Keeping Costs Down In CCPA – Automation

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has the potential to be a major source of financial burden and headache to eCommerce businesses of all sizes and verticals. As consumers begin to grow more aware of their rights, businesses will be subject to an increasing amount of SARs, or, Subject Access Requests – and these can be very costly.

In the past, eCommerce businesses have been able to deal with these SARs by retroactively collecting the footprint of a customer across all touchpoints – or not. Before, customers asking for what information an eCommerce business had collected on them were rarely an informative answer, if any at all.

CCPA will change this. Now, customers have the potential to incur great costs deriving from their newfound information privacy needs.

So, it’s sometime in January 2020 and you receive your first SAR – what happens now? Where are you going to look for this data? Who’s going to do it? How long is it going to take? Where is the person requesting their data even from? What is even going on?

The traditional way of backtracking – and presenting a “hope this is good enough” answer to the customer data inquiry would have been sufficient or even advised 5-10 years ago, but not anymore. Inherently, the requirements of CCPA simply ask for far too much information for this type of solution to be financially feasible.

To navigate the costly waters of CCPA, businesses will need to respond to every SAR effectively and efficiently. The key to this is Automated Workflows, or in other words, already knowing how to handle a SAR before even comes in.

What are Automated Workflows?  

Automated Workflows are a computer-generated digital map of all the necessary steps taken to complete a given customer data request or SAR. Basically, when the customer clicks “request information” on your website, Automated Workflows give you a comprehensive set of instructions to get the customer what they want – based on predetermined parameters derived from whatever you set up. 

Automated Workflows, or something termed similarly, are not uncommon in solutions on the market. Many vendors that offer CCPA specific solutions include this technology, but unfortunately, businesses run the risk of adopting CCPA specific eCommerce solutions that do not give them all the tools to deal with customer data requests. In other words, these solutions can tell you that a customer has data at your company in location, but they cannot store nor access the data in compliance with CCPA. For that functionality, you must purchase an extra add-on module, or find another vendor that handles data – massive expenses for any Ecommerce business in the Californian marketplace.

If a business is to fully govern their customers data and respond to customer data requests quickly and efficiently, functionality that is only possible with an Automated Workflows solution (insert link to GPM page) that comes with all the tools in the box – then they will be able to realize massive cost-savings relative to their competitors.

How Can This Help Me Save Money?

So, CCPA has come into effect and you are faced with a customer data request – what does the cost look like?

In 2019, a Gartner survey indicated that clients spent an average of over $1400 to fulfill a single SAR. Obviously, this astronomical number was uncovered in a world before CCPA – after, SARs will become much more commonplace. So, what’s it going to cost your business?

If you have done a reasonable job of dealing with customer data over the years, you might get away with spending $200 on overhead to fulfill the request, save for any hiccups in the form of missing or incomplete – which, unfortunately, always happen.

If you are a mess when it comes to dealing with customer data, then you can expect costs of over $2500 to fulfill a single request. These costs will vary greatly depending on how structurally sound your customer data is. If you still have some files in a cabinet at your parents’ house, it’s going to cost an awful lot of time and money to access these quickly and efficiently – as CCPA requires.

Automated Workflows, by definition, have the power to significantly diminish the costs associated with responding to SARS.

What is the next step?

So, now you know to thrive under CCPA that you must leverage Automation, and by extension – Automated Workflows. Now what?

Well, when evaluating potential solutions – the Automation Tools need to be evaluated on two (2) simple criterion:

  1. For my business to fully leverage Automation, the solution must be actually connected to the data I collect from my customers.
  2. A lot of vendors creating CCPA specific solutions do indeed include some form of Automation, but their solution as a whole does not enable them to store/handle the actual data they collect from customers – without purchasing expensive 3rd party solutions. So, Automation within these solutions is inherently not fully enabled out-of-the-box. This is extremely important to watch out for, as businesses can quickly find themselves paying way too much for add-on features/solutions. This happens before even implementing the solution, and in the world of CCPA, this can spell a death sentence for your business’s budget.

How powerful is this solutions’ Automation Tool?

  • Looking beyond all the fancy sales and marketing language, how is this tool actually going to impact my employees or my workday?
  • When evaluating potential CCPA-specific solutions, you may notice that you really can’t figure out what the Automation Tool does. Product descriptions and sales pitches are littered with technical language about all the powerful technological features the product has– and it’s hard to parse through. For a CCPA-specific solution to provide a positive ROI to your business, it must provide tangible results for the everyday lives of you and your employees.

Data443’s Global Privacy Manager was purpose-built for CCPA, and our Automated Workflows were built with the above two questions at the forefront. Ecommerce businesses operating under CCPA need to be fully enabled out-of-the-box and be given tangible results within their chosen solution – this is what will help keep costs down, and that is why we are here.