Your Shopify Guide to Optimizing Data Collection

Learn how to optimize your Shopify Store so you can collect more customer data compliantly.

Shopify Checkout

Introduction

How brands grow online is changing fast. As more privacy regulations have been introduced across the globe, consumers have become far more concerned about how their data is being collected and used.

These factors have signalled the beginning of the end of Third-Party-Cookies. You’ve undoubtedly heard about Apple’s recent IOS update that rocked the online advertising industry. Google and Mozilla have also announced plans to phase out support for third-party cookies.

The impact of these changes are being keenly felt across the e-commerce industry as online brands struggle to effectively target customers and track results while keeping ad spending from skyrocketing.

Owned customer data 

Your customers want to know that they can trust you and that you will respect their privacy while also delivering a personalized experience. 

The key to building long-term customer relationships is prioritizing collecting first-party data. Also known as owned customer data, this is information you collect directly from your customers about their preferences.

Get this process right, and your retention rates and customer lifetime value will soar. 

Collecting customer data compliantly

The key to creating an effective owned data strategy is ensuring you collect customer data compliantly. Get this wrong, and you’re stuck with unusable data (we have seen this so many times!). How you collect personal data dictates how you can use it.

What you can do with personal data depends on ensuring the following factors are all set up correctly and optimized:

  • The type of collection point (checkout, newsletter, chatbot etc)
  • The region your customer is in
  • The type of checkbox you use (opt-in v opt-out)
  • The language of the checkbox
  • The Privacy Policy you have in place at the time of collection

Understanding each and identifying the rules that apply to your business will set you up for success. In this guide we will explain how you can collect customer data in detail, along with some effective tips and tactics to help you optimize results.

Jump to:

Chapter 1

Data collection basics

Collecting data can be pretty complex if you want to ensure you are future proofing yourself. Like we said above, getting your owned data strategy wrong and collecting the data incorrectly will leave you with unsuable data. But don’t worry. Dataships are here to help. We have put together this helpful guide which will explain all the data colelction basics you need to know to optimize your Shopify stores consent collection. 

Let’s dive in.

Region

Data privacy regulations differ across regions like the EU, UK and US. Even individual countries (France & Germany) and states (California & New York) have their own specific legislation in place. What this means is your Shopify store must account for these differing requirements and ensure it is set up to collect data compliantly across these locations.

For example at the checkout, you should actually be presenting your customers with different tick boxes and language depending on where they are located. In the US for example, no tick box is required because you can rely on legitimate interets. In comparison, in Germany you must include an opt-in tick box to obtain double opt-in consent.  

However, with Shopify’s one-size-fits-all approach to consent collection, you are limited in how you can actually ensure you are compliant across the globe. Optimizing your forms by region/country will allow you to tailor your consent collection to gather more valuable personal data you can actually use throughout your marketing mix. 

By getting this right you are allowing your store to grow its presence regardless of the region of your customers, thus growing your owned data. Optimizing your checkout with tools like Dataships can help you automate this area. The tool allows you to geo-locate your checkout, thus adhering the local data privacy legislations across the globe, while also growing your marketing audience. Interested in learning more – Book a Call

Form Type

Did you know that data collection rules can also vary drastically depending on the context and the type of form you are using for collection?

Data privacy regulations are very different at checkout compared to other data collection points, for example.

Optimizing your forms on your Shopify store based on the data collection type will help increase your (owned) marketing audience significantly. That’s right, market to more people and deliver a more personalized buyer experience across each marketing channel. It’s a win-win.

Tick box (opt-in v opt-out)

Whether you’re asking your users to opt-in or opt-out is a very different proposition. Depending on the context & region, you may be compliant/non-compliant. Once you’ve figured this out, it’s almost always the case that one will convert much better. 

Recent industry research into this area has show that an pre-ticked opt in tick box will on average receive a 73% acceptance rate. In contrast, an un-ticked opt out tick box will on average receive 96% acceptance. Therefore, by moving away from Shopify’s one-size fits all approach, you could see large growth in your marketable audiences.  

So you won’t be surprised to hear that optimizing your checkboxes will result in more customer data you can use compliantly.  

Language

How you can use the data you collect largely depends on the language you used at the collection point. Not only that but you need to have a record of the language used for every submission you receive.

