Many retailers are now fighting daily cyber attacks

Cyberattacks and data breaches are becoming more common in the retail industry. New research found that 16% of retailers are being attacked on a daily basis and 11% said that it is taking place two or three times a week. Although these figures sound like only a minority of companies are affected, the same research reported that 64% of companies are facing a cyberattack at least once a month.

The number one industry segment facing attack is grocery, followed by sports and outdoor items. Despite this worrying increase in cyberattacks only 33% of retailers believe that they have a secure network. Why data breaches are disastrous for retail brands? What can retailers do to fight this increase in cyberattacks?

The first step is to acknowledge that the threat exists and to understand the consequences of not taking action. Cyberattacks can kill a successful business if the data breach involves the personal data of customers. As Deloitte has outlined in this report, there are many effects of a cyberattack that executives don’t consider until they are in the process of dealing with a live attack. Operational disruption, lost customer relationships, higher insurance, devaluation of brand image, loss of intellectual property, and the increased cost of debt are all issues that need to be handled in the wake of a cyberattack - responding to an attack is not just about closing off the network to intruders.

Companies in Europe should also be aware that the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced from May 2018. This regulation gives customers far more rights to control how companies use their data. If companies allow data breaches because of cyberattacks, then the fines will be many millions of Euros - even up to 4% of the entire global turnover of the business.

I believe that as we see more retailers focusing on a very personalised omni-channel type service there will be two distinct outcomes. First, the customer experience will dramatically improve because retailers are getting smarter about using customer data. However, because retailers are capturing more data on customers there will be an almost inevitable rise in cyberattacks. Retailers need more data to offer a more personal omni-channel service, but this makes them more vulnerable to attack.

Not many retailers handle the complete customer experience internally today - most have a partner. Sitting down with your partner and understanding their approach to security (and regulations such as GDPR) is an essential first step. All your customer experience partners should be able to demonstrate exactly how they are protecting from cyberattacks in the network, but also through the improvement of processes and employee training. If your partners cannot confidently demonstrate that your customer data is safe then it’s time to start talking to some new partners.

What else can companies do to fight a cyberattack? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn and let me know.


95% of Brits have bought something online in the last six months according to research conducted by leading global customer experience and business process outsourcing expert, Webhelp. How have the UK’s consumer habits changed?

Webhelp recently carried out research on online consumer behaviours within the retail Industry. Five hundred UK retail customers were surveyed and we’ve shared the results of this research here in multiple formats.

Our research demonstrates that  UK shoppers have embraced the online revolution. It also shows that the traditional desktop or laptop computer accounted for almost two thirds (65%) of online shopping purchases; which flies in the face of much recent research which suggests that shoppers are switching to mobile devices to make online purchases.

Explore our research in our handy new infographic which outlines our findings in a bit more detail.


How retailers are turning to drones to increase delivery speed

Last year Amazon made the first ever drone delivery of a package ordered by a customer in the UK. 13 minutes after the customer in Cambridge clicked on the purchase button a drone landed in their garden with the delivery. Will drones reduce delivery time from hours to minutes?

Although the Amazon drone trial was successful, there are a number of restrictions that are preventing UK drone deliveries becoming more mainstream at present. The weather needs to be fairly good to allow the drones to fly and the customer needs to have a location where the drone can land.

Things are looking more promising in Dubai. Trials have been taking place for some time now, based on a system created by Skycart, a San Franciso-based drone company. They are just waiting for government approval, but once granted the market value of drone delivery in the region is expected to hit $1.5bn by 2022.

Companies such as DHL, Amazon, UPS, Alibaba, and Emirates Post have all been involved in the trial demonstrating that the drones will be used for anything from postal deliveries to packages to retailers sending deliveries immediately after a purchase. Dubai clearly has an advantage over the British weather. If the wind and rain makes it difficult for drone deliveries to operate the UK is unlikely to ever use this technology in a transformative way, but this might well be the case in Dubai - especially with such a diverse array of organisations already testing the systems.

