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Future of Ecommerce 2020

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F U T U R E O F E C O M M E R C E 14 easyJet was targeted by hackers in one of the biggest ecommerce frauds committed on a British com- pany. Records belonging to nine million of the budget airline's cus- tomers were accessed in this highly sophisticated attack believed to have been perpetrated by Chinese hackers, which resulted in the credit and debit card details, including security codes, of 2,208 individuals being compromised. The company, which has so far been tight lipped about exactly how the breach happened, has come under fire for being slow to respond. After becoming aware of the inci - dent in January, the airline notified the Information Commissioner's Be open if you suffer a data breach Office (ICO) and the National Cyber Security Centre, but didn't start informing its customers until April, because it said it first had to estab- lish the extent of the problem. easyJet is the latest in a line of airlines to be targeted after British Airways and Air Canada were hacked in 2018. Customers have already reported cases of phishing and attempted social engineering stemming from the breach, while easyJet is also facing an £18-bil - lion class action lawsuit brought by affected parties. "The key message here is that once a data breach has occurred, you need to be as up-front as pos- sible about the extent of what has happened," says Jonathan Knudsen, senior security strategist at Synopsys. As ecommerce continues to expand, with record growth figures already posted for 2020, so does the risk of fraud. Here are five lessons businesses can learn from recent cases of ecommerce fraud to keep themselves and their customers protected Lessons to learn from ecommerce fraud 1 2 Fashion retailer Sweaty Betty became the latest high-pro- file victim of the fastest growing ecommerce fraud: form-jacking. So-called Magecart hackers gained access to and injected malicious JavaScript programming code in the company's website before exfil- trating customer details from the checkout page, using sophisticated web-based card skimmers to steal payment card information. Names, billing, delivery and email addresses, telephone numbers and passwords were all taken from cus- tomers who entered their payment card details between November 19 and 27, 2019. After being captured by the skimmer, the information was sent to a remote server operated by the criminals to be sold on the dark web. To Sweaty Betty's credit, after being discovered, it quickly reported the incident to the ICO and disclosed the breach in an email to customers affected. It also enlisted specialist security consultants to help with the investigation into what went wrong. Mimecast's head of ecrime Carl Wearn says the lesson other compa - nies should take from this is to reg- ularly monitor webpages and the integrity of files in an effort to detect malicious code. "Without this con- stant monitoring, this form of attack can go undetected for long periods and can lead to the real-time theft of payment details, which can then be used online for fraudulent transac- tions," he says. Monitor regularly for suspicious activity Alex Wright F R A U D here has been phenomenal growth in ecommerce sales since lockdown started in the UK. Purchases have been forced online as a result of the lockdown measures and lifestyles of the past three months. According to the IMRG Capgemini Sales Index, there was a 32 per cent year-on-year increase in May. There has been a huge rise in sales in the home and garden sector, up by 163 per cent year on year. Electricals, beer, wine and spirits, and beauty products too have all seen huge growth. While many ecommerce categories have seen high spikes, this growth has not been realised across all sec - tors. Clothing sales have struggled. There is no point in buying a new outfit to sit at home. Yet even in the apparel sector, there is some light at the end of the tun- nel, with an uplift in sales from April to May. This has been largely in the health and fitness area, likely due to a relaxation of the lockdown rules. The question I have is will ecom- merce continue to maintain its share of the retail pie? There are two main changes that have taken place during lockdown which we need to take into consideration. Firstly, consumers have been forced to purchase online; many shoppers that had never bought online before have had to make that leap. This has certainly been evident in the grocery sector. Many other sectors have also benefited from the forced change dur - ing the coronavirus crisis, electricals and home office equipment an obvi- ous area. Secondly, we have seen a funda- mental shift in that many retailers and businesses have had to pivot their sales strategy. Ecommerce is the only sales channel they have had available, so those that have traditionally sold online have had to change tact. The direct-to-con- sumer model has been imple- mented by large fast-moving con- sumer goods brands such as Heinz, with their first-ever UK online shop Heinz To Home; adidas too has been a high-profile example. So, what next? The high street is again largely open for business, albeit under strict social-distancing rules. For now, there is still a health risk and many people will continue to avoid the high street, purchas - ing online for some time. This will be especially true with commodi- ty-type purchases, so ecommerce will continue to benefit. And consumer groups, such as the older genera- tions, have had to familiarise them- selves with buying online, so many will not revert to the weekly trip to the supermarket, assuming they can get a delivery slot. Yet more than anything, COVID- 19 has been a major accelerator of changes that were already happen- ing. The high street has been under pressure for a number of years and the current situation has brought this into focus. Retailers that failed to invest in digital were suffering and the last few months has only speeded this up; many will fail to survive. The importance of inventory, supply chain, delivery, a strong ecommerce website and the ability to be agile have all come into play. Businesses that are strong in these areas will thrive, whether pureplay or omnichannel. A strong product and ultimately a strong customer knowledge are fundamen - tal. Today and for the future, owning the customer relationship is key and digital facilitates this. Ecommerce will continue to increase its portion of the retail pie. It has been happening for years. The high street will evolve and new business models will be developed. Businesses that realise this will sur - vive in the short term and thrive in the future. 'Retailers that failed to invest in digital were suffering and the last few months has only speeded this up; many will fail to survive' T O P I N I O N Graeme Howe Managing director Ecommerce Expo Director at IMRG rzoze19/Shutterstock Electric Egg/Shutterstock

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