So what does this mean for your Shopify store? Well, in order to get the most out of the data you collect you should be explicit in the language used at the collection point about what that person will receive. For example, if you would like to send them emails with news and offers about similar products, then you should specify that. If they are signing up for a newsletter, then similarly this should be explicitly stated. 

Privacy Policy 

Then there’s the privacy policy – an oft-maligned afterthought on many marketers’ to-do lists. However, this is largely changing as more marketers view privacy as a tool to build better customer relationships. 

Highlighting how you plan to collect and use personal data will benefit you and your customers so everyone knows where they stand. An effective privacy policy should set forth the data collection and processing procedures you plan to use. 

As a Shopify store you cannot rely on Shopify’s standard templates for compliance. The onus is on you to ensure you are compliant which means including details about your marketing practices. This is where engaging with an expert and outsourcing this area can be extremely usefull. Rely on the experts to take care of this area while you focus on growing your business.

Chapter 2

Checkout forms by region

Checkout forms are key to any business. On the Shopify platform, It’s both highly secure and easy to use, which makes it one of Shopify’s most valuable selling points. However, Shopify restricts the consent collection and offers a one-size fits all approach regardless of the differing legislations across the globe. This is where engaging with a tool like Dataships can help. Dataships can remove this one size fits all approach and instead optimize consent collection at the checkout. 

Regardless of whether you engage with a third party or not, here is this list of items to consider at your checkout by regions: 

Europe

Legal Basis

As you are collecting an individual’s data when they purchase a product, you don’t need their explicit consent to market to them. You can rely on a soft opt-in or the fact that you have a legitimate interest as a business to contact them.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

The caveat to the above is that you must allow the user the ability to opt-out at this point in the data collection process. You must also retain a record of the type of checkbox displayed when the data was collected and the privacy policy you were linking to at the time. 

Language

Along with the opt-out box, the accompanying language must clarify that the user should expect to hear from you unless you tell them otherwise. Again, you must be able to point to the type of language displayed to the user at the point of collection. This is crucial.

Privacy Policy

Remember, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.This should be clearly explained in your privacy policy. 

Conclusion

So to conclude, the optimal way to set up your checkout form is to rely on legitimate interest and set up your wording and checkboxes so that users can opt-out per channel. Following this process will allow you to collect more valuable data you can use throughout your marketing mix.

Using a tool like Dataships will allow you to optimize your consent collection at your checkout on your Shopify store.

UK

Legal Basis

As you are collecting an individual’s data when they purchase a product, you don’t need their explicit consent to market to them. You can rely on a soft opt-in or the fact that you have a legitimate interest as a business to contact them.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

The caveat here is that you must give the user the ability to opt-out at this point in the data collection process. You must also retain a record of the type of checkbox displayed when the data was collected and the privacy policy you were linking to at the time. 

Language

Along with the opt-out box, the accompanying language must clarify that the user should expect to hear from you unless you tell them otherwise. Again, you must be able to point to the type of language displayed to the user at the point of collection. This is crucial.

Privacy Policy

Similarly, to the EU, for UK purchasers they know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data. This should be clearly explained in your privacy policy. 

Conclusion

So to conclude, the optimal way to set up your checkout form is to use legitimate interest and set up your wording and checkboxes so that users can opt-out per channel. Following this process will allow you to collect more valuable data you can use throughout your marketing mix.

Using a tool like dataships will allow you to optimize your consent collection at your checkout on your Shopify store. 

USA

Legal Basis

In the US, you don’t need to have a check box as no consent is needed to email people. By having any sort of checkbox in play, you’re likely creating unnecessary friction for your users and creating a bottleneck for personal data reaching your audiences. However, it’s important to note that all emails should have an unsubscribe/opt-out link.

This is where a tool like Dataships can prove to be invaluable as the tool will allow you to remove the unecesary friction at the checkout by removing the consent box. This will help you collect more data on your store, thus growing your owned data strategy.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

As stated above, you don’t need to display a checkbox to users when collecting their data at checkout. However, this personal data must be still tagged correctly, so you know exactly who you can message across each marketing channel.

