Data Security in an Omni-Channel World

Only 22% of Retailers Currently Support EMV, Another 53% Plan to Implement Within 12 Months

According to this special report from Boston Retail Partners, the threat posed by data security breaches continues to consume retailers’ resources. While only 22% of retailers currently support EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) transactions, another 53% of retailers plan to implement this capability within 12 months. According to the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Payment/Data Security in an Omni-channel World, 38% of retailers indicate that payment security is a top priority.

Hackers and fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated; requiring retailers to reanalyze and revamp their current security protocols in order to adequately protect the interests of themselves and their customers. The good news is that retailers realize the magnitude of payment risk and continue to focus resources to lock-down payment and data security across all touchpoints.

While the use of EMV-compliant payment solutions weakens the incentive for thieves to steal credit card information by requiring that the physical card be present at the transaction, EMV adoption in and of itself does not do anything to actually reduce the risk of a breach. The most effective approach for securing payment card transactions is a multi-tiered approach which includes implementing end-to-end encryption (E2EE) and tokenization in addition to support for EMV.

This Special Report provides insight into BRP’s 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey and highlights the payment security objectives and challenges facing leading retailers today. Specifically, this report addresses topics such as: EMV compliance progress, alternative payment type adoption, payment card processing architecture approaches and the increased shift to online fraud.

Download and read the complete report by completing form on the right.

2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey

85% of Retailers Indicate Unified Commerce is their Top Priority for 2016, According to BRP 2016 POS Survey

The always connected consumer has the ability to shop where they want, when they want and how they want – all from their mobile device. According to the BRP 2016 POS Survey, retailers recognize the need to create a holistic customer experience that transcends channels, but most attempts are falling short.

According to the 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, 85% of the respondents indicate that unified commerce is their top priority. Many retailers have taken the “just get something done” approach to deliver a seamless customer experience that transcends channels. The unfortunate result of this quick fix approach is a “faux” omni-channel model that doesn’t execute as promised and has the risk of disappointing customers. While 60% of retailers indicate they have implemented “inventory visibility across channels,” 80% of those retailers indicate that the system “needs improvement.” According to another recent study, this is a real issue, as 60% of click-and-collect orders placed on Cyber Monday had problems.

Saddled with legacy systems that are not designed to accommodate today’s retail environment, retailers have scrambled to cobble things together in attempts to deliver the omni-channel capabilities customers expect. Retailers need to invest in infrastructure, networks and service oriented architecture (SOA) layer and do it right. The risk of losing customers due to disappointing shopping experiences caused by a flawed omni-channel architecture is deadly and that is why “real” unified commerce is retailers’ top priority for 2016.

Boston Retail Partners’ 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current point of sale and customer engagement initiatives, priorities, and future trends as the physical and digital worlds converge within the store.

Key findings in the 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey include:

  • Creating a true unified commerce environment is the top priority – 85% of retailers indicated this was a top priority for 2016
  • Improving customer engagement and the customer experience is critical – 68% of retailers indicated this was a focus for the upcoming year
  • Retailers are still occupied with payment/data security – 38% of retailers stated this was a top priority

Download and read the complete 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Benchmarking Survey Report for more insights.

Complete the form to the right to download the report.

Mobile Commerce – the Future of Retail

Mobile is the Future of Retail, but with this Success comes Risks – Online Fraud Increased 360% in France after EMV and the U.S. is Expecting an Increase in Online Fraud in 2016

According to a new special report by Boston Retail Partners, new or upgraded mobile apps and websites are top commerce priorities for retailers. The 2015 BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Mobile Commerce – The Future of Retail reveals that mobile commerce has become a valuable revenue stream for retailers. However, retailers need to address security risks and privacy concerns as they prepare for the anticipated shift of fraud from stores to e-commerce and mobile commerce sites.

“The mobile device is the cash register of the future, the sales associate of the future and the wallet of the future – or rather the now,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “The opportunities for mobile to influence retail sales – via direct sales through a mobile website or app or through in-store possibilities to influence sales – clearly represent the new frontier transforming retailers’ operations.”

This special report highlights key findings from BRP’s 2015 E-Commerce Benchmark Survey validating the importance of mobile capabilities driven by consumer demand. Mobile commerce is growing at a faster rate than any other channel and is the future of retail. As a retail imperative, mobile devices are creating many potential opportunities and risks for retailers to consider:

MOBILE WEBSITES VS. APPS – While a mobile responsive Web site is a requirement for all retailers with e-commerce, a well-designed mobile app can elevate the shopping experience and increase customer loyalty and sales.

IN-STORE POSSIBILITIES – Beyond line busting, there are many other mobile opportunities for retailers to enhance the customer experience and drive incremental sales, such as customer identification, geolocation, guided selling, customer Wi-Fi and cross-channel transactions.

