Brexit and the Ecommerce Industry: What UK Retailers Need to Know

Disclaimer: The content in this post is not – and should not be interpreted as – legal advice. For detailed information regarding the technicalities of Brexit, GDPR and data processing, please seek legal counsel.

If you live on planet Earth and have access to the internet you’ll likely have heard of “Brexit” – a public referendum announced in 2016 that would withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union. Since then, the UK government has been unable to agree on a withdrawal approach, which has led to huge levels of uncertainty for the UK and European economies. The announcement of this deal has raised doubts for UK ecommerce retailers, mainly related to how Brexit will impact their businesses and what tools do they need to prepare for the change.

If you are an ecommerce retailer in the UK, here is a brief rundown on how Brexit may impact the future of your business, as well as the tools Nosto has put in place to prepare for the change and continue to safeguard client data.

1. What does Brexit mean for online retailers in the UK?

Initially, Brexit drove an increase in sales from overseas customers due to the drop in the value of the British pound (GBP). This was a particularly noticeable for heritage “Made in England” brands.

From a longer term perspective, a Brexit deal will likely lead to changes (many of which are still unknown), but the UK government has already indicated that they plan to write the GDPR directives into UK law. On top of that, import and export rules/tariffs will inevitably shift, forcing retailers to adjust their business models to changes in margin and, perhaps, suppliers. Again, the killer here is uncertainty; we just don’t know yet!

2. How is Nosto preparing for the impact of Brexit on UK retailers?

Data privacy and the transfer of data between the UK and the EEA are the key changes that will affect Nosto-powered retailers. However, the introduction of the GDPR was an important milestone for us; in preparation for GDPR, we fine-tuned our processes, platform and the way we process data. Therefore, changes to UK law post Brexit will likely not require significant changes from Nosto clients.

Once the Brexit deal has been agreed on and more insight is available regarding the changes required, Nosto clients will be informed of these details.

Currently, Nosto is preparing to update existing client VAT codes to reflect the client’s location outside of the EU.

3. Which types of data does Nosto gather?

The Nosto service allows retailers to control the personal data that is gathered from the consumers and has built-in tools to assist the Nosto-powered retailers in fulfilling the requirements of the GDPR.

The Nosto Service has the capability to collect the following data types: first name, last name, email address, user agent (browser), IP address, events, viewed products, order events, cart content, liked products, image files, disliked products, external campaign attributions, clicked recommendations, order information, phone number, post code, country code and sent emails. Disabling data types will have a negative impact on the functionality of the Nosto service. For example, disabling email capture will prevent Nosto from sending triggered emails.

4. How do I manage the data that is in the Nosto service?

Nosto-powered retailers can extract and/or deleted data through the back-end of the Nosto Service. You can find more details on the tools and how to use them here.

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