Privacy has always been a human requirement. It’s something that belongs to individuals and neither governments nor businesses may intrude without explicit permission.

Running your business online needs to offer the same kind of privacy to customers as they would expect when they interact with your business in any other way. It is therefore crucial that you understand where a  privacy policy for an Ecommerce website adds value and becomes a necessity.

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What Exactly is a Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a public statement made by an eCommerce business, to explain exactly how it curates its customers’ personal and confidential information. This is information that is typically collected through a customer’s basic interaction on the online shop of the organization.

What Components Need to be in Your Privacy Policy?

  • It needs to have a detailed list describing the information being collected by your site. Customers need to be presented with a comprehensive list, so they have a clear understanding of the information they willingly hand over to your organization.
  • Your policy should also stipulate where the information is being collected from. Whether it be a part of the sales workflow or registration etc. This should also include the mechanisms you utilize to collect the information.
  • You should be able to justify why you need to collect the information. Confidential information collection should, as a rule, be kept to the bare minimum. Your site should only collect the information you need and nothing more. 
  • In the case where the information you curate is shared with other entities, you need to disclose this to the customer in the privacy policy, too.
  • User rights to their information need to be documented in your privacy policy. This includes their rights and how those rights are protected. Customers need to have the ability to remove or request to have their confidential information to be removed at any time, and they need to be made aware of this through your privacy policy.
  • Finally, you need to explain to the customer how you intend on saving their information and keeping it safe.

Why Must Your eCommerce Site Have a Privacy Policy?

The most important reason for your business to pay attention to your Privacy Policy is that you are legally obligated to have a privacy policy. To protect individuals who, transact with eCommerce and productivity sites on the internet, governments around the world have established privacy laws to protect their citizens.

Your eCommerce site must comply with these laws when your customers are from these nations. Your privacy policy must address the concerns raised by these international privacy laws. Some of the major laws around the world, amongst others, include:

Another reason for your site to have a detailed privacy policy is that many third-party systems require your site to have a policy in place before you are allowed to utilize any of their services or APIs. Tech giants such as Google and Apple, for example, require any collaborators to have a privacy policy in place to facilitate a continuation of trust between customers and all the shareholders of their information. This is called a closed chain of privacy, in the industry.

Having legitimate privacy policies and procedures in place improves your organization’s overall reputation. As online customers become increasingly informed about the risks which eCommerce might pose to their identity, they become increasingly selective about where they share their information. If your online business has a clear and understandable privacy policy that you adhere to, it removes the obscurity from your business and improves consumer trust.

Because search engines crawl sites across the entire internet, your eCommerce site will be granted an improved SEO ranking because you have a privacy policy available. This SEO ranking will prioritize your site above those without a comprehensive privacy policy, driving more customers to your site, more of the time.

In Conclusion

By breaching any of these international regulations, your business might face serious litigation and crippling fines. Your customer’s privacy is not a privilege, but a right they have. The responsibility of securing that right falls on your shoulders, as the eCommerce purveyor.