February 22, 2019
February 20, 2019
Posted December 5, 2018
As expected, Black Friday fever gripped online commerce all over the globe in 2018, as retailers looked to entice consumers with competitive deals in the busiest shopping week of the year.
Here is the lowdown on the top four takeaways from analysis of transaction and fraud patterns in the peak 2018 holiday shopping week on the ThreatMetrix network, providing a snapshot of global trends affecting the world of online commerce right now.
This year saw a 20% increase in transaction volumes compared to the 2017 holiday shopping week, as consumers increasingly favor online channels.
Here, we see a few dynamics playing out, leading to this significant leap in transaction volumes in just one year.
A key driver of increased online holiday sales may very well be the growing ease of the mobile shopping experience. This year, 59% of all online sales were made via smartphone or tablet, up from 52% in 2017.
Given that Thanksgiving in the US is traditionally a time for visiting family and friends, the anywhere, anytime convenience of mobile is quickly eclipsing browsing and purchase behaviour on laptops and desktop computers.
Over the holiday shopping period, retail bargains tend to boost transaction values across the board. The problem: Fraudulent transaction values are even higher.
In fact, transactions rejected as fraudulent were 2.7 times higher in value than legitimate transactions this season, an average of $260 vs. $95. The reason: Fraudsters are trying to target retailers’ busiest times to get away with as much as possible.
Automated bot attacks were the primary attack vector over the 2018 peak holiday shopping week, with fraudsters attempting to overwhelm retailers with high levels of automated traffic while they’re contending with higher than average transaction volumes.
These bot attacks originated primarily from the U.S. and Vietnam, with some coming from China.
The holiday shopping season is off to a spectacular start. With 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, there’s still plenty of yuletide cheer to come. But retailers will need to stay on guard to keep fraudsters from crashing the party.