As 2022 goes down in history as a year of inflation, supply and demand issues, and slow growth, experts predict 2023 will be a year of renewed growth for businesses that stay competitive with omnichannel strategies that include their brick-and-mortar stores plus mobile, social network shopping, sustainability and online shopping sites. Those businesses will also have to invest heavily in cybersecurity, experts say, as some predict there will be a “massive increase” in cybercrime next year.
While businesses can thrive in 2023, experts say they will need to make cybersecurity a priority in order to hang onto their proceeds.
In 2022, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. was nearly $9.5 million, the costliest country in the world. A Forbes study shows that cybercriminals can penetrate 93% of company networks and that many security executives say they’re unprepared for the threats that lie ahead. In 2021, businesses suffered 50% more cyberattacks per week than in 2020. In 2022, malware attacks increased 11%. Attacks are expected to double by 2025, costing companies worldwide $10.5 trillion every year.
One reason for the increase is that businesses are becoming more connected and exposed to multiple devices on the Internet of Things (IoT), but have been spending less money and time on security. In 2023 experts at Thought Lab say the main causes of the attacks will come from “misconfigurations, human error and poor maintenance.”
In addition, criminals are getting more sophisticated with artificial intelligence and new program languages that cybersecurity tools aren’t designed to catch, letting the attacks go undetected.
Since on-site environments aren’t as secure as cloud environments, a McKinsey Global Report says cloud technology in 2023 will become the de facto method for maximum security.
Businesses need to mitigate the alarming increase of attacks by getting out of the data-storage business. With software like Clever Division by Red Maple, there’s no need for retailers to hold onto any customer credit card information. Instead, that sensitive data should be moved to the cloud.
Not only does that take away the reason for hackers to target your business, it also assures customers that you’re protecting their private information. Almost every consumer knows about credit card breaches at major retailers like Target, and 93% of them say they’re concerned about their personal credit and debit card information. This means retailers must make securing data a priority. Hackers and ransomware threats can harm your bottom line and ruin your reputation to the point it goes out of business.
“I’d say the biggest benefit Clever Division offers our 70 million users worldwide is peace of mind. They don’t have to worry about cyberattacks, being liable for breaches, or losing their customer data. It’s reassuring to know their data is safe and secure.”
– Jennifer Robertson, CEO of Red Maple.
Clever Division is the most secure PCI platform on the market today. It protects your company and customers from theft, fraud and data breaches.
This is how it works:
- Customers can place orders online, by phone, email and text.
- The software then sends the customer a link with two-factor authentication where customers collect and confirm the credit card numbers.
- Then, the cloud-based security software instantly divides and scrambles the data, locks it up in separate vaults, then sends the business an encrypted token from your processor verifying the sale. It all happens in the blink of an eye.
Clever Division simply stores the information for businesses – taking away any reason hackers would want to breach your system. Better yet, Clever Division fully integrates with more than 15 major credit card processes, so you can keep using the one you already have.
2023 Retail Trends
Once security is in place, businesses can prosper by meeting their customers whoever, wherever and whenever they shop in the New Year.
Omnichannel should be omnipresent.
Even with the reopening of physical stores, 75% of consumers who started shopping online during the pandemic say it’s now part of their lifestyle.
In 2022, global e-commerce grew to $5.7 trillion. Worldwide, experts predict retail e-commerce will reach $8 trillion in 2026.
That means retailers must focus on all of their platforms at once: buildings, online, mobile, and social media.
New data shows 75% of buyers visit multiple channels before actually buying something. For example, a female shopper may see a new dress on her phone through social media, read reviews about it, visit the store website to learn more, search online for a better price, then go to the store to try it on. So, here are ways retailers can create a fluid omnichannel experience.
- Offer flexible, convenient delivery times and options to return products. With inflation and tight budgets, shoppers will return something if it isn’t exactly right for them. In fact, 67% of all shoppers check return policies before they click ‘buy’, so make sure you have a simple, quick process. The good news is that 92% of consumers say they will buy from a brand frequently if the return process is easy.
- With tighter budgets, 62% of shoppers are now buying pre-owned items. The brands Patagonia, Levi’s and REI focus on re-commerce efforts to meet the desires for people to reduce and re-use products by purchasing or selling secondhand.
- Mobile is a must. Shoppers need to be able to easily shop and pay using their mobile devices. Most customers, especially Generation Z, exclusively use their phones instead of computers, to shop online. 71% of all retail traffic comes from mobile devices, according to Statista, and mobile sales account for 61% of online shopping orders. M-commerce is also growing. By 2024, mobile sales are expected to reach $4.5 trillion and makeup nearly 70% of all retail e-commerce sales.
- Use social commerce to market and sell to customers. Every day, more customers are connecting with their favorite stores – and learning about new ones – first on social media. In 2023, social commerce is expected to generate nearly $31 billion or 20% of global retail e-commerce sales. Accenture believes social media will “sweep the world” by 2025, growing into a $1.2 trillion wave of change and reach almost $3 trillion by 2026. Businesses should focus on creating unique content per each social media audience, including new technology like AR and VR to drive engagement and provide instant access to customer service around the clock. “It’s word of mouth on steroids.” Sandie Hawkins, GM of TikTok in North America said about social commerce.
- In stores, personalize the experience for shoppers by allowing associates to access customer account details. 60% of consumers say they’ll become repeat customers after a personalized shopping experience. Also, make sure store inventories are accurate so that people don’t show up to purchase something that isn’t available. Experts expect BOPIS or buy online and pickup in the store will continue to be popular in 2023. In fact, BOPIS globally is predicted to be a $703 billion market by 2027.
- Build up good reviews. People want to buy products and services they trust and as many as 80% of shoppers rely on reviews first.
- Make customer service a priority. Live agents or chatbots should be able to track shipments, process refunds and help find stock. Customer service will be critical in 2023 as 87% of consumers say they’ll leave brands that don’t help meet their needs. Since e-commerce and social commerce never close, make sure your agents are available 24/7, 365.
- Seriously consider sustainability and eco-conscious shopping. More than half of shoppers (52%) say they value sustainability more today than before the pandemic. So, consider investing in recyclable packaging materials, giving shoppers options to have all of their items shipped at once, and offering pre-owned items. Also consider aligning your business with nonprofits that improve lives and/or the environment.
As you look into the New Year, remember that customers want to be met whatever channel they’re on, whenever they’re on it. While omnichannel is your best strategy for 2023, also remember to invest in cybersecurity to keep the profits you’ve worked hard to earn.
In 2022, what is the average cost of a data breach in the US?
What is the best way to increase security in 2023?
According to the McKinsey Global Report, cloud technology will be the best way to provide maximum security for your data.
What is Omnichannel?
This is where retailers focus on all channels of selling: brick and mortar, online, mobile, and social media to promote and sell to their customers.