The big day is just around the corner. With only days left, how can you show your significant other how much you care?
According to New Online Spending Index conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, 19 percent of shoppers will spend more money on gifts.
The National Retailer Federation’s (NRF) conducts an annual Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey and this year found that the average person will spend more than they have over the past 10 years, reaching a spending total of $17.6 billion.
Shopping surges happen throughout the year and it often makes us wonder if merchants are prepared to secure all that consumer payment data. Both of these recent surveys indicate that safe and secure shopping is critical for both online and traditional brick and mortar merchants. Flowers and chocolates are always favorite gifts around this time of year, but according to Javelin, 60 percent of those surveyed plan on purchasing something else.
Jewelry merchants should be especially vigilant. Last year, the day after Valentine’s Day, several jewelry stores were under attack from hackers. Day’s Jewelers, with five stores across Maine and New Hampshire, suffered a breach from outside hackers and nearly 1,000 customers who purchased items from Day’s reported fraudulent activity on their cards.
So don’t let the big day break any hearts or wallets. Retailers must protect that trust of their customers and can do so by following a few simple tips that we often talk about on this blog:
- It’s all in the heart — of the network that is. Every retailer should understand where cardholder data is stored on the network. Are there proper security controls in place to protect this data? Ensure data is properly protected according to PCI standards.
- Focus on the relationship. It’s not just technology, its people and processes, and how they all connect and work together. Merchants must educate and train staff to understand network security policies and procedures.
- Know when it’s time to move on. As in every relationship, there are times when you need to take stock of things and let go. The same holds true for information stored on the network. Merchants tend to hold on to data when in reality, this information can be easily removed from the system which in turn minimizes the cardholder data environment and security risk.
We hope that merchants take these tips to heart to maintain strong relationships the loyalty of their customers.