E-Commerce Fraud and You: What to Watch in 2021
Author: Lee Vance
Consumer trends continue to shift strongly toward e-Commerce, growing 44% year-over-year and representing 21.3% of total retail sales in 2020. Per McKinsey, online retail grew by two to five times faster in the COVID-19 crisis than in previous years. Brands are rightly seeking to expand their e-Commerce presence to capitalize on the acceleration of e-Commerce sales.
Any brand expanding their e-Commerce presence, especially if they plan to sell globally, must understand a critical risk threatening both their customers and their own reputations: e-Commerce fraud.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, online attacks both increased and became more sophisticated. According to NuData Security, 76% of online attacks were considered “sophisticated” in H2 of 2020, compared to only 35% in 2019. Whether via spear phishing, subscription scams, or identity fraud, cyber attackers who target e-Commerce businesses are increasingly innovative.
With each dollar of fraud costing e-Commerce merchants $3.73, up 6.6% from 2019, now is the time for brands to understand the risks and preparation required to protect themselves and their customers.
For many e-Commerce brands, there is a natural tension between offering frictionless customer experiences and engineering security barriers to thwart fraudsters. There may be an impulse to remove security measures to create a simple, streamlined shopping experience. Yet few things can sink a brand’s reputation, and end a customer relationship, like e-Commerce fraud.
The key is for e-Commerce merchants to strike a balance between customer experience and strong cybersecurity. 74% of customers label security as the most important factor for shopping with an online retailer. An appropriate focus on security and compliance is vital for building trust and protecting both the merchant and customer.
Here are key steps e-Commerce merchants can take to reduce the risk of e-Commerce fraud:
Brands should first assess their e-Commerce platforms and processes, looking for gaps and vulnerabilities. Consider industry or regulatory concerns as well as data privacy policies and mechanisms. Data privacy is increasingly important when it comes to supply chain management. Examine the ways in which the current state environment and supply chain are vulnerable to fraud.
As previously noted, increased security impacts the customer’s e-Commerce shopping experience. If additional security changes the shopping experience, brands can articulate how a given security measure will protect the customer, creating a brand differentiator versus a shopping slow-down. Remember, customers trust security-conscious brands, and security can be integrated at the shopping cart level.
E-Commerce businesses must understand the integrations and security of their technology partners. This starts by working with potential and existing partners to understand how they are managing security and what their security roadmap will be. Partners like GEODIS maintain a dialog with merchants to reinforce security efforts constantly. By working with the right partners, merchants can build a system of visibility and support to protect themselves and their customers against cybersecurity threats.
In addition to fraud prevention, e-Commerce businesses should invest in an incident response plan in the event of a cybersecurity incident. Twenty-two billion user records were exposed to security breaches in 2020, and brands should be prepared for the possibility that they could be next, despite all relevant security precautions. Additionally, IT teams should keep an updated disaster preparedness plan to maintain critical infrastructure in the event of a security incident or other disaster.
Outline what to do if a major incident occurs, including business impacts and customer communication plans. Determine how to communicate any incidents to customers effectively while reassuring them by taking steps to prevent future incidents.
Work with partners to understand their incident response plans and disaster preparedness plans. The modern, evolving technology ecosystem requires e-Commerce merchants to understand how their partners prepare, protect, and respond to potentially security incidents. Merchants can have best-in-class security but still be vulnerable due to at-risk partners.
Lastly, businesses should continue to invest in the infrastructure, analytics, and security protocols necessary to stay ahead of cybercrime and e-Commerce fraudsters.
Fraud should be a major concern for e-Commerce merchants, but it does not have to stop brands from being successful. With preventative action, and a plan in place to protect themselves and customers, risk can be mitigated. With peak season approaching, customers will thank brands that take security seriously and express their loyalty in repeat purchases and positive reviews.
Where GEODIS MyParcel Can Help
makes it easy for U.S. domestic e-Commerce brands to go global. While we do not manage e-Commerce fraud concerns directly, we can partner with you to expand your sales globally. Our small parcel shipping service currently ships to 27 European countries, Great Britain, and Canada, with guaranteed delivery in 4-6 days. How do we do this? By leveraging our parcel expertise, e-Commerce experience, deep understanding of global customs clearance processes, and integrated technology.
We partner to protect brands and their customers in their shipping journeys, and we can help you strike the balance between speed of delivery and total landed cost. We offer an end-to-end global transportation network and a fully integrated digital platform to make shipping a breeze for you and your customers. You can rely on our many years of e-Commerce experience to implement. Learn more about what GEODIS MyParcel can bring to your e-Commerce business today by contacting us