Last updated - July 8, 2021
As people get more concerned with the topic of their online privacy, writing an understandable policy should be a priority.
Forbes reported that 63% of customers aren’t satisfied with how companies handle data transparency. What’s more, 48% of consumers have stopped buying from a company because of privacy concerns.
Writing an understandable policy is the first step towards gaining people’s trust. If you want to ensure that your website policy isn’t driving people away, it is time to put some effort into it.
Depending on the areas in which you operate, your company must conform to certain privacy laws such as:
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the EU,
- CalOPPA (California Online Privacy Protection Act) in California, or the
- PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) in Canada.
- Give your customers peace of mind by informing them of how you collect data.
- Build trust among your website visitors.
- Boost your credibility with transparency.
- Allow people to feel more in control (46% of consumers feel they’ve lost control over their own data).
- Compliance with data privacy standards can improve your SEO rank.
- Enable the use of third-party services (e.g., Google AdSense) that demand compliance with privacy law.
Easy to Understand Tips for Website Policy Writing
Simply writing a policy won’t guarantee you people’s trust. It may fulfill the requirements of privacy laws, but it won’t win you over new customers.
Writing an understandable policy is crucial. That is the kind of policy that can benefit your business.
1. Outline the Types of Collected Data
The question that concerns people the most is what kind of data will your website collect. You must answer that question directly and comprehensively.
Before you get into the detail of how and where, explain what kind of information you will have access to. Provide website visitors with a list of data that your website will collect.
Typically, people are interested in whether their IP address, user name, email, phone number, access time, and similar data will be collected. A simple and organized list of collected data will clear all their doubts.
If a thought such as “I shouldn’t include this information, it’s not that relevant” comes along, disregard it. Everything is relevant. Your website visitors must know each piece of information that you’ll have access to.
It is highly recommendable that you don’t collect more data than necessary. Bear in mind that people will appreciate you respecting their privacy and reward you with purchasing your products.
Therefore, rethink the data that you want to collect. Outline the data you truly need and mention each one of them in your list of collected data.
2. Specify the Channels You Use to Collect Data
The next visitors’ concern that you need to tackle is what triggers data collection. Explain what kind of website interactions expose their data to your company.
Some of the common channels for collecting data are:
- Registration forms
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Placing orders
The users are allowed to know which of their actions will lead to data collection. They may be aware that some channels collect their data but are completely oblivious about the others. Providing users with a list of data-collecting methods will make them more in control of which data they want to give.
If you want to make the list of data-collecting channels skimmable, present it with bullet points. Thus, customers can read revisit your policy and find all the data-collecting channels in no time.
When creating this list, consider the data collecting channels that you plan to put in motion in the near future. For example, you might plan to innovate your customer service with chatbots and also collect data through it.
3. Explain Why You Collect the Data
Possibly the biggest question is why. Consumers want to know why their data is being collected. If you manage to provide them with an understandable and reasonable answer, they’ll trust your company more.
Not all people are acquainted with the purpose of data collection. They might know that their data will be used but are completely clueless that it’s actually for their benefit as well.
Provide a clear justification of why your company collects data. Let the consumers know that you plan to use that data to personalize their shopping journey on your WooCommerce site, share content they’ll be interested in, suggest products that match their style, etc.
Here’s how Pinterest does it:
Help consumers to understand the good side of data collecting. Use simple and everyday language to achieve that.
Also, make sure that you emphasize that no third party service will access their sensitive information. They should know that your company is the only one with insight into their data.
4. Reassure Users of the Data’s Safety
Users need to make a distinction between data collecting and safety. The fact that you collect their data doesn’t mean that their data won’t be safe.
How do you keep the users’ data protected? How long do you plan to store the user’s data?
Include any information that will give users that feeling of security and protection.
However, you should find the balance between sharing too little and sharing too much. If you share details about every program you use and how it functions, it may confuse the users.
Remember that you are writing this for the wide masses. Explain how you protect your users’ data in plain language and understandable terms.
Some brands, such as Shopify, provide a great example of how to assure users that their data will be safe. They even include a link that allows users to get more information on their security measures.
5. Provide Users with your Contact Information
If in doubt, the users should be able to get in touch with you for further explanations. Providing contact information for additional inquiries can help you win over some hesitant website visitors.
Add your email address, a question submission form, or a live chat button. If you have an international phone number, you can add it as well.
Even if the consumers don’t plan to get in touch, the fact that you are open to communication on the matter will give them more assurance of your transparency.
We live in a world where having privacy online is practically impossible. People’s data can get exploited by companies without them understanding how or why. But you don’t have to fall under that category.
Be a company that respects its customers. The transparent and understandable policy will help you with that.
Take time with writing the policy. Ensure that you cover each of the aforementioned tips. They will guide you through writing a policy that customers will actually comprehend.