I believe that drones will be more important for retailers in the future, once some of the present limitations can be addressed. Customer expectations on delivery time are reducing dramatically. As Amazon has demonstrated, it’s no longer impressive to show that you can offer same-day delivery - how about same-hour delivery?

Urban networks of delivery centres using cycle couriers, or even autonomous electric vehicles, will be able to help improve delivery times, but to truly transform the time it takes to get a product to a customer air transport will be essential. Governments need to be on board with customer expectations and planning how they will control and license drone deliveries as soon as possible.

Retailers are already testing drones and proving that they can work. Will 2018 be the year when we see a dramatic increase in retail deliveries from the sky? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, or get in touch on LinkedIn.

Webhelp and Content Guru Unveil Customer Engagement Partnership


Content Guru has entered into an important new partnership with leading global customer experience expert, Webhelp. This partnership will see the delivery of award-winning storm® Customer Engagement Hub™ and Cloud Contact Centre services to Webhelp’s enterprise clients across Europe and beyond.

Webhelp is a global leader in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) with a strong focus on transforming the customer experience. Following an extensive evaluation of the Contact Centre as-a-Service (CCaaS) marketplace, Webhelp selected Content Guru’s storm, the largest Communications Integration™ platform in Europe, to deliver scalable multi-channel communications services for its multi-sector user base.

storm integrates with Webhelp’s clients’ CRM, WFM, ERP and other information systems to create market-leading consumer self-service capabilities at scale whilst empowering Webhelp’s contact centre agents to handle all channels of communication within a single software architecture. Web chat, email, social, SMS, WebRTC video and voice are all served from storm’s browser-based Desktop Task Assistant (DTA®) agent portal.

storm's unrivalled combination of capabilities enables hundreds of the world’s leading organisations to communicate more effectively and competitively with consumers and citizens through millions of transactions every day.

David Turner, CEO of Webhelp UK, SA and India, commented:

“We are very proud of our role as a technology enabler and this is a great example of how Webhelp takes best in breed technology and combines it with our expertise in deployment and customisation to ensure our clients are receiving cutting edge tailored solutions.

“Our customers demand premium customer engagement capabilities that put them at the forefront of consumer experience. This creates distinctiveness and competitive advantage in our clients’ respective sectors. storm, in conjunction with Webhelp’s experienced team of service architects and contact centre professionals, provides the most flexible and efficient means to deliver on our clients’ evolving needs.

“Another reason that we chose to partner with Content Guru was the rapid deployment times provided by their highly-qualified project management, applications and provisioning personnel, even for complex configurations where new services must incorporate multiple legacy platforms within a client estate.”

Martin Taylor, Global CMO of Content Guru, added:

“Across all sectors, we’re seeing the shift towards cloud customer engagement continue to accelerate. Webhelp’s pedigree, combined with storm’s transformational capabilities, presents a strong contact centre and digital self-service offering for end users of all sizes and sectors. We look forward to the opportunities that this exciting, and potentially market-defining, partnership will bring to our organisations and clients.”

About Content Guru

Content Guru delivers Communications Integration™ services through its storm® platform. storm is a feature-rich, multi-channel Customer Engagement Hub™ which delivers inbound and outbound contact centre features, including iACD® (intelligent Automated Contact Distribution) to customers of all sizes. storm can seamlessly integrate with almost any third-party information system, supporting WFO (Workforce Optimisation), WFM (Workforce Management), and CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

Founded in 2005 in the heart of Europe’s ‘Tech Valley’ in Bracknell, Berkshire, Content Guru provides cutting-edge communications services through a cloud-based delivery model. Its clients include large enterprise and government bodies throughout a huge range of sectors. In 2016, the company won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation, the highest accolade for UK businesses, the UK IT Industry Award for its transformational work with NHS 111 London and a Comms National Award. In 2017 Content Guru has triumphed at the Computing Digital Technology Leaders’ Awards, the UK Cloud Awards and the IT Europa Awards.

