importance of gdpr compliance for ecommerce

Ecommerce business owners have a lot of things on their plate. They have to work on their website’s search engine optimization (SEO) ranking, website design, social media marketing, and many other tasks. This article will focus on one of the tasks that go unnoticed by many website owners, i.e., GDPR compliance for eCommerce.

It has been a few years since GDPR for businesses emerged onto the scene. It is a website policy that is too hard to ignore. Many online store owners still have to learn about GDPR compliance for eCommerce and how they can use it to their advantage.

What is GDPR?

GDPR is the short form for General Data Protection Regulation and emerged on the Internet in 2016. GDPR compliance for eCommerce creates the rules for managing the data of European residents.

terms and conditions

Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website

GDPR compliance for eCommerce influences how business owners collect and manage their users’ data. The data can be credit card information, personal information, or social media activity. It is pretty much reshaping how eCommerce businesses are conducted in Europe. It also impacts how the brands interact with the customers, their marketing tools, and how they sell those products online.

GDPR is not a technical document for a website because eCommerce is discussed only once. GDPR is extremely specific when it comes to handling personal data and serving mankind.

Importance of GDPR for Ecommerce

The execution of GDPR for businesses starts from data collection by corporations and websites. Before the emergence of the GDPR compliance for eCommerce, Europe already had a Data Protection Directive. However, that directive slowly became outdated. Unfortunately, it could not be correctly applied to the online business operations that numerous companies have incorporated today.

Once the GDPR compliance for eCommerce came to fruition, it replaced the previous directive, and it intends to safeguard the data of EU citizens continuously. Under the regulations of GDPR for eCommerce, companies must follow the rules of collecting data professionally and using it according to the user's privacy rights.

By making companies accountable for collecting and using customer data, the GDPR compliance for eCommerce gives EU users a better understanding of how their data is processed. It also authorizes them to decide how they want their data to be used.

strikingly privacy policy

Image taken from Strikingly

If you are running an eCommerce website and you have buyers from Europe, you may have already followed GDPR. However, if you have just started your eCommerce business, you need to understand the technicalities of GDPR compliance for eCommerce.

Complying with GDPR compliance for eCommerce can be an overwhelming task. However, it is crucial for smooth business operations. You cannot just sit back and do nothing until your online sales take off. You must get familiar with the procedures and standards to ensure that you don't end up with legal complications.

Checklist of GDPR Compliance for Ecommerce Company

1) Data Security

The first important aspect of achieving GDPR for eCommerce is to ensure data security. Your organization must create a list of all types of information you store, the source of the stored information, and the terms and duration of its use. You must thoroughly document the entire data that you collect. All pieces of users’ personal information should be accompanied with details.

ensure data security

Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website

Your company must also secure the record of locations where you store your users’ personal information and how the data flows between those locations. For example, MySQL or PostgreSQL databases are the two notable locations where you can store user data.

Your company’s website should allow users to access your privacy policy. Privacy policy gives you reasons for

  • Collecting data
  • Processing data
  • Sharing data with customers
  • Taking measures to keep the data safe

2) Accountability and Management

Your company would require a Data Protection Officer (DPO). A DPO is an expert that ensures that your company follows all the rules and regulations related to data protection. If your company is a public authority, hiring a DPO becomes even more crucial. The DPO performs regular monitoring or manages an extensive amount of data in sensitive categories. Although your company may not be allowed to hire a DPO, it is a good practice to rely on a trustworthy individual regarding data protection.

Your objective is to verify that all people in your company know the principles of GDPR compliance for eCommerce. If people are unaware of these principles, you have to compensate for the lack of knowledge. For example, you can hire an experienced employee to conduct regular training sessions on data protection.

Your company can develop guidelines on the following factors:

  • Email security
  • Setting strong passwords
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Device encryption
  • Use of virtual private networks (VPNs)

Once a newcomer joins your team or the new regulations are applied, you can hold training sessions on GDPR for businesses. You must pay special attention to those individuals with personal data access.

3) Agreement With Customers

Customer consent is one of the basic requirements for achieving GDPR for eCommerce compliance. When you collect customer information on your website, you must provide them with a link to gain access to your website’s privacy policy and the option to agree with the terms and conditions. It is important to note that customers should confirm the agreement independently rather than seeing pre-ticked boxes on their display screens.

You must use simple and easily understandable language in your privacy policy. This is important if your target audience consists of children and teenagers. If your privacy policy is easy to understand, it will send an unambiguous message to the audience on managing personal data. Similarly, they should also have the right to revoke their consent.

If you are making any changes to your terms and conditions, you must initially inform your existing customers about them. For example, you can send your customers a detailed email about the things you have changed.

4) User Rights

GDPR compliance for eCommerce highlights the users’ rights that the companies must respect and grant. They must articulate their privacy policy and communicate with their audience easily to satisfy all parties. This is important if your target audience has children, and you have to explain everything regarding your privacy policy to them. The best thing to do is to provide information in a written or electronic format.

Your users have the right to request specific information about your company or your data processing cycle. For instance, the information your users want can be about:

  • Company’s identity and contact details
  • Identity and contact information of your DPO
  • Address of the location where you perform data processing
  • Legal reasons for data processing
  • List of data recipients or countries where you transfer data (for security concerns)

Achieve GDPR Compliance for Ecommerce on Strikingly

If you are a website owner and collect data via contact forms, you have to ensure that your website is compliant with this regulation. This is essential if you are collecting data from people living in the European Union. Furthermore, you must update your website’s privacy policy to cover all the information collected through your website.

Making your website eCommerce GDPR-compliant is ridiculously easy in Strikingly. You can ensure GDPR compliance for eCommerce for your website by following the steps below:

  1. On your Strikingly website editor, click on “Settings” before moving to “Legal” in the “Advanced” options

strikingly legal services

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If you want to use the GDPR compliance feature, you must activate the “Terms and Conditions” and “Privacy Policy” and add the relevant text in those boxes. We do not recommend any specific terms and conditions content or format, but you will find thousands of related templates on the Internet. You must consult a lawyer to tailor all these documents to your business.

  1. Tick the "General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance" box
  2. Tick the "Show European Union Cookie Notification" box before saving

strikingly gdpr compliance

Image taken from Strikingly

Once you have activated the GDPR compliance, all of your Strikingly contact forms will have checkboxes for agreeing to your consent text.

When trying to ensure that your website is GDPR-compliant, you should never assume what your users want. You should always ask for their feedback before collecting information from them. Most importantly, you should only collect the data that you will use.

As a website owner, you must make everything clear to your visitors. Users always like websites that have transparency. For example, you can give the option of unsubscribing to your newsletters. If you have an eCommerce store, you can give a payback option to your customers in case the product is damaged or not functioning properly.


Achieving and maintaining GDPR for eCommerce isn’t the easiest task for companies worldwide. However, if you share this task with a team of experienced GDPR compliance auditors, compliance will become easy. Supervisors may sanction administrative fines if a company doesn’t follow the GDPR requirements.

Be honest about your GDPR compliance for eCommerce and publish a clear privacy policy on your website. This is important for letting your visitors know you are doing everything related to data protection. You can make your privacy policy accessible by adding it to your website’s footer. You can also add it below the contact forms you have on your website.