Surveys Document Strong Growth in Online Shopping; Chargebacks911 Warns of Related Rise in Chargebacks

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Recent surveys reveal that online purchases have surpassed in-store shopping. Risk management firm Chargebacks911 foresees a related increase in chargebacks, and advises eCommerce merchants to take proactive measures to prevent them.

Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Chargebacks911, advises merchants to protect themselves from increased chargebacks due to the rise in online purchases.

EMV technology has thwarted point-of-sale fraud, so fraudsters have simply shifted their attention to the online channel.

According to survey results recently published by UPS and BigCommerce, online shopping now accounts for over half of all purchases,(1) and fully 96% of U.S. consumers have shopped online.(2) Chargebacks911, a leading dispute mitigation and risk management firm, notes that the findings bode well for eCommerce merchants and omni-channel retailers, but cautions them to take proactive steps to address the corresponding growth in chargebacks and fraud.

The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report revealed that 51% of all purchases (apart from groceries) are now made online, reflecting a steady rise over the past several years. The UPS findings suggest that number will continue to climb; when asked if they expect to do more, less or the same amount of shopping in each channel over the coming year, 1 in 3 respondents project more shopping by computer/laptop and 1 in 4 anticipate more shopping by smartphone and/or tablet—but just 1 in 10 plan to do more shopping in stores.(1)

BigCommerce’s study yielded similar results; the company reports that 51% of U.S. consumers cite online shopping as their preferred channel, and 93% of Americans have shopped online within the past year. A majority of consumers—80%—make an online purchase at least once a month, 30% do so weekly and 5% shop online daily. On average, survey respondents spend five hours per week shopping online, and they deem online shopping more indispensable than other technology-based conveniences such as smartphone GPS, streaming TV and streaming music.(2)

“These findings are welcome news for eCommerce merchants and omni-channel retailers, leading them to anticipate rising sales in the coming years,” said Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Chargebacks911. “However, other studies have shown that chargebacks and fraud are also growing; so it’s imperative for retailers to have appropriate measures in place to minimize losses and retain a greater proportion of revenue.”

Eaton-Cardone points to new research from Aite Group, which predicts that merchants will experience 14.7 million chargebacks worth an estimated $5.8 billion this year; compared to 2015, those figures represent 17% more disputed transactions and 21% higher losses.(3) Meanwhile, LexisNexis reports that fraud attempts and successful fraudulent transactions have more than doubled since 2012, rising from an average of 170 attempts and 80 successes each month to 442 attempts and 206 successes. Those numbers are even higher for merchants operating online; large multi-channel, eCommerce and mCommerce retailers average between 707 and 880 fraud attempts each month, with fraudsters succeeding in 432 to 581 cases.(4)

“EMV technology has thwarted point-of-sale fraud, so fraudsters have simply shifted their attention to the online channel,” explained Eaton-Cardone. “That’s why it’s so important for merchants to undertake proactive efforts to prevent chargebacks and combat card-not-present fraud. Those with effective tools and strategies in place can minimize losses and reap greater profits.”

She maintains that a multi-layered approach provides the best outcomes, and advises retailers to implement a solution that includes the following steps:

  •     Identify the true source of each chargeback, which may be due to merchant error, criminal fraud/identity theft or consumer-initiated chargeback fraud (also known as “friendly fraud”).
  •     Pinpoint chargebacks resulting from merchant error or policies, and take steps to eradicate chargeback triggers within the retailer’s control.
  •     Set up chargeback alerts to flag suspicious transactions and resolve disputes more quickly.
  •     Know when to dispute chargebacks, and maintain detailed transaction data to serve as evidence in disputes.
  •     Analyze affiliate activity to isolate and address potential cases of affiliate fraud.

Chargebacks911 is committed to educating merchants on how to fight chargebacks and prevent fraud. As part of these efforts, Monica Eaton-Cardone will be presenting at the ARC TravelConnect conference in Washington, D.C., this month and other upcoming industry events. She is also available for interviews and future speaking engagements.

For more information on Chargebacks911 and its comprehensive chargeback management solutions, visit http://chargebacks911.com.

About Global Risk Technologies and Chargebacks911:

Chargebacks911 is a division of Global Risk Technologies, which is internationally recognized as a leading provider of comprehensive risk management solutions to the payment processing industry. With offices in Europe and the United States, Global Risk Technologies manages over 200 million transactions worldwide each month. Chargebacks911 is headquartered in Tampa Bay, Florida, and specializes in chargeback mitigation and dynamic loss prevention. Founded by merchants in direct response to rising chargebacks and friendly fraud, Chargebacks911 combines insider expertise with proprietary technology and deep analytics to isolate threats, resolve disputes and maximize revenue. From small merchants to the nation’s largest retailers, today thousands of businesses rely on Chargebacks911’s scalable, customizable and fully turnkey solutions to achieve sustainable growth and guaranteed ROI. For more information, visit http://www.chargebacks911.com.

1.    UPS, Inc. 2016 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper; June 8, 2016. solvers.ups.com/assets/2016_UPS_Pulse_of_the_Online_Shopper.pdf

2.    Wallace, Tracey and BigCommerce. The State of Omni-Channel Retail; June 6, 2016. bigcommerce.com/blog/omni-channel-retail/

3.    Stewart, John. “As Merchants Struggle With EMV, Their Chargeback Toll Will Hit $5.8 Billion in 2016”; Digital Transactions; August 12, 2016. digitaltransactions.net/news/story/As-Merchants-Struggle-With-EMV_-Their-Chargeback-Toll-Will-Hit-_5_8-Billion-in-2016

4.    LexisNexis. 2016 LexisNexis True Cost of Fraud Study; May 2016. lexisnexis.com/risk/insights/true-cost-fraud.aspx

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