Australian retailers prioritising investment in cybersecurity and privacy

Tips & Tricks
June 18, 2024

In the lucrative ecommerce sector, Australians spend AUD$1.2 billion on online shopping every single week. However, as tens of thousands of retailers and tens of millions of consumers enjoy the convenience, choice and value of online shopping - and share more and more data as they do so -  cyber security has taken centre stage. Cyber attacks are increasing in both severity and frequency, with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) receiving 94,000 reports of cyber security incidents in FY 2022-23. That equates to one report every six minutes. The retail industry was the second most targeted, with 16.3% of all reported incidents.

As ecommerce penetration surges, threats increase, and scrutiny from consumers and policymakers intensifies, Australian retailers are prioritising investment in cyber security, according to research from SHOPLINE.

Cybersecurity is retailer’s top priority 

SHOPLINE’s Unified Commerce Benchmarking Study, which sought to understand how retail business owners and decision-makers are approaching 2024, found that 69% of retailers plan to increase their investment in cybersecurity over the next year—outpacing all other technology investments.

The sentiment towards cybersecurity varies significantly depending on the size of the business. For very large retailers, those with over $100 million in Gross Value Merchandising (GVM), the stakes are sky-high. With their expansive digital footprints and vast amounts of customer data, they understand how disastrous a cyber attack can be. A breach can lead to significant financial losses, serious reputational damage, and a long-lasting loss of consumer trust—even for the biggest brands. This is why nine in 10 (89%) of these retailers are focusing on the latest cybersecurity technologies and protocols.

Medium-sized retailers, classified as those with GVM ranges from $10 million to $50 million, are similarly aware of the stakes. Many of these retailers built or grew their ecommerce presences during the pandemic, but for some, cybersecurity was an afterthought. Until now. SHOPLINE’s report indicates that 85% of medium retailers are now prioritising cybersecurity investments, highlighting the sector-wide recognition of this issue's critical importance.

Smaller retailers, those with less than $10 million GVM, often mistakenly believe they are too small to be targeted. However, cyber attacks are indiscriminate, preying on vulnerabilities regardless of business size. The impact on smaller retailers, who might lack the expertise or resources to handle a breach or its fallout, can be disproportionately devastating. Only 38% of small retailers plan to increase their investment in cyber security, leaving many vulnerable - whether they realise it or not. 

Strengthen customer trust and loyalty 

Investing in cyber security is not just about safeguarding against financial loss and reputational damage; it’s also about building trust and loyalty among consumers. In an era where data breaches frequently make headlines, consumers are increasingly vigilant about their personal information, who they share it with and how those brands treat it. Retailers who demonstrate a proactive approach to privacy and data protection can differentiate themselves in a competitive market.

Transparency is a crucial component of this strategy. Retailers that are open about their data protection policies and the measures they take to secure customer information can foster a sense of security and trust. Communicating these efforts through clear, accessible channels reassures consumers that their data is in safe hands.

Moreover, adherence to regulatory standards and best practices in cyber security is imperative. Compliance with frameworks such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) not only ensures legal compliance but also signals to customers that the retailer is committed to safeguarding their privacy.

Retailers who excel in this area often see a tangible return on their investment. Customers are more likely to remain loyal to brands they trust, and positive word-of-mouth can enhance the retailer’s reputation, attracting new customers who prioritise data security.

As cyber threats continue to evolve, retailers must stay vigilant and continually update their cyber security measures. SHOPLINE provides essential data safety and privacy features, such as SSL certificates for storefronts and integrated third-party payment gateways. On top of that, SHOPLINE Admin offers built-in data security measures and features for improved data security.

By embracing a proactive approach to cyber security and partnering with SHOPLINE, retailers can safeguard their business and cultivate trust and loyalty with their customers. SHOPLINE exists to help retailers thrive in a digital world by providing robust solutions that empower them to drive growth and success. 

Curious to see how SHOPLINE can help you reach your commerce goals? Book in your demo today and see how easy it is to grow your business with SHOPLINE:

Take the leap into the future with omnichannel commerce

Try SHOPLINE with our free 14 day trial. Explore all the features of our omnichannel solution and see where it could take you business.
No credit card required - get started today.

Try for free