WhatsApp launches new business features for customer service

This week's #techenabler vlog. Webhelp Innovation Director David Pattman's view on the announcement by WhatsApp about the launch of their business platform. The Facebook-owned chat platform just announced that it will test some new features designed specifically for business-to-customer messaging, following up on the rumors that it would expand on its offerings.

To learn more, and see a brief demonstration, watch this week’s Friday vlog from Webhelp’s Innovation Director Dave Pattman.

The development of multilingual hubs for an improved customer service

Outsourcing has changed dramatically in recent years. A decade ago most companies exploring an outsourcing strategy were looking to reduce their operating costs by locating business processes outside of their core operation. Today there is a far more complex business environment where outsourcing is more often seen as a way to tap into expertise that is unavailable in-house.

When companies are looking for a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner there are some even more specific attributes that executives look for today:

  • Talent and quality: no executive would hire a partner that struggles to hire talented people and will reduce the process quality. Finding a partner with great people who can raise the quality of the service delivered is a prerequisite.
  • Volume and cost: cost is no longer the main driver for companies seeking a service partner, but it remains important for all businesses to keep costs under control where possible. Finding a partner that can offer a competitive price because they have a strong and high-volume talent pool is essential.
  • Emotional connection and cultural affinity: nobody does business on a day to day business with a brand, we work with people. When choosing a partner, it’s essential to feel that this is a team we can do business with. If these guys are working on our critical processes then we can feel confident that our customers are going to be happy.
  • The right location: outsourcing doesn’t always mean locating services in another country, but with so many companies now operating internationally it is likely that consolidating services into one place will mean moving processes offshore. Finding the right combination of cultural affinity and language can ensure that changes are productive.

The change in business strategy is even more pronounced when it comes to the nearshoring of customer service processes. Managing the customer experience in a market such as Europe is more complex than ever thanks to the large number of businesses that now operate across borders and therefore require customer service processes in many languages and on many communication channels.

At Webhelp, we have found that the key to making this work is to base customer service team in multilingual hubs - locations where costs are relatively low, but also where a high proportion of the local talent speaks two, or even three, languages. It therefore becomes possible to create a single European customer service operation that can service customers across the entire continent. For example, our multilingual hub in Lisbon, Portugal, currently serves customers across Europe in nine languages and there is the potential to develop further.

Businesses operating across borders today need agile partners with innovative solutions. The concept of a multilingual hub is fairly new, but it presents the opportunity to centralise support services for many languages in a single location - improving the service quality and reducing the cost when compared to operating many centres across the continent.

Please click here for more information on language hubs and location strategies.

IA, chatbots, phygital et réalité augmentée s’affichent à Paris Retail Week 2017

Les professionnels du point de vente et du e-commerce se sont donnés rendez-vous à Paris Retail Week 2017, du 19 au 21 septembre. Cette fois encore, l'événement a permis de découvrir les tendances, fortes ou émergentes, qui vont marquer les années qui viennent. Le Live Retail et le numérique étaient en vedette !

"La Paris Retail Week a donner une belle occasion de vérifier que le Live Retail est une réalité qui va s'imposer", souligne d'emblée Martial Frugier, directeur business unit e-commerce et retail chez Webhelp. Thème de cette édition 2017, le Live Retail se voit ainsi défini : "comment le magasin sort du rationnel et imprime de nouvelles expériences émotionnelles et plus humaines". Donc, cette année, place à l'humain et à l'émotion !

Cette 3ème édition accueillera également E-Commerce Paris, le plus grand événement dédié au cross-canal en Europe, et Digital(in)Store, le salon dédié à la digitalisation du point de vente et de la distribution. Au total, plus de 30 000 professionnels sont attendus.

