Commentary

Big Mobile Shopping On Black Friday/Cyber Monday: No Security Worries?

Everyone was shopping the idea that Black Friday would lead to a boom in online retail sales. A key subset piece of that process was shopping via smartphone app.

So according to Adobe Analytics, shopping on smartphones jumped 25% to $3.6 billion, making up 40% of total online spending -- now at a record $9 billion, up 22% from the year before.  And, oh, Black Friday foot traffic was down 52%.

We saw that coming. But did we forget about security issues, consumer data leakage, fraud? Maybe a little bit.

Much of the increased shopping activity on smartphones in recent years makes sense as consumers have gotten more comfortable with it. Of course this year, all that was amplified, and not just for at-home delivery  Consumers may want to go to a store -- just not necessarily inside -- for quicker curbside access. Adobe Analytics said in-store/curbside pickup increased 52% from a year ago.

Still Black Friday may be old-school to some, having been usurped by CyberMonday, now the biggest shopping day of the year, with estimates it will climb to to a record $12.7 billion this year. We can only imagine even more smartphone shopping activity.

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Pandemic issues now prevail, of course -- changing everything, even how we may feel about potential mobile retail issues. In 2016, a poll from Business Insider Intelligence said 31% don’t want to use mobile retail apps due to concerns about security.

And Zimperium, a mobile security company, said in November a year ago that “100% of iOS-based apps and 90% of Android-based apps failed to receive a passing privacy grade. This means things like private user data, unique device identifiers, SMS, communications, and data storage are all at risk.”

Nice. Now, a year later, there’s a rush for mobile shopping. Projecting our health or protecting our privacy? Do we have to choose?

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