It's one of the most important things to have when selling or conducting business online since it protects your customers and clients against potential risks. It's a security measure for both your business and your customer's personal information.
Let's repeat that: People are concerned about their personal information being shared with third parties.
They don't trust companies to protect their data or have friendly privacy practices. They think there might be a breach of security and someone could steal their identity. It's happened multiple times, in multiple years, sometimes even multiple times in the same year!
When you collect information from your customers, they expect you to protect it.
This ensures that your customers understand how you plan to protect their data.
Customers appreciate knowing exactly what information you collect and why you're collecting it.
Other than the banner your developer told you that you needed (and you do, they're a huge tie-in to most CMS software and to stay ahead of European Union sanctions and hefty fines), there are extremely privacy and security-oriented individuals who take every step possible to mitigate their information from being stolen. Perhaps they're so cautious because of being burned in the past, either way, they exist and they're very serious about not being lied to.
When you visit a website, you're leaving a lot of information exposed to entities you don't personally know. Things like IP addresses, a physical address if you're ordering something to be shipped, your unique device identifier (especially if you're using a mobile application), and more.
The idea behind this is that if you don’t tell people what they can do with your website, they won’t know what actions they've taken to break the rules. This means that if you don‘t specify exactly what kind of content you want to allow, users will assume they can post whatever they like. If you only say “no porn” without specifying which kinds of porn are acceptable, then you may find yourself having to deal with complaints from people who were just trying to share a sexy photo of their cat.
They feel safe knowing that their information is protected.
If you’ve ever had a credit card stolen from your purse or pocket, you know how important it is to keep your personal information secure. The same goes for your users. If hackers gained access to your personal information, we bet you'd be an anxiety-riddled mess.
More than likely you're going with store A.
People like buying from businesses that take care of their customers' privacy.
Customers expect companies to protect their personal information. As consumers, we rely on corporate security policies to keep our data secure when shopping online. We want to feel safe knowing that our sensitive details are protected by the company we do business with.
If you want to win new clients, then you need to show that you care about their privacy.
You should always ask yourself if you really need the information you’re collecting and whether it’s relevant to your business. Obviously, if you're selling goods in your store, you'll need email addresses, but do you really need their mother's maiden name to sell them tchotchkes?
It’s also worth considering whether you could do without any personal information altogether. Platforms like WooCommerce, don't even store payment information and let payment processors handle all of that instead. It's a great data breach mitigation practice built-in into open-source software.
When marketing your website, you often have to rely on third-party services to perform specific data collection. Marketing automation platforms, analytics platforms (Google Analytics, Matomo, Fathom, etc.), heatmap generators, advertising services, etc. Often, you're able to mitigate the installation of cookies before a customer accepts your terms via your privacy pop-up.
Privacy policies are important because they protect your users' personal information. They're also critical to protecting yourself against legal liability.
It's easy to forget that many people are still unaware of their rights regarding data collection and storage. In fact, according to the FTC, nearly half of consumers believe that companies will share their personal information without permission.