Près de 350 top speakers viendront partager leur expérience et leurs analyses à Paris Retail Week 2017, du 19 au 21 septembre. Parmi les conférences et conférenciers, on notera :

  • Live Retail - Réalité Virtuelle, Réalité Augmentée, Bots, NFC, RFID au service de l’émotion : co-animé par Soumia Hadjali (VP Digital Operations chez Accor) et Martin Sauer (Group Digital & Directeur eCommerce chez Manutan)
  • Juliet Anammah, CEO de Jumia Nigeria (souvent appelé "l'Amazon nigérian"), sur le thème de l'e-commerce en Afrique
  • Une keynote Google (animée par ) et une académie "Facebook et le retail digital, un marketing omnicanal centré sur les personnes"
  • La marketplace, le meilleur trait d'union entre PME et e-commerce ?
  • Mythes et réalités de la digitalisation de la supply chain, avec la participation de Christophe Poutiers, Directeur Supply Chain de BazarChic
  • Présentation des résultats d’une étude Paris Retail Week et Havas Paris basée sur l’observatoire du comportement des consommateurs et les innovations mises en place par les marques (Shopper Observer 2).

Et plus de 600 exposants, de la start up à la grande entreprise, viendront montrer leurs nouveaux produits et services. Quant aux Paris Retail Awards ils récompenseront les meilleures innovations dans le domaine de l'e-commerce et du retail.

"Près des 3/4 des des consommateurs* ont peur que le commerce se déshumanise avec le

développement des outils numériques et de l'Intelligence Artificielle, explique Martial Frugier. Heureusement, la Paris Retail Week va donner l'occasion de vérifier que des technologies comme le phygital, la Réalité virtuelle et la Réalité augmentée peuvent enrichir, personnaliser - et finalement humaniser - la relation client. Quant aux chatbots et à l'IA, ils ouvrent la perspective de détecter et de mieux comprendre les émotions".

*Etude : Havas Paris / OpinionWay (Avril 2017)

A lire aussi



(((Sauf erreur, Webhelp n'est ni présent, ni partenaire n'est-ce pas ?)))


Improve cash flow and build a healthier business

Every company needs cash, but more importantly every company needs cash flow. Keeping on top of what is owed and ensuring that payments are made on time can be about far more than just getting paid - it can ensure the survival of your business.

Late payments cause many companies to struggle to meet their own commitments. This is especially true of smaller to medium sized companies who don’t have the power to insist on immediate payment from their clients or the leverage to offer very slow payment times to their own suppliers.

The insurance company Zurich recently estimated that in the UK alone there is almost £45bn outstanding in late payments from one business to another. More than half of all SMEs are waiting for late payments. Two thirds of SME owners said that they directly knew of other businesses that had failed because of late payments and the cash flow crisis it creates. On paper your business may look healthy because of how much cash is due in the pipeline, but if you have nothing in the bank then how are your employees or bills going to be paid?

The UK appears to be behind other European markets in chasing late payments, but for the past four years smaller companies across Europe have been entitled to seek compensation for late payments. The problem is generally around the business culture of making additional financial demands from your clients.

So if your business is paying immediately for services, but chasing payments from clients month after month, what can you do? Start taking payments seriously. Organise your own team to consider payments as a strategic part of your business or find a partner that can help you to build these processes. Improving your payment processes is not just about chasing creditors, improving your corporate cash flow can have a dramatic positive impact on your business:

  • Accelerate growth: instead of cash always being promised, it can actually be in your bank allowing for projects to be launched faster.
  • Reduce payment delays: with fewer delays your team can spend less time chasing administration and reconciling who has not paid and why.
  • Develop international markets: exploring new markets is a costly business that requires the stability of cash in the bank, not promises of future payment.
  • Minimise the risk of non-payment: completely losing payments is the worst possible scenario, but with a more organised payment process you can mitigate the risk of this ever happening.

