Results from Reader Survey: What risks do you think retailers are most concerned about?

Earlier this month we asked our readers and @BDOConsumer Twitter followers to weigh in on what risks they think are keeping retailers up at night ahead of the release of the 2016 Retail RiskFactor Report. So, what’s the verdict from the survey?

Cyber Remains King

For our first question, we asked, “Are most retailers concerned about experiencing a cyber-attack?”  Readers answered with a resounding yes, with 85 percent agreeing that retailers are concerned with this type of attack. Similarly, 100 percent of retailers noted cyber-related risks as a top concern our recently released 2016 RiskFactor Report. As illustrated in the below infographic, cyber risks were far more pressing for retailers this year than any other in the survey’s 10-year history. As recently as 2011, cyber-related risks were only cited by 55 percent of companies. Both the RiskFactor Report and the perceptions of our readers demonstrate just how vulnerable retailers have become in today’s digital landscape.

E-Commerce Risks Prevail

Our next question asked readers, “Which of the following do you think is the most prominent risk facing retailers this year?” Options included e-commerce initiatives and changing internet trends, competition and consolidation concerns, impediments to growth and expansion and owning and leasing real estate. Interestingly, over half of the survey respondents indicated that e-commerce would be the most prominent risk among retailers. However, impediments to e-commerce initiatives is the third most-cited by retailers in the RiskFactor Report and 23rd most cited overall.

Economic Risks Abound

Finally, we asked readers about how they predicted retailers would rank economic conditions. Of the seven choices available, no readers selected the housing market, currency risk or unemployment as a serious risk perceived by retailers. However, in the RiskFactor report, 65 percent of retailers specifically mentioned unemployment, making it the second-most mentioned economic risk, just under risks associated with energy and oil. In addition, 50 percent of our readers thought financial market turmoil would be considered a top risk, which is in line with the 50 percent of retailers who cited it as such in the RiskFactor Report.

To learn more about the 2016 Retail RiskFactor Report, we encourage you to take a look at the infographic below, and for more in-depth insights into top risks for retailers in 2016, you can read the full report here.