Top 3 Challenges Facing Retailers

Top 3 Challenges Facing Retailers

May 16, 2022 | Zahra Piggott

Between digital fraud, supply chain issues, and gaining trust with your customers, there are a lot of challenges that retailers are facing today. With the economy continuing to drastically change over time it is important that retailers are aware of the challenges they are facing now or could be facing in the future. In this blog, we discuss the top 3 challenges facing retailers now, how we can help your company avoid these challenges, and how you can continue to grow your business.

1. Customer journey management 

It is important for companies to know how to balance. Companies need to make sure that a consumer's experience is as frictionless as possible. A brand can be negatively affected when an experience is too friction-filled, causing consumers to abandon the transaction and often the company as a whole.  

That is why it is important to use integrated solutions to reduce friction and remediation. As a retailer, you know it is important for a business to know its customers. However, it is just as important for a customer to know they can trust you. Retailers must put themselves in their customers' “shoes.” Even if you work for a business you are a consumer. You, as a consumer, can probably remember a time when you had been reluctant to put information into an online form because you were not sure where it was going or if it was going to be safe. Think like a consumer and make sure the process for them is frictionless and trustworthy. It's really important to have an end-to-end protection and solution that extends throughout the customer journey, especially when Inventory denial, refund fraud, bot attacks, and enumeration attacks are all collecting more and more data. 

It is important to always advertise that you are protecting your customers. Many consumers can become frustrated when they are asked to provide a lot of  information. According to Anna Fisher, Vice President, Identity and Fraud Consulting at Equifax, if you change the narrative from, “you’re doing this to frustrate me” to “I’m doing this to help protect you and keep your data safe,” consumers will begin to trust you more and feel protected. When consumers trust you, they will continue to do business with you. In order to be trustworthy, make sure you are being transparent. Share with your consumer what you are doing to protect them while reducing friction. 

As Wendi Lete, Sr. Director of Customer Success at Kount, an Equifax company, has shared, “One of the most rewarding things we were able to do for our customers was to help them hit the ground running from a digital enhancement perspective by providing best practices in implementing new use cases, such as Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) or Curbside Delivery.  We had the best practices already established which helped them elevate the process faster to better protect themselves and their customers”

2. Maintain the spectrum of trust from good customers while mitigating risk of bad actors

As mentioned above, it is important to keep your relationship with your customers. You want a strong relationship with them where they feel they can trust your business and the information they provide you. But, once your customers trust you it is important to maintain that trust while still being on alert for risk and the bad actors that could affect your company as a whole. It is important to always be aware of the risk your company could face especially as the world becomes more digital and new technology continues to develop. According to Lete, many companies are starting to incorporate data on their customers into their fraud solution for a more personalized experience. This allows companies to balance who the consumer is as well as who the consumer is from a risk perspective. 

Fisher agrees that a fraud trend that is prevalent right now is synthetic fraud. There seems to be a gray area around how the effects of synthetics manifest. That is why it is important to hone in on what they are looking for. This is something most companies should be currently trying to handle. At Equifax, recently we have seen patterns and trends in our data that indicate where there is higher risk.  

Over the last few years with the pandemic, many retailers went to omnichannel but were not really prepared to do so. This resulted in a higher increase in fraudulent transactions. Fisher stated that, “A lot of organizations focus on transactions with a large dollar value but instead these organizations need to search for smaller fraudulent transactions as people who defraud a company tend to start small with $1 dollar transitions and then grow as more are approved.” For a fraudster it is all about looking for an opportunity and the weakest link. Do not be the weakest link and make sure you have the right controls. 

3. Understand and manage supply chain risks and challenges 

Here at Equifax, during our most recent Market Pulse webinar, we discussed the recent supply chain issues and challenges that the economy is facing. It is important to stay up to date with the latest economic trends and data. A great way is by joining our monthly Market Pulse webinars where we discuss the latest economic trends, consumer credit trends, and small business trends. With the economy constantly changing it is important to understand the key indicators. Knowing about the latest state of the economy and supply chain, your company can stay ahead of the constantly changing supply chain crisis since the start of the pandemic.