The Australian retail industry is preparing for an uptake in consumer activity with major events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day fast approaching.

These events provide an opportunity for businesses to consider implementing full stack observability to break down silos, drive quick assessments, and provide greater visibility across their business when they need it the most, according to LogicMonitor vice president and general manager for Asia Pacific and Japan, Richard Gerdis.

“Failure to take advantage of observability during these significant retail periods could lead to missed opportunities across the evolving and competitive retail space. Coming into the new financial year business leaders should leverage unified observability technology to expand business outcomes by enabling employee efficiency, creating great customer experiences, and proactively addressing potential outages and problems,” he told Retailbiz.

Uncertainty is gaining in the lead up to holiday shopping, but it doesn’t mean retailers can’t make a big impact in the second half of the year and beyond, was the view from Confluent senior solutions engineering manager for Australia and New Zealand, David Peterson.

“To maximise their efforts, retailers should look for key technology investments which can supercharge multiple aspects of their operations,” he said.

“One innovative way is to leverage real-time data from key sources and all customer touch points to create a real-time view of your customer and build personalised brand engagements. This helps convert a shopping cart into a purchase, accelerate marketing efforts and automates mundane processes – all to the ultimate goal of creating brand loyalty. 

“Tapping into real-time customer data gives retailers the power to bring together interactions from social media, mobile phone applications, external sources, and historical data to build rich experiences driven by informed backend systems. This can unlock value from point-of-sale, ERP, and order management systems.”

Also acknowledging cost of living pressures, Endava Australia principal industry consultant, David Marsh said there are things retailers can do to mitigate a rush towards the lowest price.

“Consider your online shopping experience – if you are going to tempt customers with special deals, make sure your reduced margin is rewarded with repeat customs,” he told Retailbiz.

“This might be through convenience factors – choice of payment method, loyalty programs or another mechanism that builds customer loyalty. If you are selling at a discount and your online shopping experience is poor, then you’ll always be selling at a discount.  

“For bricks and mortar retailers, consider unified commerce solutions to maximise the benefit of your high street presence. Fashion is a great example of an industry where a customer might shop instore once to determine their fit and then transition to the convenience of online retail for repeat orders. That’s a win/win for both your business and the consumer that is best nurtured through a unified commerce solution.” 

The advice from Trellix chief of pre-sales and sales engineering for Asia Pacific, Daryush Ashjari is to reset and re-evaluate cybersecurity strategies with a shift towards proactive approaches and tools.

“The increase in retail activity in the second half of 2022 is an ideal target for threat actors looking to exploit overworked SOC (Security Operations Center) teams and stressed systems. Combine this with a growing threat landscape and congested retail peaks expected in the coming months, this makes for a challenging environment that businesses should look to prioritise,” he told Retailbiz.

“Business leaders should think differently and implement adaptive cybersecurity framework that breaks down siloes and works for SOC teams rather than against them. Such an approach, Extended Detection & Response (XDR) should be seriously considered to help actively protect against cyberattacks during highly engaged retail periods.”