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Despite Push For Personalization, Just 18% Of Retailers Identify Shoppers In-Store

Retail TouchPoints – A robust 61% of retailers plan to use customer-identifying technology in their stores within three years. However, there’s a lot of work to be done to turn these plans into realities: only 18% of retailers currently use this technology, and just 4% say it is implemented and working well, according to the 2018 Digital Commerce Survey from BRP, retail consulting firm.

Even when retailers are able to identify the customer in the store, in many cases this doesn’t occur until the point of checkout — too late for associates to personalize the shopper’s experience. This delay presents a challenge for retailers, especially since 51% of shoppers feel it is important to get a personalized experience across all digital channels.

“The new retail model requires retailers to transform their business and reinvent themselves to create a successful blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain their customers’ loyalty,” said Jeffrey Neville, Senior VP and Practice Lead at BRP in a statement. “The speed of these changes requires organizational agility to quickly and easily react to increasing customer expectations and changing consumer behavior.”

Read Full Article: Despite Push For Personalization, Just 18% Of Retailers Identify Shoppers In-Store

Meet with BRP at NRF 2018

Consumers want a mobile, personalized experience that seamlessly spans the physical and digital worlds. The retailers that win will be the ones that can transform quickly to deliver what their customers now expect. Book a meeting with us to discuss how BRP and Windstream can help you accelerate your retail transformation and get ahead of rapid changes in the industry—before you get left behind.

BRP Offers TechTours and Private Meetings at NRF 2017

BRP is offering a series of TechTours to help retailers identify innovative products and new technologies available on the NRF 2017 EXPO floor.

Each 90-minute TechTour is scheduled to visit 3-4 vendor booths with an introduction and summary at the BRP/EarthLink booth (#3963). Tours are limited to no more than 10 retailers to allow for more interaction and discussion.

Reserve your spot today for one BRP’s TechTours (complete the form on the right):

  • Merchandise Planning
  • Digital Commerce
  • Store of the Future
  • Omni-Channel and Mobile Payments

Make your appointment today to meet with a BRP executive to discuss (complete form on the right):

  • How unified commerce is enabling the new customer experience
  • The importance of real-time retail in your business
  • Our latest research findings from top retailers on:
    – POS/Customer Engagement (RELEASED AT NRF)
    – Customer Experience/Unified Commerce
    – Digital Commerce
    – Merchandise Planning

We look forward to seeing you at NRF 2017.

David


Request a BRP TechTour or Meeting at NRF 2017

 

 

 

Life After EMV – No Rest for the Weary

EMV_Terminal2For many retailers, getting to EMV was a long and arduous task. Delays in certifications, long lead times for new payment terminals, and high competition for valuable software, payment terminal and banking resources meant 6 month projects often turned into 12 and 18 month projects. So if you are a retailer who has successfully implemented EMV, congratulations! But where do you go from here?

The first critical step will be to ensure that you are indeed no longer seeing any higher than usual chargebacks coming from the bank. If you are, then you need to investigate further to validate that your transaction messaging is correctly flagging transactions as being EMV and that the bank isn’t erroneously passing along any charges which should not be shifted to the merchant.

Finishing What you Started

The next step is to shore up additional security gaps from a store systems perspective. Many retailers who chose to focus their priority on EMV did so at the expense of implementing end-to-end encryption (E2EE) or tokenization.  Whereas EMV is critical for limiting the use of lost or stolen cards in your stores, it does nothing to protect the card information itself once it gets into your store and back-office systems. E2EE helps to ensure that the card data is encrypted immediately upon swipe and will remain locked down and protected until it is outside of your network at the gateway or processor.  And implementing a tokenization solution, which stores a non-sensitive token in lieu of the credit card number in your system, helps to ensure that there is no critical information to be obtained in a breach event. The combination of EMV, E2EE and tokenization is the best defense for securing your store environment.

Improving Online Payment Security

HackerAs retailers continue to secure their in-store retail systems, many fraudsters are turning their attention to online systems. An additional recommendation is to extend tokenization solutions to online and mobile systems to ensure payment security while still being able to support advances in cross-channel business processes through the use of an omni-token.

As a result, retailers who have e-commerce solutions need to ensure they are securing these systems as well. From validating the secure transport of card data to processors to the ongoing tweaking and configuration of the rules within an advanced fraud management system, there are additional steps which retailers can take to address the already-present rise in online fraud.

Monitoring EMV Issues and Trends

Finally, it will be important to monitor coming trends and shifts related to EMV.  The longer authentication timeframe is causing headaches for many speed-of-service focused retailers, and the card issuers are working to implement “Quick EMV” fixes to speed up the precious seconds which have been incrementally added to a credit card transaction using EMV chip technology. Even though these should not result in additional development or projects for retailers, it will be important to understand how these impact the checkout process before deciding to implement.  Additionally, there has been an ongoing debate around the initial implementation of chip-and-signature for EMV vs. the more secure chip-and-PIN implementation.  If the momentum continues to shift towards chip-and-PIN, there will be additional steps required to ensure a successful implementation.

