Retailers need to start thinking about data privacy beyond compliance says dunnhumby

Customer data science expert dunnhumby believes that retailers must consider how to address the challenges and opportunities of the changing data privacy landscape if they are to stay ahead of the competition.

LONDON – July 3, 2018 – New research conducted by dunnhumby reveals that retailers have been so focused on compliance and the threat of hacking that many are failing to consider the wider implications of growing consumer awareness, not just of data privacy rights, but of the value of their personal data.  

dunnhumby global managing director for data, Jason Nathan, said, “All the activity so far has been about making sure systems were in place. Retailers need to maintain this momentum and turn their approach to data management into a competitive advantage.”

The research indicates that some retailers acknowledge there are opportunities that remain untapped. However, there seems to be no agreed path ahead. Some believe the new legislation and growing consumer concern around privacy and security issues will be the catalyst for more disruptive approaches from retailers, while others are turning their attention to data partnerships to deliver competitive advantage.

Nathan continued, “We see key areas of opportunity which many retailers aren’t fully grasping yet. The first is in maximising the impact that a positive data collection and management experience will have on their brand. GDPR has heightened consumer awareness of the ways organisations use their data. They’re less willing to tolerate a lax approach and trust will become a bigger influence when it comes to building consumer loyalty.”

“Retailers will be in a better position to deepen their relationships with consumers through a transparent, honest and equitable approach to how data is used and shared. But GDPR signals more consumer scrutiny, so retailers must bring more personalisation and greater relevance to their communications and offers.”

Outside of Europe, there’s more disparity around awareness and understanding of GDPR. While some retailers are watching the European market with interest, others were unaware of the legislation and were more concerned about data security and hacking risks.


About dunnhumby

dunnhumby is the global leader in Customer Data Science, empowering businesses everywhere to compete and thrive in the modern data-driven economy. We always put the Customer First. Our mission: to enable businesses to grow and reimagine themselves by becoming advocates and champions for their Customers.

With deep heritage and expertise in retail – one of the world’s most competitive markets, with a deluge of multi-dimensional data – dunnhumby today enables businesses all over the world, across industries, to be Customer First.

The dunnhumby Customer Data Science Platform is our unique mix of technology, software and consulting, enabling businesses to increase revenue and profits by delivering exceptional experiences for their Customers – in-store, offline and online. dunnhumby employs over 2,000 experts in offices throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas working for transformative, iconic brands such as Tesco, Coca-Cola, Meijer, Procter & Gamble, Raley’s, L’Oreal and Monoprix. Learn more at

Research methodology

One-to-one phone interviews were conducted with representatives from 25 grocery retailers from the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Respondents were selected on the basis that they had a broad understanding of their company’s activities across customer data collection and marketing processes.