Payment is a strategic service that can transform your business. For more information on how Webhelp has been transforming payments for its clients since 1984 click here. In particular, we have considerable expertise in the areas of fashion, e-commerce, financial services, travel and telecommunications.

Are you seeing the benefits by improving cash flow for your business? Leave a comment below and let me know, or get in touch on LinkedIn.

Webhelp Becomes Key Player in Regtech BPO with Acquisition of GreenPoint


Leading global customer experience and BPO company, Webhelp, has announced the acquisition of top French firm, GreenPoint.

GreenPoint is a pioneer in digital and mobile management of Know Your Customer (KYC), digital processing of customers’ records and customer on-boarding.  The company is experiencing rapid growth as demand for compliant digital and mobile solutions for  customer on-boarding and identification increases in parallel with strengthening regulatory requirements which are being enforced to protect consumers upon subscription to a company or service.

By 2020, European banks will be spending more than one billion euros annually on their KYC management according to the strategy consulting firm Roland Berger. This acquisition further strengthens Webhelp’s ability to service regulated clients and solidifies its regtech BPO offering by creating Webhelp KYC Services (WKS).

Sandrine Asseraf, General Counsel and member of the Executive Committee of Webhelp, said: “Webhelp is very excited about the acquisition of GreenPoint. There are a number of business, operational and technical synergies between our companies. By working together Webhelp will be able to offer enhanced solutions and improve the function of digitising KYC and the on-boarding processes of our clients. The creation of  WKS completes Webhelp’s ambition to develop more holistic regtech BPO solutions to suit the environment of increased regulation and digitisation in which we are now operating.”

GreenPoint processes several million documents per year and supports a number of key players in a range of regulated sectors, including: Mangopay (Fintech), Plutus (Blockchain Tap & Pay), Bourse Direct (Online Trading), Unilend (Crowdlending), Verlingue (Insurance), Century21 (Real Estate) and Winamax (Online Games and Betting).

The founders of GreenPoint, Benoît Dumortier and Hervé de Kermadec, will lead the development and day to day management of the newly formed Webhelp KYC Services (WKS), which will continue to be located at GreenPoint’s office in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, France.

Hervé de Kermadec and Benoît Dumortier, commented: “We are very happy to join Webhelp. The international presence and the expertise of the group will allow us to accelerate our development with key accounts by taking advantage of our technological advancement and the striking power of Webhelp. Bringing together our know-how will also strengthen our capabilities of innovation in on-boarding solutions both online and via video which are always more agile, international and client experience oriented.”

Since 2014, Webhelp’s acquisition strategy has been to grow the business both geographically and by sector expertise. GreenPoint follows the recent opening of a new location in Riga, Latvia and acquisition of Dutch voice and speech technology business, Telecats. In 2016, Webhelp acquired social media monitoring and strategy business Netino, and digital and mobile customer experience experts, MyStudioFactory.

This growth demonstrates Webhelp’s commitment to becoming the first choice BPO partner across all areas of customer experience.


Glasgow Teams Top Star Chart in Webhelp’s Annual Awards

Leading global customer experience and business process outsourcing expert, Webhelp, has named the Glasgow-based Sainsbury’s operations and project implementation teams as the winners of this year’s CEO Special Award.

The CEO Special Award is presented as part of the company’s annual Star Awards, which have been running for the past seven years. Set up in 2015, the CEO Special Award is intended to reward an individual or team who have achieved something amazing over the previous 12 months and are deserving of special mention and recognition.

David Turner, CEO of Webhelp UK, India and SA, commented: “These teams are wonderful examples of what the CEO Award is all about; exceptional performance in what can be a difficult, demanding and intense business environment with a real commitment to getting things over the line, demonstrating integrity, unity, and above all delivering fantastic results for our client.

“Well done to everyone involved in the great work these teams have delivered this year.”

The awards, presented at a glittering Cirque du Soleil- themed gala dinner and party in the glamorous surroundings of Edinburgh’s The Hub, recognise excellence across the business at a team and individual level.