, a printed report (like the credit bureaus have used for years) could work well.