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Data minimisation — Why less is more

The quantity of personal data a business collects directly impacts the volume of customers it acquires.

Data minimisation is the practice of limiting the amount of information by gathering only what is relevant and necessary. It helps businesses become streamlined and customer-centric, and elevates both efficiency and experience.

Forms, fields, and filling:

Retail abandonment rates are at an all-time high, SalesCycle puts it at 84%, and it can be inspected across all fields of an online form.

Research from Formstack shows that abandonment varies according to the type of personal information businesses typically ask for –

Name: 42%

Company name: 14%

Phone number: 12%

Email address: 9%

Conversion rate is the percentage of customers that complete a desired action. Take a look at Hubspot’s research on conversion rates, in relation to form length –

3 fields: 25%

4–5 fields: 17–20%

6+ fields: Below 15%

Put simply, the fewer the form fields, the higher the conversions.

Privacy matters:

Large repositories not only impede database efficiency, they also pose major security risks. Over the last few years, privacy and security stipulations have only increased in their relevance and acceptance.

Enforceable within the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation requires all businesses to limit the amount of data they collect from their customers. The premise is to empower people to control their information and optimise the regulatory environment for businesses. Following the GDPR’s lead, regulations such as the APEC CBPR and California’s CCPA soon emerged, making minimisation a largely-global business responsibility.

Transparency is key to building loyalty and currently. PwC’s research shows that 87% of consumers would look elsewhere if they didn’t trust a business to manage their data responsibly. SalesForce reports that 91% of customers are more likely to trust companies with their information when they know how it is being used.

When viewed as an opportunity, businesses can use the call for compliance and data minimisation to their (competitive) advantage. It reduces liability, restores faith in a brand and stimulates conversion. Companies need to simply determine the minimum amount of data needed to achieve their purposes.