SECURITY RISKS – History has shown that when EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is implemented in a country, store fraud is reduced and online fraud rises dramatically. Now that many retailers have implemented EMV, the focus should be on locking-down security for e-commerce and m-commerce.

PRIVACY CONCERNS – Retailers are concerned over how best to protect their customers’ privacy while still gathering location, preference and purchase data.

INTEGRATION CHALLENGES – With the addition of mobile channels, the integration, dissemination and consolidation of all pertinent data is compounded, making it more challenging for retailers to provide customers a seamless experience with the brand. A shift from silos to a holistic paradigm must occur as retailers upgrade their mobile capabilities.

Complete the form to the right to download the full report.

2015 Merchandising Planning Survey

63% of Retailers Plan to Upgrade or Replace their Merchandise Planning Systems within two years

Current retail planning systems are out-of-date and don’t effectively address today’s requirements for an omni-channel planning environment, according to Boston Retail Partners’ 2015 Merchandise Planning Benchmark Survey. Many retailers are using planning applications designed for old retail business models with a large percentage of these systems installed in the late 1990s or early 2000s. Fast-forward to today, and many retailers are attempting to meet the needs of a 21st century customer while constrained by 20th century technology.
Boston Retail Partners’ 2015 Merchandise Planning Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current planning initiatives, priorities, and future trends as the retail industry continues its omni-channel transformation.

Key findings in the 2015 Merchandise Planning Benchmark Survey include:

PLANNING SYSTEMS ARE OUTDATED – 63% of retailers plan to upgrade or replace their merchandise planning systems within two years

Analytics is the top priority – 58% of retailers indicated that improving analytics is their top priority for the next year

ADVANCED ANALYTICS ARE GAINING TRACTION – 75% of retailers use advanced analytics for merchandise planning, however, fewer use advanced analytics for store planning (45%), assortment planning (40%) and omni-channel planning (20%)

INTEGRATED MERCHANDISE PLANS ARE NOT WORKING WELL – While 50% of retailers have implemented integrated merchandising plans (financial plans, promotional calendars, planning teams and assortment plans), most of these retailers indicate they need improvement

SEPARATE INVENTORY ACROSS CHANNELS – 49% of retailers still maintain separate inventories for each channel

SOCIAL MEDIA USE FOR MERCHANDISE PLANNING IS OPPORTUNISTIC – While 71% of retailers indicated that they capture customer feedback via social media, only 23% are using social media for product planning

Read the 2015 Merchandise Planning Survey Report for more insights.  Complete the form fields to the right to download the report.

2015 E-Commerce Survey

78% of Retailers Plan to Implement a Unified Commerce Platform within 5 Years

Customers expect a personalized, seamless brand experience across digital and physical commerce touch points and unified commerce is key to delivering this experience. This is the new mantra in retail, according to the 2015 E-Commerce Survey, 43% of the respondents indicated that a consistent brand experience across channels is one of their top commerce priorities.
“Retailers realize that that they can no longer operate from within silos, and the convergence of digital and physical commerce is now a retail imperative,” said Brian Brunk, principal, Boston Retail Partners.

Boston Retail Partners’ 2015 E-Commerce Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current e-commerce initiatives, priorities, and future trends as the retail industry continues its transformation into the digital world.

Key findings in the 2015 E-Commerce Benchmark Survey include:

> Improving the customer experience is the top priority – 43% of retailers indicating that a consistent brand experience across channels is essential

> A unified commerce platform is critical – 78% of retailers will have a unified commerce platform implemented within 5 years

> Mobilizing commerce remains a high priority – 45% of retailers indicated that mobile websites are their most important e-commerce capability

> Payment options and security are essential – 63% of retailers plan to accept Apple Pay within 2 years

> E-commerce continues to expand – 85% of retailers expect an increase in 2016 e-commerce website revenue

Read the 2015 E-Commerce Survey Report for more insights. Complete the form to the right to download the report.

Rewarding the Customer Experience

62% of Retailers Increased their 2015 Budgets to Enhance Loyalty Programs

Retailers recognize the need to evolve their loyalty programs to satisfy today’s savvy, tech-enabled customer. The BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Loyalty Programs – Rewarding the Customer Experience, addresses how consumers’ behaviors and shopping habits have evolved through new technology and expanded channel offerings. This shift requires loyalty programs to go above and beyond the traditional “earn points and receive rewards” structure to play a key role in enabling the unified commerce experience and reinforcing customer relationships.