Therefore ensuring your shopify stores data is seamlessly integrated with the marketing automation tool you use is crucial. At Dataships we have pre-built integrations with the most common marketing tools out there like Klaviyo.

Language

You do not need to include any specific language at checkout.

Privacy Policy

Your Privacy Policy is just as crucial in the US as the UK and Europe. Regardless of the data privacy regulations, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.This should be clearly explained in your stores Privacy policy.

Conclusion

So to conclude, in the US, you don’t need a checkbox asking a user to opt-in or opt out of marketing communication. Still, it’s crucial that you understand what collecting data this way means – the legal basis you’re using and what you can and can’t do with this data.

Using a tool like dataships will allow you to optimize your checkout on your Shopify store by removing the one-size fits all approach currently in place.

Chapter 3

Newsletters by region

Europe

Legal Basis

In order to send a user a newsletter and more email marketing communication it is best practice to ask for consent to email the users. This means there should be a consent tick box at the newsletter collection form. 

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

If you are collecting their data purely to send them a newsletter, then no checkbox is needed. However, if you want to use the data for more than a newsletter, you need to display an unticked Opt-in check box.

Language

If you would like to send the users more marketing materials then just a newsletter then the tickbox should be worded such as:

“We would like to send you news, special offers and other promotional material that may be of interest to you. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick below:

I would like to receive news, special offers and other promotional material

  • By email
  • By text
  • By social media
  • By direct mail (ticked)*

You can change your preferences at any time as per our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

Like checkout, you should link to your privacy policy so your users know exactly how you plan to use their data. This is great opportunity to build customer trust.

Conclusion

So to conclude, the optimal way to set up your newsletter form is to use consent. You may even use double opt-in consent by emailing users to confirm that they want to join the newsletter list, but this isn’t necessary. It is enough to be transparent with them at the point of collection and ask them if they consent to use the data across different channels. You’ll be surprised how many people will opt-in once you show how respectful you are!

UK

Legal Basis

In order to send a user a newsletter it is best practice to ask for consent to email the users. This means there should be a consent tick box at the newsletter collection form. 

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

If you are collecting their data purely to send them a newsletter, then no checkbox is needed. However, if you want to use the data for more than a newsletter, you need to display an unticked Opt-in check box needed.

Language

If you would like to send the users more marketing materials then just a newsletter then the tickbox should be worded such as: “We would like to send you news, special offers and other promotional material that may be of interest to you. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick below:

I would like to receive news, special offers and other promotional material

  • By email
  • By text
  • By social media
  • By direct mail (ticked)*

You can change your preferences at any time as per our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

Like checkout, you should link to your privacy policy so your users know exactly how you plan to use their data. This is great opportunity to build customer trust.

Conclusion

Similarly to the EU, the optimal way to set up your newsletter form in the UK is to use consent. Many use double opt-in by emailing users to confirm that they want to join the newsletter list. This isn’t necessary, but it has the dual benefit of ensuring your user entered the correct email. You’ll be surprised how many opt-in to hear from you once you are transparent and allow them choose which channels you use to communicate.

USA

Legal Basis

In the US, you don’t need to have a check box at your newsletter form as no consent is needed to email people. By having any checkbox in play, you’re likely creating unnecessary friction for your users and creating a bottleneck for personal data reaching your audiences. However, it’s important to note that all emails should have an unsubscribe/opt-out link.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

As outlined above, you don’t need a checkbox when collecting subscribers for your newsletter. However, it’s critical to tag this personal data correctly, so you know who wants to be messaged across each marketing channel.

Language

You do not need to include any specific language for your newsletter forms for the US.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy policy is just as crucial in the US as the UK & Europe. Regardless of the data privacy regulations, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.

Conclusion

So, in the US, you don’t need a checkbox. Still, it’s crucial that you understand what collecting data this way means – the legal basis you’re using and, what you can and can’t do with this data.

Chapter 4

Contact forms by region

Europe

Legal Basis

If someone submits their contact details viaa contact us form this is considered legitimate interest and as such no check box is needed.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

No checkbox is needed although as always you should include a link to your Privacy Policy.

Language

You should include a statement similar to:

“We need to process your data in order to respond to you. Your data will only be processed for this purpose, and will not be used for anything else. Your information will be handled in line with our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your Privacy Policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

Conclusion

As explained above, as long as your contact form is clearly set up and there is a link to your privacy policy, no check box or consent collection is required.

