GDPR And The Effects on eCommerce

GDPR compliant

Data protection is essential for eCommerce. Many online sellers are susceptible to many cases of fraud and others that can disrupt business, and even potentially ruin them. GDPR will be coming into effect across Europe from May 2018.

GDPR is the General Data Privacy Regulation. First established in April 2016, its aim is to protect data as well as show how it should be handled. It does not directly discuss eCommerce, though it will be one of the big beneficiaries from GDPR.

GDPR has been brought in to protect Europeans and the data that they transmit and receive. In broad terms, GDPR covers any site or data as long as they involve Europeans in some way, as well people who are doing business in Europe.

What does GDPR mean for eCommerce businesses?

While GDPR will affect eCommerce, how it could affect online sellers remains to be seen. GDPR seems to favor much larger businesses than SMEs. Many SMEs might find it hard to comply, since it requires much record keeping, something which SMEs with few people involved can manage.

There is so much that GDPR covers. At its heart is data privacy and protection. This is both for the consumers as well as sellers. Consent from the consumers must be clear. So that means there shouldn’t be automatically filled out consent boxes, for instance. Consumers should be able to decide when and how they would give their consent to data transfer.

GDPR compliant

Data that should be given should be ones that are only pertinent to a transaction. That means it should only be data that is needed for it. Unnecessary data that has nothing to do with a transaction should be left out. This goes back then to the issue of consent—data should only be one that a consumer or seller wishes to share.

For many consumers, having a site that is GDPR compliant would naturally be considered safe. With so much data now being transferred online, there is also the possibility of data being used in the wrong way as well as it being intercepted. Sites that aren’t GDPR compliant may make consumers in Europe nervous.

There are also sites that are now becoming GDPR compliant. Google and Facebook for instance are now making their sites as well as activities compliant to it. Shopify and MailChimp as well are becoming compliant. The need to be compliant to GDPR is great, especially for sites that are being used in Europe.

With 2018 near, GDPR will become a big issue in Europe. Sites that aren’t compliant yet should make theirs so if they want to continue doing business in Europe. Data protection is very important, especially today when there are sophisticated ways to get it.

There are also incredibly severe punishments in place for failure to be GDPR compliant which should be all the motivation a business needs in order to comply.

If you want to find out how you can ensure your business is GDPR compliant, find out about appropriate solutions through Distology.

Have you heard of GDPR already?  Is your business compliant already? Let us know in the comments down below.

For almost 10 years Dave has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant it was the opportunity to start UnderstandingE with Matt Ogborne showing the world how to utilize Magento as the Third Generation of Multi-Channel software. Dave also recently started a YouTube channel called the Manc Entrepreneur (click YouTube icon link below to watch Dave's videos) where he discusses all things eCommerce and entrepreneurship aimed to help young entrepreneurs get started on their own journey. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include, Technology, Cars and throwing himself off high things into water.


  1. I think not many companies are prepared for the changes that will be taking place, having a medium sized business in the finance sector myself through networking I know owners of many other companies. When the talk turns to GDP many of them aren’t even aware of the impact it will have on their business and despite being in the news for months don’t think it will be affecting them. I think it is very important to firstly educate yourself on the changes and then find yourself and work with an experienced cybersecurity firm.

  2. Great article. While GDPR is a huge challenge for online retailers, I believe it presents many opportunities. Yes, there will be less available data, but because of the length brands will have to go to to gain permission (and prevent customers/prospects from unsubscribing), brands will build deeper intimacy/greater engagement with customers/prospects. Additionally brands will be able to demonstrate transparency, building trust and loyalty.

    • Hey Simon, I agree 100%

      GDPR will be a huge trust builder and protector for the masses. The problem is the guys dragging their feet in getting compliant and leaving themselves open to issues later.


  3. Nice article well privacy of data is important not just for EU citizens and residents. It should apply to all people over the world.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.