EMV compliance is a tremendous step towards avoiding additional liability stemming from fraudulent transactions as well as reducing the ability for customers to use fraudulent cards in your stores. But payment security is an ongoing process, not just a project. And to keep up, following many of the steps above will continue to help secure your customer’s information and your payment processing.

As always, I appreciate your opinions and insights on this topic. Please share your comments below.

Ryan

 

How can retailers mitigate the risk of the rise in online fraud?

Last October, following the EMV liability shift BRP published a blog post outlining the increased security risk to card-not-present transactions and warning retailers of potential increased online fraud. Our warning was not without precedent, citing a publication by Trustev that reported increased fraud in Europe following the introduction of EMV there. In this blog post, we will follow-up on our October publication with an update on reported online fraud in 2015.

Online Fraud Doubled in 2015

HackerMultiple industry sources all show that, with a few exceptions, online fraud increased in 2015. Digital goods, luxury goods and clothing all saw significant increases in online fraud. Further, according to Forester and PYMTS.com’s recent report, retailers lost an estimated 1.3% of revenue due to online fraud in 2015 –  double the rate of 2014. Fraud’s harm doesn’t stop with “bad” transactions, as up to 25% of transactions declined due to suspected fraud were actually legitimate transactions.

Interestingly, that same report showed that electronics and food/beverage saw a decrease in online fraud, 17% and 36% respectively. What do these contrasts mean for online fraud in general? Different retail verticals are at higher risk for fraud as their goods have higher after-market value. For instance, fraudsters may be taking digital goods (such as DVDs), where fraud is up 304%, and reselling the content. Further, while electronics saw a decrease in fraud and represented 4% of fraudulent transactions they represented 19% of fraudulent transaction dollars due to the high price of products. A deeper dive into the statistics offer greater insights and a fuller picture of the critical areas to address.

The Forester/PYMT.som report does not break out gift card sales from merchandise sales. However, our findings and client data make it very clear that one of the highest risk sales, both online and in-store, is gift cards. If retailers have not adjusted their fraud profiles to include gift card sales in their highest risk category, they should do so as soon as possible.

Hopefully, the pace of the upward trend of online fraud will begin to slow in 2016. However, it would be foolish to expect it to decrease. As EMV penetration increases, counterfeit cards have less and less value in brick and mortar stores, effectively increasingly their value in online transactions. Additionally, fraudsters have large amounts of stolen credit card inventory that they want to take advantage of before the cards expire or are replaced. For these reasons, online retailers need to expect 2015’s fraud rates to be the new normal and prepare accordingly. Retailers must utilize rules-based fraud detection tools allowing them to audit suspect transactions and authorize legitimate ones.

Recommendations to Mitigate Online Fraud

Differentiating between legitimate and illegitimate transactions can be difficult, but with robust tools and processes retailers can achieve high proficiency. The list of risk mitigation opportunities continues to be expanded and enhanced:

  • Customer Profiles – Profile your existing customers and leverage their existing data. This will allow you to understand which customers were legitimate in the past and identify common attributes.
  • Seasonal Adjustments – Season specific policies allow retailers to tailor their programs throughout the year. Fraudsters are very adept at flooding the market at peak times, when retailers’ processes are already overloaded, such as back to school, seasonal changes and holiday periods.
  • Impact of Accelerated Deliveries – Adapt your payment policies to support, or anticipate supporting, the growing trend of increased same-day and next-day deliveries.
  • Secondary Security Services – Expand your tools to include secondary services such as fraud guarantee services for higher risk transactions.
  • Budget for Financial Impact – Review and possibly update your internal organizational model to account for the increased financial impact that on line fraud is having on the overall corporate bottom line.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Adjustments – Retailers must monitor activity to identify trends and analyze what worked in the past and what didn’t. As a result of this continuous monitoring and hindsight, retailers should update and tweak their rules and parameters. By implementing a comprehensive fraud detection process can thwart fraudsters and meet their customers’ expectations.

With online fraud on the rise, retailers are making it a high priority. Unfortunately, retailers already have a full plate of payment security initiatives, especially those that haven’t implemented EMV yet.  Fraudsters are savvy and retailers need to stay one step ahead by implementing comprehensive security strategies.

For more tips on mitigating payment security risk, check out this white paper:

Beyond EMV: Best Practices for Payment Security

As always, I appreciate your opinions on this topic. Please share your comments below.

Dominic

How do we get from faux omni-channel to unified commerce? – RetailTechCon 2016 Workshop Recap

Boston Retail Partners conducted the “How do we get from faux omni-channel to unified commerce? ” workshop at RetailTechCon in Orlando on March 31, 2016. The workshop brought together leading retailers for a discussion on how retailers can fix the problems associated with “faux” omni-channel and achieve a unified commerce environment.

This interactive workshop included audience participation and an artist summarizing the discussion with graphic images in real-time (see below).

