If you run a clothing business, you are probably already aware of the extensive benefits of online shopping. Not only can you reach a much larger pool of customers across the world, but you can also access user data to tailor your marketing strategies, target promotions and sales, and improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
However, with this data collection comes several legal and ethical requirements that you must be aware of if you wish to avoid legal trouble and maintain a positive relationship with your customers.
- Why Data Privacy Is Important for Clothing Websites
- Which Privacy Laws Affect Clothing Websites
Why Data Privacy Is Important for Clothing Websites
In today’s world, online retailers must pursue all possible avenues on the internet and mobile apps to reach the largest possible share of their customer base, and clothing businesses are no exception.
What clothes someone buys can reveal quite a bit about them, such as their body size, personal or cultural preferences, plans, potential life changes — such as buying wedding dresses or maternity clothes, and so on.
At the most basic level, numerous laws across multiple jurisdictions mandate that online retailers include clear privacy policies on their websites. These jurisdictions include the U.S. federal government, multiple U.S. state governments, and several international governments where your site may draw visitors.
SEO Best Practices
Which Privacy Laws Affect Clothing Websites
US State and Federal Laws
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
The COPPA is a federal law in the U.S. that mandates privacy protections for websites that market to and collect personal data from children younger than 13.
Under this law, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can determine whether a site is “marketing towards children” according to several factors. These include a website’s appearance, content, what it sells, how it advertises, the kinds of language and music it uses, the ads it runs, and the site’s general user composition.
California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)
The CalOPPA applies to any website that collects “personally identifiable information” about California residents. This information could include names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and other forms of contact information.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The GDPR is the overarching privacy law in all countries of the EU, as well as Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, and Liechtenstein. It applies to any entity that sells products or services to residents of these countries and collects their data.
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
The Act is somewhat more limited than the privacy laws found in other countries and jurisdictions. However, to fully comply, your statement must inform customers that you collect their data, state the purpose of any data collection, and inform them that they can opt-out if they choose.
UK’s General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR)
Termly’s free solution allows you to create easy-to-read and comprehensive privacy policies for your clothing website at no cost.
This managed solution will correspond to the legal requirements under the EU’s and UK’s GDPR, the U.S.’s CCPA, California’s CalOPPA, and Canada’s PIPEDA. It is also automatically updated by Termly’s legal team whenever new requirements come out.
Do It Yourself (Not Recommended)
Below are some tips if you want to go ahead with writing it yourself.
What Personal Data Your Website Collects
This section should be an easy-to-read list or series of bullet points. Any data your clothing website may collect from customers should be here, including things such as:
- Email addresses
- Shipping addresses
It should also include information you collect that is specific to clothes shopping, such as:
- Customers’ sizes
- Browsing history
- Locational information
How You Use That Personal Data
A Specific Clause Addressing Potential Data Collection From Children Younger Than 13
You must include this kind of clause if you sell to U.S. residents, regardless of whether or not you specifically market clothing to children.
If your company does not sell children’s clothing, you can usually fulfill your COPPA obligations with a clause stating that your company neither markets to nor collects data from children under 13 years of age.
How You Protect the Personal Data That Your Clothing Website Collects
Whether or Not You Share That Data With Third Parties
How Your Website’s Customers Can Control Personal Data That You Have Collected
Any Changes to Your Clothing Website’s Privacy Policies
In the case of a clothing business, these questions refer to:
- What data your clothing website collects
- When you collect it
- Who you may be sharing it with
- What purpose this collection serves
- How users can opt-out of data collection
Legal requirements and general good practices dictate that you should also include information about what kinds of data you may collect from visitors to your online clothing store. This information could consist of personal data, financial data, mobile data, or data involving third parties.
- Last, the policy must be clear and available for users to access before they share their data with the site.
With the excellent resources offered through Termly, you can easily create accurate, clear, and legally-sound privacy policies for your clothing business with no extra hassle that legal requirements often bring.