Today’s loyalty programs need to strengthen interactions with the customer and increase loyalty by enabling enhanced services and rewards, such as:

• Real-time customer identification in-store to enable guided selling
• Customized rewards based on customer preferences
• Gamification to engage customers and encourage social interaction
• Mobile tracking and redemption of rewards and offers

Key findings in the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Loyalty Programs – Rewarding the Customer Experience include:

• Loyalty programs are a top priority for 46% of retailers
• 883% more retailers plan to have the ability to identify customers when they walk in the store via their smartphones in five years
• 181% more retailers plan to use gamification within loyalty programs in five years
• 56% of retailers plan to participate in mobile loyalty applications in five years

Read this Special Report for more insights.

Complete the form to the right to download the report.

Real-Time Retail – The New Imperative

Within 5 Years, 883% More Retailers Plan to Identify Customers When They Walk in the Store

The BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Real-time Retail – The New Retail Imperative, addresses how consumers’ expectations of a seamless experience across channels – in the store, on the Web and via their mobile device – requires retailers to deliver a “real-time” shopping experience to meet these elevated demands.

Real-time retail is the ability to deliver a holistic experience to consumers whenever, wherever or however they choose to shop by gathering, analyzing and disseminating customer, product, pricing and inventory data across all channels – in real-time.

This special report highlights key findings from recent BRP surveys validating retailers’ commitment to achieving real-time retail by leveraging a unified commerce platform and other innovative technologies, including:

• 76% of retailers plan to provide suggested selling based on a customer’s previous purchases within three years
• 83% of the respondents plan to offer promotions based on the customer’s geographic proximity within five years
• 91% of the respondents plan to have real-time inventory available at the POS within three years
• 95% of retailers plan to implement real-time analytics within five years

Read the complete Special Report for more insights by completing the form to the right.

2015 CRM Benchmark Survey

Nearly 90% of Retailers Plan to Use Gamification for Customer Engagement

Boston Retail Partners’ 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current state and planned initiatives, priorities, and future trends that relate to customer relationship management (CRM) practices associated with the retail industry’s shift to unified commerce.

In direct response to heightened consumer expectations for a personalized, seamless experience wherever, whenever and however they shop, engaging the customer and managing the customer experience are top priorities for retailers. Unified commerce and customer experiences that transcend channels are the new model, and retailers understand that customer relationship management (CRM) is an essential enabler and key to influencing customer behavior.

The findings of BRP’s Survey recognize the key CRM aspects of customer engagement across channels:

IDENTIFY THE CUSTOMER – 883% more retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store within five years.

ENGAGE THE CUSTOMER – 87% of retailers plan to use gamification to engage the customer within five years.

ANALYZE THE CUSTOMER – 100% of the retailers plan to utilize analytics/dashboard to understand shopping behaviors within two years.

RETAIN THE CUSTOMER – 46% of retailers indicate that a structured loyalty program is a top CRM priority.

Read the 2015 CRM Survey Report for more insights – see download form to the right.

Order Management is the New POS

250% More Retailers Plan to have a Single Order Management Solution in 3 Years

Retailers are shifting their focus from channel integration to a holistic customer experience. This “unified commerce” initiative is the evolution of both multi-channel and omni-channel retailing to provide a seamless shopping experience whether in the store, on the Web or anywhere customers choose to shop on their mobile devices.

Integral to unified commerce is a unified commerce platform – a single centralized commerce platform for all channels – combining traditional point of sale, mobile, Web, clienteling, order management and fulfillment into a consolidated, real-time platform. To better understand how and why 250 percent more retailers are evolving to a single order management system to support all channels, BRP surveyed the top North American retailers.

Read the BRP Special Report: Order Management is the New POS for more insights…

Complete the form in the right column to download

Transforming the Customer Experience

Nearly 300% More Retailers Plan to Deploy Mobile POS in Two Years

Retailers are focused on significantly expanding the use of mobile technology for point of sale (POS), customer engagement and payments. The BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Mobile Technology – Transforming the Customer Experience, assesses how mobile devices will change both retail operations and the customer shopping experience over the next two years.

To better understand the actual impact mobile devices are having on retail and the shopping experience, BRP surveyed the top North American retailers to explore the current state of how mobile technology is shaping retail capabilities, priorities and processes. This special report digs deeper into findings from the BRP 2015 POS/Customer Engagement Benchmarking Survey to explore the significant impact of mobile devices on store operations and how they are “changing retail as we know it.”

The report emphasizes how mobile devices are impacting retail in three key areas:

1. MOBILE POS – utilizing a mobile device as the checkout device

  • 285% more retailers plan to deploy mobile POS in the next two years

2. CUSTOMER-FACING MOBILE SERVICES – leveraging mobile devices to enhance the shopping experience

  • 225% planned increase in use of geolocation within three years

3. MOBILE PAYMENT– utilizing a customer’s smartphone as a payment device

  • 350% more retailers plan to support NFC payments by October 2015

Read the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Mobile Technology – Transforming the Customer Experience for more insights…