KJR’s NSW General Manager Adam Bird lends his thoughts and perspective in his article for RetailBiz. He speaks about the dangers and offers advice for retail businesses who fast-tracked their digital transformation in the wake of COVID-19.
This is an excerpt of an article published in RetailBiz on 27h May 2020. Read the full piece here.
The introduction of social distancing laws and regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19 has had an interesting impact on how we move. According to Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Report, while most locations in Australian saw a decrease in movement, retail locations experienced the sharpest decline following the initial wave of restrictions.
As the government essentially forced non-essential businesses to close, shopping centres became ghost towns resulting in many brick-and-mortar stores across Australia to shut down and enter hibernation. With restrictions on movement and all Australians advised to stay at home, consumer sought out other ways to fulfil their shopping desires.
This caused a surge in online shopping. Research company WARC reports that the global outbreak of COVID-19 saw a shift to more frequent online shopping habits, with some countries such as Vietnam increasing by 57%. This also brought a wave of inexperienced consumers shopping out of necessity and experiencing the benefits of online shopping for the very first time. However, this new online shopper is one that is unaware of the dangers of online shopping and more likely to fall for simple attacks, like phishing attacks that send a malicious link disguised as an ‘order update’ to a victim.
At the same time, many retailers who were forced to close physical stores fast-tracked their digital transformation and launched their own e-commerce stores or increased product availability on their already existing platform. This rush to become digitally capable has an advantage in the short-term as retailers were able to fulfil orders without the need for a physical location.
However, fast-tracking can have risks in the long term, especially to those who are new to e-commerce. Considerations, such as how to manage data or protect the platform from cyber-attacks, are often missed when rushing into launching a digital store. Therefore, it’s important that retailers keep the following points at the top of their mind.
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KJR is a technology-focused strategic advisory firm specialising in Assurance, Cybersecurity and DevOps. With over 100 consultants working with clients across Australia, we provide expert advice and delivery for digital transformation programs.