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Retailers and consumer policy - Fostering a unique relationship

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U.S. and EU Retailers Release Industry Approach to New Data Protection Regulations to Meet Customer Expectations

The National Retail Federation and EuroCommerce today released a paper that addresses operational challenges retailers in both the United States and the European Union face as they implement programs to comply with new EU data protection regulations while continuing to meet consumers’ expectations for customer service.

“There are still many questions about how the GDPR applies to critical areas of retail operations,” the paper said. “Retailers must find appropriate methods for GDPR compliance that further their customer relationships and do not frustrate them.”

The 14-page “Retail Approach to Implementing Critical Elements of the GDPR” said retailers want to find “approaches to compliance that will meet the requirements of the GDPR while ensuring that retailers can continue to provide customers with the personalization, omnichannel experiences and seamless retail operations that they expect.”

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GDPR is a unique opportunity to improve customer relationship

 

Retailers and wholesalers have put considerable investment and effort into complying with the GDPR to ensure that shopping, whether online or offline, will respect consumers’ right to privacy. These efforts will not end after today, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes full effect.

 

All companies, whether large or small, based in the EU, but also, depending on the customers they serve, outside the EU, have a legal obligation to apply a set of complex data protection rules as of today. Retail and wholesale companies have been impacted by this Regulation in almost every area of customer data processing. Companies with storefronts, websites, mobile apps or other digital platforms through which they serve customers face new compliance standards, additional administrative burdens and liability for violations, as well more stringent enforcement and penalties. EuroCommerce issued in 2017 a guide “The new EU Data Protection Rules - A Guide for Retailers” aimed at helping its members in ensuring customers’ privacy. The guide is currently being updated to take into account new insights and guidance from the authorities.

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EuroCommerce presses for harmonised, balanced, simple rules for consumer guarantees, both online and offline

Speaking at a European Parliament SME Interest Group meeting hosted by MEP Maria Grapini and attended by MEP Pascal Arimont, the rapporteur on the revision of the Sales and Guarantees Directive, EuroCommerce supported the Commission proposal for full harmonisation of consumer guarantees across the EU, and welcomed the move in discussions so far towards including offline sales.

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EuroCommerce calls on European Parliament to boost online cross-border commerce

To boost the lacklustre performance of cross border e-commerce in the European Union, it is crucial to reduce the legal fragmentation which makes it currently complicated for online traders to sell to customers abroad. Ahead of the release of its major policy guidance later this week, EuroCommerce calls on the European Parliament to vote in favour of the Common European Sales Law (CESL) on Wednesday as proposed by the European Commission and reject any amendment which puts the full harmonisation approach at risk.

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