In today’s age of technology, avoiding fraud and scam artists is easier said than done. With online shopping growing at historic rates, retail merchants who sell on various marketplaces are becoming enormously popular targets for scammers. According to a new study, fraudulent activity is on the rise for online retailers, especially mobile and multi-channel sellers, and the results are exorbitant.
The study, performed by Javelin Strategy & Research and LexisNexis, surveyed more than 1,000 merchants to discover what the actual cost of fraud was for each business. Their study included charge backs, merchandise replacements, and even fees paid to payment processors and financial institutions. All in all, LexisNexis’s Fraud Multiplier matrix concluded that for every dollar in fraud charges a retailer incurs, the real expense accumulated to $2.70. And that’s not all fraud is costing retailers. The report also revealed that 60% of consumers victimized by fraud said they avoid specific merchants as a result of fraudulent activity.
“We’re all paying for this. We all pay more for goods because of the fraud problem,” Javelin President James Van Dyke said while discussing the new report. “We have a dramatic disconnect between what merchants think consumers do in response to fraud and how consumers really do respond in case of fraud.”
For online sellers who use multiple platforms, the study indicated fraud is closely associated with the amount of avenues sellers use to complete transaction like browsers, texting, apps and other communication technologies. Hit especially hard in this report were sellers using mobile commerce. For every dollar of fraud activity, merchants experienced a total cost of $2.83, which is up 40% compared to last year.
Even large ecommerce merchants ($50 million + in annual sales) and international sellers experienced a rise in fraud activity. The study found international sellers underwent more than five times the rate of attempted fraud than merchants with U.S operations only. Larger ecommerce businesses suffered an average price of $219 on fraudulent transactions compared to $120 from smaller merchants, mainly because they routinely process above-average transaction volume.
While it is almost impossible to avoid fraud and scams entirely, online merchants and businesses are learning more and more about device recognition and browser protection technologies.
“Merchants can make an impact. This is all about taking the right steps,” Van Dyke said.