UK

Legal Basis

If someone submits a form this is considered legitimate interest and as such no check box is needed.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

No checkbox is needed although as always you should include a link to your Privacy Policy.

Language

You should include a statement like:

“We need to process your data in order to respond to you. Your data will only be processed for this purpose, and will not be used for anything else. Your information will be handled in line with our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your Privacy Policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

Conclusion

As explained above, as long as your contact form is clearly set up and there is a link to your privacy policy, no check box or consent collection is required.

USA

Legal Basis

In the US, you don’t need to have a check box as no consent is needed to email people. By having any checkbox in play, you’re likely creating unnecessary friction for your users and creating a bottleneck for personal data reaching your audiences. However, it’s important to note that all emails should have an unsubscribe/opt-out link.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

As outlined above, you don’t need a checkbox when collecting subscribers for your newsletter. However, it’s critical to tag this personal data correctly, so you know who wants to be messaged across each marketing channel.

Language

You do not need to include any specific language for your newsletter forms.

Privacy Policy

Your Privacy Policy is just as crucial in the US as the UK & Europe. Regardless of the data privacy regulations, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.

Conclusion

So, in the US, you don’t need a checkbox. Still, it’s crucial that you understand what collecting data this way means – the legal basis you’re using and, what you can and can’t do with this data.

Chapter 5

Chatbots by region

Europe

Legal Basis

Just like contact forms, chatbots are considered legitimate interest so no checkbox is needed. 

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

No checkbox is needed although as always you should include a link to your privacy policy.

Language

You could include a statement like:

“We need to process your data in order to respond to you. Your data will only be processed for this purpose, and will not be used for anything else. Your information will be handled in line with our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your privacy policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

Conclusion

As explained above, as long as your chatbot is clearly set up and there is a link to your privacy policy, no check box or consent collection is required. 

UK

Legal Basis

Just like contact forms, chatbots are considered legitimate interest so no checkbox is needed. 

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

No checkbox is needed although as always you should include a link to your privacy policy.

Language

You could include a statement like:

“We need to process your data in order to respond to you. Your data will only be processed for this purpose, and will not be used for anything else. Your information will be handled in line with our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your privacy policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

Conclusion

As explained above, as long as your chatbot is clearly set up and there is a link to your privacy policy, no check box or consent collection is required.

USA

Legal Basis

In the US, you do not need to have a check box as no consent is needed to email people. By having any checkbox in play, you’re likely creating unnecessary friction for your users and creating a bottleneck for personal data reaching your audiences. However, it’s important to note that all emails should have an unsubscribe/opt-out link.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

As outlined above, you don’t need a checkbox when collecting subscribers for your newsletter. However, it’s critical to tag this personal data correctly, so you know who wants to be messaged across each marketing channel.

Language

You do not need to include any specific language for your newsletter forms.

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your privacy policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

Conclusion

As explained above, as long as your chatbot is clearly set up and there is a link to your privacy policy, no check box or consent collection is required.

Summing Up

Collecting data compliantly is key to your online growth

So that’s it – that’s everything you need to know about optimizing your Shopify Store forms. If you don’t want all of your hard work to go to waste, you need to ensure that you are collecting data compliantly.

From the above, it should be clear that your consent collection mechanisms should differ depending on the context of the collection and the regions of the users you are collecting data from. Shopify is a brilliant tool to accelerate your store’s growth; however, it is not set up to optimize this consent collection.

How can Dataships help?

By engaging with a tool like Dataships, you can optimize your consent collection to grow your marketable audiences and comply with data privacy legislations. 

So, what are you waiting for, why not book a call today with one of our experts and see how we can help optimize your consent collection and grow your marketable audiences.

About Dataships

Dataships helps Shopify merchants market to more customers compliantly

At Dataships we are changing the game for marketing consent collection. Our dynamic consent collection forms can be added to your Shopify Store and dynamically update based on local privacy laws to help you grow your marketing audiences compliantly.

To learn more about how we can help your team supercharge your first-party data collection strategy, request a demo to speak with one of our data collection experts.