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How Did the Pandemic Change the Retail Industry?

retail industry cybersecurity

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused lifestyle changes across the world that are having sweeping effects on a variety of industries, including retail. As a result of these changes, retailers need to reevaluate their IT infrastructure to ensure their networks and other technologies are using modern cybersecurity solutions. Let’s take a look at some of the changes in retail that impact cybersecurity strategy.

Customers Expect Quick Delivery Turnaround Times

One of the core changes that happened during the pandemic is that retail customers expect very quick delivery turnaround times. McKinsey & Company alerted retailers that they need to accelerate their delivery times to meet consumer expectations and stay competitive. They back this up with their recently-published research, which indicates that more than 75% of the specialty retail supply chain leaders have made 2-day delivery a priority, and 42% are aiming for same-day delivery by 2022. To meet these demands, retailers need to ensure that they are keeping their call center technologies up to date to effectively service customer orders.

In-App Ordering on the Rise

The pandemic has impacted omnichannel purchasing in the retail industry with 51% of consumers using in-app ordering, according to Accenture. Consumers are accessing retail apps and online stores at a higher volume than before and retailers should expect this trend to continue rising. Retail organizations should verify that they have adequate firewall services in place to protect their data from internet-based threats.

Online Sales Are Growing

With the nationwide restrictions that impacted in-person shopping in retail, eCommerce sales have grown significantly. According to the latest Digital Commerce 360 analysis, consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. retailers in 2020, up 44% from 2019.

With these changes, retail organizations need to focus on managing their online sales platforms. Part of this focus includes endpoint security, which minimizes their risk of downtime and data loss. As eCommerce traffic increases for retailers, it can be more challenging to detect a cybersecurity breach. Retailers need to keep eCommerce systems performing as expected and protect their customer data.

Retailers Need To Restore Trust With Consumers

According to a recent Deloitte study, only 23% of consumers ranked the retail industry as trustworthy, which points to an opportunity for retailers to build greater trust with consumers. One of the ways that retailers can build and restore trust is to keep their data secure. Cybersecurity solutions and services that are tailored to fit the retail industry can help them further this goal.

Retailers Are Using Technology To Engage in New Ways

To stay competitive during the pandemic, retailers implemented new business strategies aimed at engaging customers. For example, cosmetic retailer MAC began offering customers virtual selling. This tactic can also help drive customer traffic back to stores. The Managing Director for MAC stated that 70% of customers who received advice remotely then moved on to a physical store.

Using technology to engage customers can be a useful tool, but retailers making these changes need to ensure they are using reliable, secure network solutions. This will help ensure that interactions such as virtual selling provide a high-performing customer experience that doesn’t bog down their network.

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