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Retail Industry Updates

Attention Retailers: Beware of the Hand that Feeds You

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The pandemic has brought out the worst in some consumers. A new survey of 1,500 consumers from Signifyd, a technology company that provides an end-to-end commerce protection platform, found that seven months of living with the pandemic has dramatically altered some consumers’ shopping behavior and sense of fair play when it comes to their relationships with online retailers. The survey found that:

• 40.3% of consumers said they had sought a refund from their credit card companies for a charge on their bill that they falsely claimed was fraudulent.

• 33.2% of consumers admitted to seeking a refund by falsely claiming that an ordered package never arrived or that an item was unsatisfactory in order to keep the product and a refund.

• 30.5% of consumers acknowledged violating discount or promotion rules by, for instance, claiming to be a “first-time buyer” or using a one-time-only discount more than once.

“It’s disheartening to see the extent to which some consumers are willing to take advantage of merchants that have shown such resilience in the face of massive disruption caused by COVID-19,” said Raj Ramanand, CEO of San Jose, Calif-based Signifyd.

Signifyd stated the survey findings provide a warning sign for retailers this holiday season: A significant number of consumers have no qualms about taking advantage of merchants.

The survey also learned that 54.5% of consumers said they will limit store visits during the holiday season as much as possible because of the threat of COVID-19, with 22.9% saying they will not shop in bricks-and-mortar stores at all.

More than 34% of respondents said they would rely more heavily on curbside service, and 41.5% said they would buy online and pick up in-store.

Survey respondents also indicated that COVID-19 has changed the way they will shop in both the short term and the long term. This holiday season they will be spending less, shopping online more and paying close attention to the measures taken to keep them safe from COVID-19 in bricks-and-mortar stores. For instance, more than three quarters of respondents said they would shop only in stores where employees and customers are required to wear face masks.

Also, a number of the shopping habits being established in the pandemic will last long after the holiday and COVID-19. Nearly 80% of respondents said they expect to be shopping differently a year from now than they were a year ago.

The Signifyd survey was conducted by market researcher Upwave from Sept. 3-Sept. 16. For more on the survey, click here.

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