As technology evolves, consumers are being provided with more tools than ever before with which to meet their shopping needs.
While this offers an exciting new frontier for innovative retailers, it is worth considering the importance of consumer safety and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance during this time.
The IBM Center for Applied Insights has just released a new study into the modern world of digital retail, titled The Value of a Smarter Shopping Experience, and the results are an indication of just how enormous the potential for online business success is.
"To win in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, it is imperative for retailers to understand how consumers engage with their brand across all possible points of interaction," reads the document.
"No longer is a one-size-fits-all approach good enough, as today’s smarter consumers demand that retailers meet their unique needs and timeframes."
According to the International Telecommunications Union (ICT), there are now 5.9 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions worldwide – that's global penetration of 87 per cent.
Furthermore, the ICT states that one-third of the 1.8 billion households worldwide now have internet access.
In order to fully capitalise on this market, IBM suggests that retailers deliver an engaging, timely and consistently aware online shopping experience for users.
However it is important to note that any business which accepts credit or debit card payments, whether it be online or in a traditional bricks and mortar environment, needs to ensure that it is up to date with PCI DSS compliance.
This standard guarantees that retailers are fulfilling their obligations when it comes to protecting customer information, in order to ensure any potential for cybercrime or information theft is minimised.
IBM asserts that five key competencies are required for retailers to realise the rewards of investment in a smarter shopping experience – integrated information, prescriptive insight, precision marketing, relevant experience and continuous dialogue.