Businesses across London run the risk of losing 77 per cent of customer contacts

As a result of EU law despite Brexit

A recent survey to 2,000 consumers and small businesses by Bulk SMS providers Voodoo SMS has found that a staggering 77 per cent of respondents across London alone would not opt in to receiving future marketing communications from online retailers, even their favourite brands, ahead of new EU regulations, which will come into force on 25th May next year despite Brexit.

  • Exclusive survey reveals 77 per cent of consumers across London not willing to opt in in future
  • Results also show 60 per cent of small businesses surveyed are not aware of GDPR date, and 70 per cent don’t know what to do to make sure they’re compliant

Opting-in to receiving marketing communications is a prerequisite of GDPR, with the results raising serious concern as to how many customer contacts businesses across London could lose next year.

Furthermore, whilst 59 per cent of small business owners from across the country questioned were aware of the changes, worryingly 60 per cent were not aware of the date of when the GDPR regulation comes into force and alarmingly 70 per cent did not know what to do to make sure their data is compliant under the new EU regulation.

The results strengthen concern and confusion over how businesses across London are actually meant to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Of the 260 consumers surveyed in London, when asked if, in the future, they would opt-in to receiving marketing communication from their favourite online retailers, 24 per cent said they would never opt-in, and 53 per cent said they would be unlikely to.

With just 8 months until the new regulation is passed, Voodoo SMS’s survey also reveals that 65 per cent of small businesses have not yet taken any steps to ensuring their data is GDPR compliant.

The purpose of GDPR is to increase the rights of individuals when it comes to their data, and therefore, increase the fines liable to businesses or organisations that breach these individual rights.

Regulatory fines for SMEs, under the regulations, could see a 57-fold increase compared with 2015, rising to £52bn, averaging £13,000 per SME.

An ICO investigation into Honda Motor Europe Ltd led to a £13,000 fine after it revealed the firm had sent almost 300,000 emails in an attempt to clarify certain customers’ choices for receiving marketing communication, in readiness for the upcoming change in EU law.

Gareth Davies, Managing Director at Voodoo SMS, suggest that this might feel like a hard time for businesses in London right now, but that it’s all about preparation.

“Our survey results are worrying on two fronts. Firstly, it suggests that a business’s hard-earned customer contacts are unlikely to opt in to future marketing - a prerequisite of GDPR - and secondly, SME’s are unaware of what to do to prepare for the changes.

“Our concern is especially for small businesses without the expertise, resources and awareness; they could very well be caught out and face huge fines. It happened to Honda, it can happen to anyone.

“We would encourage SMEs to really take this seriously; to do their research and to use the next 8 months thoroughly readying themselves for the changes to come.”

The Data Protection Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech this summer will implement GDPR into UK law.

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