The direction of retail was likely captured by data from the holiday season’s special shopping days. In-store shopping was down 55 percent on Thanksgiving Day and 37 percent on Black Friday according to the National Retail Federation, and RetailNext said foot traffic was off by up to 47 percent. By comparison, Adobe Analytics calculated that Cyber Monday sales grew in 2020 by more than 15 percent compared to a year earlier, and that shoppers spent more than $30 billion at online retailers between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

Those figures reflect unique conditions created by the pandemic—and next year in-store holiday sales will likely be a different matter—but most retail analysts expect online will continue to grow as a percentage of total sales. The pandemic has brought new shoppers to the world of e-commerce, and the types of goods consumers now think to buy online has expanded. For examples, online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the food and grocery category increased 137 percent, according to data from NetElixir.

Risk Accompanies Growth

Jason Cheung
Jason Cheung

A core principle in e-commerce security is that more fraud always accompanies more transactions, and retailers’ race to capture more revenue online has left some of them vulnerable,
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