Whilst Innovation and Proptech will again be big buzzwords for next year, one of the biggest changes over the next 12 months is likely to be the winners and losers in the introduction of GDPR.

Getting to know who your best customers are, rewarding them and building a closer relationship with them has always been one of the key tenets of good retailing and GDPR will dramatically change how we do that in a digital landscape.

The new GDPR legislation coming into effect on 25th May 2018 will require all holders of data on EU citizens to comply in how they collect, store and process data. One might say this is very timely in a period where breaches in security and disreputable use of data are regularly in the press, and the brands that can demonstrate careful, considerate use of a consumer’s data stand to gain a considerable strategic advantage.

As Europe’s leading provider of CRM and loyalty programs for retail destinations, we are already working with our clients to prepare for GDPR, but there are a number of benefits that every mall owner can take advantage of, with the right strategy towards GDPR:

Consolidation:

Acquisitions, 3rd party activities and system upgrades can all contribute to a disparate data landscape made up of a collection of different databases. Owners can use the deadline to ensure old or extraneous databases are consolidated into a single, compliant CRM system and any unneeded data is removed.

Accuracy:

The general media attention will quickly seek out those who have simply paid lip service to the change in the law, but those organisations who have a strategy in place, who act responsibly and who genuinely improve the quality and accuracy of data will have the chance to build a stronger relationship with the customers they serve.

Acquisition:

Renewed confidence in the use of data should also rekindle a centre’s desire to identify and engage with their customers, developing a deeper relationship with their most loyal visitors and a valuable asset of any brand.

Innovation:

The biggest winners will not only be those that simply comply, but those that look at how this opportunity can also be used to introduce new innovations that use the data to improve the shopping experience for their valued guests.

The spotlight focus on enforcing good and transparent data practices provides a great opportunity for all operators to build a solid CRM strategy, and establish shopper data as a valuable, core asset of their business.

As we race into what will prove to be another critical year for the industry, and with all the rhetoric about Brexit on the tip of everyones’ tongues, who would of thought a piece of EU legislation might set the platform for discussion about much needed alignment and innovation. I for one am genuinely excited to see how the most innovative owners capitalise on the next 6 months.

 

– Ben

 

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