A more robust approach for retailers is to extend the security perimeter outside the actual data center, emphasizing systems designed to provide cloud security, prevent data theft and downtime, and mitigate DDoS attacks. This approach enables retailers to avoid being targeted via core weaknesses of public or private electronic networks.
Extending the security perimeter thus allows online businesses to focus their efforts on customer experience without worrying about site performance, application functionality, customer data, or payment transactions being compromised.
3. Harnessing the power of data
At every step of the sales process lies an invaluable amount of structured and unstructured data. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), many Asia Pacific retail businesses are using data analytics to inspect, clean and model these vast collections of information to understand and monetize the customer insights coming out of all types of transactions.
Big Data-derived insights are helping retailers find and build their customer base by making it faster and easier to react to both a dynamic technology landscape and the ever-changing needs of users. Whether consumers reside in traditional demographic segments, in established or emerging markets, or in segments linked by common attitudes, lifestyles, or shopping behaviors, insights can help retailers reach their desired segments by using targeted channels that build strong and sustainable connections between brand and consumer.
Geo-specific data, CRM databases, mobile payments, or credit card usage can, for example, help retailers intercept shoppers at the right time and convert occasional buyers into loyal customers. Presenting relevant offers to the most promising buyers can drive shoppers through the purchase funnel faster, and drive higher conversion rates. They can also help monitor popular brands, gauge competition, and reveal unexpected consumer research and shopping habits.
Verizon and Akamai's joint suite of solutions for online retailers uses predictive modeling to understand the distinctive behavioral patterns that shoppers exhibit leading up to a purchase. Based on data from the world's only online shopping data cooperative (comprising more than 6.3 billion anonymous shopping data points from across more than 550 consumer retail WebWeb sites), insights gathered allow online retailers to accurately identify in-market consumers, dynamically display relevant offers, and transform online shopping into an interactive and intuitive experience.
Intuitively, the retail sector has the most to gain from properly collecting and understanding customers' behavior and sentiment patterns, as these can translate into actionable insights that directly impact sales and the bottom now. This is especially true now that security measures with reliable Internet security and backup protocols are fully scalable and customizable.
From staying ahead of the competition in the crowded marketplace to providing customers a seamless and secure buying experience and understanding their wants and needs, finding flexible and scalable tools will allow Asia-Pacific retailers to fully seize the plethora of exciting retail opportunities the region has to offer.
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