Guest Post by Susan Aldrich of Patricia Seybold Group
And yet, collecting customer information is undeniably valuable. It helps you present great product recommendations to visitors, follow up with engaging emails, and chase your customers around the Internet with ads. There are also opportunities to monetize customer information, via third party ad exchanges.
I think retailers can postpone privacy panic: you aren’t Facebook or Instragram. But I do recommend taking four small steps. 2013 is the year to learn how to ask for and use customer permission, because customers currently pay little attention to the issue of privacy on retail sites. Here are the 4 things that belong on your privacy to-do list:
2. Plan your technology strategy for collecting and tracking not only customer data, but customer permission to collect and use that data. What approach to balancing privacy, permissions and monetization is budget-appropriate?
3. Start collecting customer permission. Your customers each trust you in certain ways. Ask them to be explicit about their trust. Try out various programs to get their permission to use their data for various purposes. Your goal is to find out what customers deem acceptable, and what you need to offer in return.
4. Establish tools and skills for testing different approaches to asking permission, to describing how you use customer information, and for different approaches to using the information.
Susan Aldrich is a leading authority on optimizing the methods that help customers find what they need to make buying decisions and/or to solve problems. Her research and consulting address the technologies and practices that help marketers get the most useful content in front of customers at the right moment: personalization, recommendations, search, discovery, targeted marketing, and web content management. Her blog, at www.susanealdrich.com, aims to fill the need for Personalization for Dummies and Experts.