The COVID-19 crisis continued to drive global eCommerce sales in April, with the general retail sector experiencing 209 percent growth compared to the same period last year, according to an analysis by ACI Worldwide of hundreds of millions of eCommerce transactions from global online retailers. Following general retail, the gaming segment saw the biggest bump, up 126 percent in April.
The sustained increase in eCommerce transaction volume reflects a full month of wide-ranging restrictions on in-store retail activity and other COVID-19-related measures, evidenced by average transaction volume growth of 23.5 percent in April versus the same period last year. By comparison, there was a 5.3 percent increase in March 2020, when lockdowns first came into effect.
“Trends in eCommerce purchasing behaviors that we began to see in March have continued in April, as hundreds of millions of consumers around the world adapt to the restrictions put in place to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus,” said Debbie Guerra, executive vice president, ACI Worldwide. “Consumers are increasingly making use of click-and-collect options because of convenience and safety—but these changing patterns also attract fraudsters, resulting in a significant uptick in attempted fraud.”
Fraud attempt rates reached 4.3 percent in April, slightly down from 5.3 percent in March, but still up from 3.8 percent compared to this time last year. Attempted fraud is focused on segments that have seen high sales growth, such as consumer electronics, with the average ticket price of attempted fraud up $26.
Click-and-collect—or buy online, pick up in store—also accounted for a rise in attempted fraud. The transactional value of attempted fraud rose by 9.9 percent, reflecting fraudsters’ continued emphasis on popular high-value items including laptops and TVs.
“Fraudsters continue to use the disruption to the status quo to target unsuspecting consumers and unprepared businesses,” continued Guerra. “While vigilance is paramount, merchants also need to ensure that they are scrutinizing their fraud strategies to quickly adapt to a highly dynamic new retail environment.”
Online retail sectors with rising transaction volumes in April 2020 (compared to April 2019): General Retail: +209 percent (74% in March), Gaming: +126 percent (97.3% in March), Digital downloads: +26 percent (5.4% in March), Liquor online sales (Australia-specific): +208 percent (85% in March)
Online retail sectors with declining transaction volumes in the same period: Ticketing: -99 percent, Travel: -91 percent, Online dating: -5 percent
Transaction volume trends January-April 2020 (compared to same period in 2019): Digital downloads: +17 percent, Gaming: +60, Retail: +24 percent
Chargebacks for non-fraudulent reasons (i.e., “friendly fraud”) have risen by 25 percent through the end of March as merchants face challenges in processing refunds, staffing call centers or delivering services. Note that merchants are aggressively working to lower chargeback volumes and related costs as they also try to improve the dispute experience for consumers.
Average fraudulent attempted purchase value increased by $26 in April, driven by electronic purchases and increases in click-and-collect; this corresponds to a fraudulent attempted transactional value increase of 9.9 percent. Average value of genuine purchases sank by $21.
Fraud attempt rate rose 1.6 percentage points in April 2020 to reach 5.3 percent, up from 3.7 percent in April 2019.
“Consumer behavior is very much in flux, with some sectors thriving while others are focused on surviving the economic impacts of the pandemic,” concluded Guerra. “We’ve seen retailers across sectors and geographies innovate and quickly adapt—including making changes to payment method acceptance—but fraud prevention must now be a focus. Transaction volumes are rising while average ticket size is decreasing, putting pressure on margins and creating challenges for supply chains and logistics, while fraudsters target those big-ticket items that are seeing spikes in sales.”
„O singură provizie am făcut, de card, pentru că nu mai umblu cu banii în buzunar. Banii sunt cei mai periculoși când este vorba de răspândirea unei molimi. Am renunțat la cash. În rest, este o prostie să faci provizii. Dacă vine o molimă și nici nu știi când va ajunge, dacă ar fi să se întindă, pe cât timp să poți să faci provizii? Faci provizii pe trei săptămâni, pe patru săptămâni și mai departe?”, a spus consultantul.