Retailers See Spike in Fraud; Voice Accuracy Must Improve

RetailTechNews’ weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world. In this week’s edition: Retailers See Spike in Fraud; Voice Accuracy Must Improve; and UK Retail Trends.

Retailers See Spike in Fraud

Two-fifths (60%) of retailers in Europe saw an increase in fraud in the past year, finds Adyen. With online fraud on the increase, more than two-thirds (69%) of consumers say they would avoid merchants that fall victim to a data breach.

The research also reveals that retailers are upping their efforts to prevent fraudulent transactions. More than 75% of the retailers surveyed said they are prepared for fraud or have active fraud-prevention systems in place.

Many consumers are willing to change their shopping behaviour if it would help protect their financial details. Over half (55%) said they’d pay with cards more frequently if it helped to reduce the risk of fraud, while more than two-in-five (44%) said they’d pay through an app if it did the same.

Meanwhile, retailers are turning to biometrics to help authenticate payments securely. More than half (57%) of retailers are looking to implement fingerprint biometrics, and 56% are looking to use voice authentication to bolster their cybercrime defences. In addition, 31% of retailers understand the role that machine learning can play in fighting fraud.

Retailers also need to be aware of the legislative requirements to keep their customers safe and authenticate transactions. The EU’s Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) stipulates that transactions need to pass new stricter authentication standards, and implement 3D Secure 2.0 by 2019. More than 20% of retailers already comply with this standard, and 27% are planning to adopt technology to comply in the next 12 months.

Voice Accuracy Must Improve

Seven-in-ten (70%) of consumers have yet to act on voice search results, according to a report by Yext.

This cautious behaviour is rooted in the accuracy of online business information – in the UK, 35% of consumers have discovered opening hours displayed online have been inaccurate upon checking with the physical restaurant or store. This inevitably leads to consumers’ mistrust in voice that brands must proactively rebuild.

From a seasonal perspective, brands and retailers will have to pay particular attention to voice search around the upcoming sales peaks of Black Friday and Cyber Week. Nine-in-ten voice users (89%) plan purchases around winter sales periods, with electronics (39%) and fashion (22%) being the most promising fields for voice search and shopping in the UK.

To address the knowledge gap between technology and brands, more than half of the consumers surveyed (56%) believe voice assistants ought to have different voices that indicate how confident they are of the facts. This feature could, for instance, forewarn users of changes in opening hours around Bank Holidays.

While such warnings can lessen the blow of inaccurate information for intelligent service providers, just 22% of UK consumers state that the accuracy of voice search results is down to the search engine to guarantee. Instead, over half of the UK respondents surveyed perceive that responsibility should rest with the retailers and brands. In light of this, brands must consider how they can proactively build trust over voice.

UK Retail Trends

Ethical shopping is one of the fastest growing sectors of retail, highlights one of the key findings from recent research by Criteo. Spend last year on ethical food and drink grew 9.7% and the ethical market is now worth £81.3bn in the UK.

Almost half of shoppers (40%) feel more positive about brands that publish their ethical standards. The internet is helping people discover more ethical choices; and rather than making shopping a guilty pleasure, it helps reinforce an ethical identity.

Meanwhile, online and new retail sales rituals (for example Black Friday) have transformed shopper expectations and behaviours. Consumers now expect to find just the right deal or shopping experience for them, at any time.

The availability of bargains online has created an emerging ethos of ‘self-care’. Almost half (47%) of UK shoppers have self-gifted in the last 12 months, claiming bargains are the number one reason.

Finding bargains is a labour that transforms shopping into a productive activity that makes us feel better about ourselves and our purchases. Two-in-five (44%) will search or wait for a discount code or voucher before buying something, higher social grades (ABC1) are more likely to do so than the rest. Conversely, a third (34%) of under 25s have felt remorse or regret because they bought something online without thinking about it.