Every day, thousands of gigabytes of data flow around the world. Transfers between consumers and producers make up a large portion of that data. There has been talk recently of the commercialization of said data, such as Facebook and Google selling their users’ data to third parties. These third parties are more than willing to pay large sums for this information, as it provides actionable data on consumer trends, such as their likes and dislikes. This data can be used by companies to shift their marketing strategies to capture a greater market share. For the e-commerce retailer, whether large or small, this data can be valuable as a resource and a commodity. As such, knowing what you can and can not do with the data is important. Here, we will be discussing Data Management risks when it comes to the collection of consumer data.
Imagine you are an e-commerce entrepreneur and you log in to your reporting system to see how sales have been over the past week. You notice that you’ve made a good sale to a customer in the state of Illinois. As you are based out of Florida, you pause for a moment to marvel at the progress of technology and how your products can be delivered to someone’s home thousands of miles away from you. Little do you realize, but you may be on the hook for collecting and reporting sales tax to the California Board of Equalization.
The number of Americans who purchase goods online is steadily rising. Recent data published by the U.S. Department of Commerce stated that retail e-commerce had increased by 16.2 percent in 2Q 2017 from 2Q 2016. The report also stated that as a whole retail e-commerce had risen from 3.5 percent of total quarterly retail sales in 2008 to 9 percent as of 2Q 2017. In hard numbers, 2Q 2017 e-commerce generated 111.5 billion dollars in sales. Showing strong growth in under 10 years, these staggering numbers indicate that e-commerce has started to creep up on the traditional brick and mortar (BM) style of retail which has so long dominated the retail landscape. One can only look at the financial data and stock charts of traditional BM stores as well as the REITs that own the malls and land these stores call home to see there has been some effect with this shift.