Meet Rising Consumer Expectations Digital Transformation

Beth McElroy Miniature
Beth McElroy
Published April 26, 2023

Consumer behaviors have changed significantly since 2019, leading to a 50% increase in online sales.1 Services like buy-online, pick-up-in-store and curbside pickup have expanded to new retailers and been adopted by more consumers, who intend to continue the practice. In fact, more than 80% of consumers have developed new shopping behaviors.2

Omnichannel retail requires a seamless experience between the digital and physical realms, even extending to delivery partners. Many retailers initially scrambled to meet the challenge but supporting omnichannel customers is worthwhile—they make purchases 70% more often and spend 34% more than those who shop solely in physical stores.3

The shift to digital also creates a larger attack surface, thus increasing security risk. Cybercriminals frequently go after retailers and their customers for financial gain. Basic web application attacks, social engineering (specifically phishing and pretexting), and system intrusion were the top three patterns used in retail breaches in 2021.4 Credentials were the top type of data compromised, making fraud a major concern. Global e-commerce losses to online payment fraud were estimated at $20 billion USD in 2021.5

The competitive advantages of traditional retail are no longer enough, proven by 46% of U.S. consumers changing brands or retailers recently.6 Retailers must continue to optimize digital and omnichannel shopping, providing experiences that will retain and attract customers, while also keeping a growing amount of personal data secure.

Prevent Fraud

Fraud and the abuse of applications by bad actors often occur as a result of automated bot or human-driven attacks, like account takeover and credential stuffing. Many businesses have adopted tools like CAPTCHA to mitigate automated attacks, but they also frustrate legitimate users. And CAPTCHAs can be easily bypassed with solving services or human intervention.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning trained on real human traffic can identify and stop fraud without friction—even sophisticated automation that can emulate human behavior. AI-powered fraud prevention can block automated traffic to keep out attacks and reduce burden on infrastructure.

Build and Secure Modern Apps

Applications provide new opportunities to reach customers, such as personalization or virtual assistants that help with purchase decisions and reduce returns. Apps need to be flexible, scalable, and secure to be successful, and running them in the cloud provides reliability and performance.

Whether retailers plan to modernize existing apps or build new ones, they need to be able to deliver quickly and deploy anywhere, including in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Apps also need to be secure and free from vulnerabilities that can be exploited. By integrating security into the DevOps pipeline, it becomes part of the development lifecycle instead of causing delays at the deployment stage.

Offer Integrated Experiences

APIs allow retailers to collaborate and innovate, connecting the supply chain, delivery partners, and distribution channels. They enable interactive experiences, like virtual try-ons of clothing and makeup or location-based coupons. They can also create borderless channels, eliminating the lines between a physical store, online, mobile apps, and phone support.

Managing APIs effectively requires maximizing performance and monitoring the complete lifecycle. By reducing API call response times, integrations appear seamless to the consumer. For all of their benefits, APIs also add an additional security risk; therefore, real-time protection via security policies, anomaly detection, and access control are needed.

Exceed Consumer Expectations with F5 and Google Cloud

F5 solutions help you modernize applications, manage APIs, and secure sensitive data. With AI, machine learning, and real-time monitoring, you can prevent sophisticated automated and human-led attacks that result in fraud, data theft, and application abuse. F5’s WAF solutions can be integrated into your CI/CD pipeline to protect applications without delaying releases. API management enables integrations that offer great performance and security. F5 Distributed Cloud fraud and risk services mitigate bots and predict fraud across the customer journey. Innovate rapidly without compromising security or adding user friction.

Google Cloud is a flexible, secure cloud provider that embraces open source, making it a platform to migrate infrastructure and modernize applications. It’s also multi-cloud friendly, providing pioneering capabilities around Kubernetes as well as big data and analytics. Google Cloud has always prioritized security; the platform’s strong security and cutting-edge encryption allow companies to safely store and analyze sensitive personal identifiable information. Digital commerce tools from product discovery to retail analytics help you become a customer-centric, data-driven retailer.

Together with F5 and Google Cloud, you can offer a seamless and secure omnichannel experience that attracts and retains customers while exceeding their expectations.


1 Digital Commerce 360, US Ecommerce Sales, February 2022

2,3 McKinsey, The five zeros reshaping stores, March 2022

4 Verizon, Data Breach Investigations Report, May 2022

5 Statista, Value of e-commerce losses to online payment fraud worldwide in 2020 and 2021, March 2022

6 McKinsey, In search of speed: A new way for retailers to organize, October 2021