With the vast amount of data collected by retailers everyday, the complications of a cyberattack are significant. Deloitte warns that a single security incident that exposes as little as 5% of a retailer’s data could result in $5-$10 billion in civil fines in addition to recovery costs and legal fees.
At the same time, retailers are tracking and capturing consumer data at record pace, using technology such as face analysis software, in-store high-tech cameras and sensors equipped with facial recognition technologies, and smart tracking systems that capture the voices of shoppers. Yet in a recent Forrester survey, half of respondents said they would discontinue shopping in stores that track their behaviors. The survey also revealed that not all shoppers are tech-savvy and understand how retail stores use advanced technologies to track their behaviors and collect their data.
Together, these issues pose a challenge to retailers looking to use data to inform their consumer engagement strategy. As data/privacy laws and regulations become more strict and consumer-focused and the risk of cyber attacks increases, retailers must implement fair and anonymous modes of data collection that do not raise privacy concerns or deter consumers. Doing so will boost both business profitability and consumer loyalty.