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BUSINESS

Staying Ahead of Risk This Black Friday

Staying Ahead of Risk This Black Friday 56

Staying Ahead of Risk This Black Friday 57

will liu

Staying Ahead of Risk This Black Friday 58

Dominik Birgelen

Staying Ahead of Risk This Black Friday 59

  Michael Jenkins

Staying Ahead of Risk This Black Friday 60

Rebecca Worsley

 

 

By Rebecca Worsley Founder and CEO of RainyCity Agency, Will Liu MD of TP-Link UK Ltd, Michael Jenkins CTO at ThreatLocker, Dominik Birgelen CEO of oneclick

We’re approaching the busiest time of year for shopping, as consumers hunt for gifts and bargains ahead of the peak holiday season. Every year, the Black Friday shopping frenzy dominates the news and sets new sales records. Retailers around the globe aim to cram in as many shoppers and move as many units as possible by offering discounts on their products. This year, it is expected that a considerable amount of Black Friday shopping will take place online, rather than in-store. Moreover, in the run-up to Black Friday, shops and online suppliers can face multiple problems and extensive planning is necessary to mitigate and reduce these effects.

Prominence of Cyber Attacks

While Black Friday provides buyers with the opportunity to purchase items at low prices, the event’s popularity and the rush to grab deals make it a prime target for cybercriminals, fraudsters, and scammers. Michael Jenkins, CTO at ThreatLocker, explains: “With so many online transactions and data transfers on Black Friday, businesses should be aware of the threat of ransomware. Businesses focus on allowing customers to conduct online transactions but often fail to implement adequate cybersecurity measures, leaving them vulnerable to attacks due to the amount of activity and exposure to online content.” 

Organisations should also be mindful of the possibility of ransomware on Black Friday due to the high volume of online transactions and data transfers. He further adds “Many companies still don’t have enough defences in place to mitigate the risks posed by these attacks. While operating on a tight schedule, an employee opening an inappropriate link, mistakenly giving users access to private information, or downloading compromised data can cause significant downtime, severely limiting businesses’ ability to capitalise on Black Friday opportunities, loss of profit and damage to reputation.”

Dominik Birgelen, CEO of Oneclick, agrees that retailers remain on top of hackers’ target list: “Cutting corners on cybersecurity not only can lead to huge fines from regulators but also a loss of reputation and consumer loyalty in case any data breach takes place due to the lack of cybersecurity.” The retail industry’s threat surface is growing as merchants use data-driven technology to personalise their offerings – however, in order to ensure that Black Friday is remembered for revenue and not regret, retailers should have robust risk management procedures in place. Nevertheless, managing cyberattacks is not the only risk retailers need to look out for over this shopping frenzy.

Rising Consumer Expectations

There are several different features retailers can implement to enhance their online offering and fully leverage the opportunities that come with Black Friday. In the build up to the peak holiday season, this has never been more essential. Rebecca Worsley, CEO & Founder of Rainy City Agency comments “Implementing tools like ensuring a range of available payment methods, cross and up-selling as well as enhancing checkouts to ensure a frictionless experience can also improve retailers’ ability to take advantage of the upcoming seasonal peak. Besides technology, eCommerce vendors should not underestimate the value of customer and influencer reviews in the run up to the hectic retail period. Retailers can prepare as much as possible for Black Friday, yet if their eCommerce provisions aren’t up to scratch, their preparation may prove fruitless.”

There is an increased pressure on businesses to meet the growing expectations of today’s desired customer experience. Shoppers today expect more than just purchasing, receiving, and enjoying a product or service. Consumers increasingly want a strong corporate identity as well as a flawless customer experience, and retailers cannot afford to ignore this in the run-up to Black Friday. Rebecca further states “The retail and eCommerce sectors are definitely becoming more concentrated, and competition is high. The pressure is on for retailers to remain competitive and differentiate themselves, their products and their services from the competition.”

Improving The Customer Experience

Adopting innovative technology is key to enhancing the customer journey and consequently increasing shopper satisfaction. Connecting in-store shoppers to digital information via dynamic QR codes or smart dressing rooms ensures a seamless shopping experience with shoppers heading to stores this Black Friday. Will Lui, Managing Director of TP-Link UK, states “Implementing tools like ensuring a range of available payment methods, cross and up-selling as well as enhancing checkouts to ensure a frictionless experience can also improve retailers’ ability to take advantage of the upcoming seasonal peak.” Will further adds “If you’ve never dabbled with smart business devices before, Black Friday is the ideal time to give it a try.”

During the festive shopping season, businesses will make the most of increased physical and online foot traffic by utilising spectacular discounts and offers to entice customers. Being future-proof means not just understanding what the future holds, but also being prepared for it. Furthermore, learning from the errors and achievements of competitors is critical when it comes to building an eCommerce business and impeccable customer service, especially during Black Friday.

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