RetailTechCon 2016 Unified Commerce Image

RetailTechCon 2016 Workshop DiscussionThe retail executives attending this session debated the benefits and challenges of implementing a unified commerce system as well as several key implications to consider. It was a lively debate with some very interesting points from a pragmatic retail perspective.

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.

Retailers can no longer afford to operate within channel silos. Now is the time for retailers to transform the organization, business processes and technology to align with the new shopping behaviors and expectations of today’s customers. A unified commerce platform is the new imperative for handling orders, fulfillment and inventory across channels in real-time. Retailers still have a long road ahead to achieve a successful unified commerce platform, but increased customer satisfaction and profits will make it worth the effort.2016 RetailTechCon Recap_Cover

Here is a link to download the document that recaps this workshop discussion:

DOWNLOAD: 2016 RetailTechCon Workshop Recap – How do we get from faux omni-channel to unified commerce?

As always, I am interested in your feedback on this topic. Please share your opinions and comments below.

Ken

 

 

VIDEO: Moving from Faux Omni-channel to Unified Commerce

According to the 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, many retailers have taken the “just get something done” approach over the last few years to attempt to deliver a cross-channel/unified commerce experience. The unfortunate result of this quick fix approach is a “faux” omni-channel model that doesn’t execute as promised and risks disappointing customers.

Watch this video blog post to hear Ken Morris, Principal, Boston Retail Partners, explain why many retailers are saddled with legacy systems that are not designed to accommodate today’s retail environment and how they have scrambled to cobble things together in attempts to deliver the omni-channel capabilities customers expect. Ken also shares his perspectives on the best approach to move to unified commerce.

Moving from Faux Omni-channel to Unified Commerce

Visit our BRP Videos page to watch videos on other topics.

As always, I appreciate you thoughts on this topic. Please enter your thoughts and comments below.

David

Unified Commerce is the Goal, but “Faux” Omni-channel is the Reality!

According to a new special report from BRP, retailers recognize the need for a holistic customer experience that transcends channels, but most attempts are falling short. According to the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Unified Commerce is the Goal, “Faux” Omni-channel is the Reality, many retailers have taken the “just get something done” approach over the last few years to attempt to deliver a cross-channel customer experience. The unfortunate result of this quick fix approach is a “faux” omni-channel model that doesn’t execute as promised and risks disappointing customers.

2016_Special_Report_Unified_Commerce_CoverThe industry has now reached a critical point where retailers can no longer afford to operate from within channel silos. They must transform their organization, business processes and technology to align with the demands of their customers. According to BRP’s 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, 85% of the retailers surveyed realize the importance of offering a true unified commerce environment to their customers but most have not reached that goal yet. Only 18% of the retailers surveyed indicate they have implemented a unified commerce/single commerce platform, and two-thirds of those companies indicated that it “needs improvement.”

“Unified commerce goes beyond omni-channel, putting the customer experience first, breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a single commerce platform,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “The idea of a single, centralized, real-time platform for all customer engagement points is a key tenet of unified commerce. A unified commerce platform is not simply the future in-store or web platform, but combines POS, mobile, Web, call center and clienteling into one single integrated platform. It has become the new retail imperative.”

Unified Commerce


Unfortunately, the risk of losing customers due to a disappointing shopping experience caused by flawed omni-channel architecture is deadly – this is why retailers are focusing on “real” unified commerce in 2016.

I encourage you to download and read the full report.

DOWNLOAD:

BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Unified Commerce is the Goal, “Faux” Omni-channel is the Reality

I hope you enjoy the report and welcome your comments and feedback. Please share your comments below.

David

How do your Payment Security Practices Compare to other Retailers?

According to a new special report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP), the threat posed by payment 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/data security is a top priority.

2016 Payment Data Security Special Report coverThis 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 – Where Are We Now?
  • Beyond EMV
  • Mobile Payments are on the Rise – and so is the Competition
  • Increased Options for Getting Data to Processors
  • The Shift to Online Fraud
  • Quick Wins to Beat Online Fraud

“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 risks and continue to focus resources to lock-down payment and data security across all touchpoints.” – Perry Kramer, vice president and practice lead, Boston Retail Partners.

“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.” – Ryan Grogman, vice president, Boston Retail Partners

I encourage you to read the report to see how your payment security practices stack-up to other retailers.

Download the complete report:

BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Payment/Data Security in an Omni-Channel World

I hope you enjoy the report and welcome any comments or feedback. Please share your comments below.

David

Houston, We have a Problem! – 2016 POS Survey Identifies Issues with Retail’s Faux Omni-Channel

Retailers recognize the need to create a holistic customer experience that transcends channels, but most attempts are falling short.

85percentAccording 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.[i]

“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.” – Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners

The 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.2016 POS Survey Cover

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

I encourage you to download and read the complete 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey: https://brpconsulting.com/2016-pos-survey/.

I hope you enjoy the report and welcome any comments or feedback. Please share your comments below.

David

[i] “Buy online, pick-up in the Store. Simple, right? Not this Christmas,” Washington Post, December 20, 2015.