Enhancing the Customer Experience

Leading retailers strive to provide shoppers the best possible customer experience. As the industry evolves and technology changes, challenges arise that impact that experience. Given the common nature of these issues across the industry, RILA pursues coordinated legislative, regulatory, and operational strategies to address these obstacles. 

Protecting Privacy and Rewards Programs

Issue:

Despite the rapid transformation of the retail ecosystem over the past two decades, our members’ core business remains straight forward – to sell products and services to customers. To do so, retailers have always sought to know their customers well in order to better serve them. Retailers are deeply invested in these long-term relationships often providing loyalty programs to give longtime and loyal customers benefits. Retailers utilize customer data to administer loyalty programs and provide other consumer benefits that should be considered in the national conversation on privacy. Maintaining strong customer relationships is why we care so deeply about this conversation that we are engaging in today. Retailers support Congress’ leadership in finding a sensible path to set clear privacy expectations for all Americans through federal data privacy legislation.  

Action:

RILA supports federal privacy legislation and believes there is a bipartisan opportunity to create a uniquely American privacy framework designed to protect consumers, set customer expectations, and provide clear rules of the road for individuals, businesses, and the government. Retailers are prepared to accept the responsibility of new privacy requirements to create a national framework that applies to all parts of the data ecosystem and inspires consumer confidence.

Improving the In-Store Experience 

Issue:

Since the passage of comprehensive tax reform, retailers have followed through on their promise to invest a good portion of the financial benefit in their workforce and their stores. Today, retail stores are the most frictionless and innovative they have ever been using technologies like VR and personalization tools and logistical and design aspects to improve customer satisfaction. It is imperative that retailers remain empowered to invest in their stores and employees. 

Action:

RILA is actively engaged with policy leaders to ensure investment is able to continue following 2018’s landmark tax reform, this includes retaining the newly established 21 percent corporate tax rate as well as implementing important technical corrections that will allow retailers to invest in their stores and enhance the overall shopping experience. 

Combating Organized Retail Crime

Issue:

Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is a multifaceted problem in need of a comprehensive solution. There is an undeniable connection between the growth of ORC and the ease with which criminals can sell stolen goods through online marketplaces. In a growing number of cases, these organized criminal syndicates are also involved in narcotics and human trafficking. While RILA supports a cooperative dialogue with online marketplaces that encourages system enhancements to prevent, identify, and investigate the sale of stolen goods on their platforms, leading retailers also back new statutes and additional resources for law enforcement to fight the growing epidemic of organized retail crime.   

Action:

RILA is engaging with law enforcement and prosecutorial communities to leverage existing laws to disrupt criminal activity and develop additional statutory tools for state and federal authorities to tackle the growing problem of ORC. This includes updating existing laws to reflect the rise of online marketplaces and the anonymity some platforms allow which makes it less risky—and more profitable—to quickly sell stolen merchandise. Additionally, leading retailers are urging states to fund new law enforcement task forces dedicated to investigating and prosecuting the organized criminal rings that fund their activities by selling stolen goods.     

Deeper dive into our policy issues and initatives.

Retail Privacy

RILA believes a federal privacy framework should be designed to protect consumers and provide clear rules for individuals, businesses, and government.

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Public Policy Agenda

RILA works with policymakers of both parties to help shape a dynamic and growing economy that allows retailers and communities they serve to thrive.

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Asset Protection

RILA is committed to supporting the AP industry’s efforts to adapt to today’s consumer needs without compromising safety, security, and profit.

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Protecting Privacy 

Issue: 

Retailers are on the front lines of innovating the shopping experience for American consumers. As customers increasingly shop online and on mobile devices, they expect individualized, intuitive, and streamlined transactions. But as retailers constantly innovate, privacy concerns like the recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and Marriott data breach have brought consumer data protection to the forefront. Retailers aim to work with lawmakers on real-world solutions to provide consumers with unparalleled services and products while also ensuring consumer data is treated with utmost care.   

Action: 

RILA continues to drive the national conversation on privacy and lead the effort for comprehensive federal consumer privacy legislation. Importantly, RILA will educate stakeholders on the impacts that state privacy regimes like the California Consumer Privacy Act have on consumers and businesses alike. RILA is also engaging with policymakers to underscore the need to update outdated privacy laws like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that stand in the way of more robust privacy–enhancing consumer interactions. RILA continues to work with Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on TCPA reform that will help retailers continue to innovate for the benefit of American consumers.   

Keeping Consumer Data Safe 

Issue: 

While technology presents great opportunity, nation states, criminal organizations, and bad actors are using it to attack and disrupt America’s economy. Retailers are taking every precaution to keep consumers’ data safe. Unfortunately, no organization is immune from attack.   

Action: 

RILA is working with bipartisan stakeholders, including the tech and financial services industries, to help shape federal data breach legislation that contains strong preemption, capped penalties, a harm and information acquisition-based trigger for breach notification, and reasonable data security requirements. Additionally, RILA is working with lawmakers to promote policies that allow retailers to effectively communicate to their customers and safeguard customer data.   

Meeting Customer Expectations 

Issue: 

Retailers strive to gain and retain consumer loyalty by providing quality, safe, compliant, and high-value consumer products sourced in a responsible and ethical manner. In meeting customers’ expectations, retailers face several challenges including a lack of transparency into global supply chains and a complex system of laws, regulations, and standards.   

Action: 

RILA is working with local, state, and federal lawmakers to ensure that government requirements related to consumer products are based upon sound scientific data and advance safety objectives without undue burden on the industry or our customers.   

Improving The In-Store Experience  

Issue: 

Since the passage of comprehensive tax reform, retailers have followed through on their promise to invest a good portion of the financial benefit in their workforce and their stores. Today, retail stores are the most frictionless and innovative they have ever been, from technologies like VR and personalization tools, to logistical and design aspects that improve customer satisfaction. It is imperative that retailers remain empowered to invest in their stores and employees.   

Action: 

RILA is actively engaged with policy leaders to ensure investment is able to continue following 2018’s landmark tax reform. This includes supporting important technical corrections that will allow retailers to invest in their stores and enhance the overall shopping experience.     

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