U.S. consumers already love online shopping, and they’ve only got more love to give in 2015.
A recent BDO USA survey shows that 78 percent of chief financial officers in the retail industry anticipate that their online sales will increase in the current year. Taking into account the Commerce Department’s estimate of a record-breaking $304.9 billion in U.S. online sales in 2014, the fact that the CFOs polled predict a 9.9 percent increase over that number in the current year is all the more impressive.
Retailers aren’t necessarily expecting that a boom year for online shopping will occur without any effort on their part. Thirty-seven percent of CFOs told BDO that expanding their eCommerce and mobile offerings is their primary growth tactic in 2015, and 22 percent cite eCommerce and mobile channels as the areas where they will spend the most capital.
Mobile shopping is an additional part of many of the CFOs strategies, as BDO found that 68 percent of those surveyed plan to increase their investment in mobile technologies in the current year (a marked increase from 40 percent in 2014).
“Consumers crave speed, selection and the convenience of shopping anywhere and anytime at the touch of a button,” said Natalie Kotlyar, partner in the Consumer Business practice at BDO USA, in the press release. “But investing in online and mobile systems is a difficult balancing act. Staying competitive requires retailers to deliver a seamless, engaging experience across channels, while at the same time investing to protect their consumers’ from the growing threat of cyber attacks.”
BDO found that 56 percent of CFOs increased their spending on cybersecurity in the last 12 months. The most common security technique, embraced by 89 percent of those surveyed, was the use of new software security tools. In 2015, 28 percent of CFOs reported that they expect to invest the most capital in IT systems and technology.
The ninth annual BDO Retail Compass Survey of CFOs, conducted in January 2015, polled the opinions of 100 chief financial officers throughout the United States.