Recently finished holiday shopping season has pointed out a dramatic change in customer behavior that caught the attention of retailers. Judging by their claims, a startling portion of shoppers appear to be ready to bend and break the rules to make off with free or discounted products illegitimately. This type of behavior could, as they say, seriously hurt online businesses.
A few research pieces showed that 40% of U.S. consumers said they had falsely told their credit card companies that a charge for an online purchase on their account was fraudulent even though they knew it was not the case. On the other hand, some claimed that an item they had ordered online never arrived or that the product that came appeared much different than how it was described online.
Safety Comes First
Customer abuse has been on the rise for some time. It's no secret, but it appears that the impact of lockdowns, job losses, and the possibility of falling seriously ill caused by pandemic has taken a toll on many consumers' sense of fair play.
Experts also point out that theiy believethe pandemic has caused hard times for a lot of people, and that financial pressure seems to be leading to people's moral compasses to be recalibrated.
Having this in mind, it doesn't surprise that according to recent research 1/3 of the participants admitted to lying about a package never arrived or about the item not being as described when it arrived. The same portion of participants also revealed that they were making a "first-time purchase" more than once to get a price break they were not entitled to.
How Can I Protect My E-commerce Store Then?
Probably the first line of defense against consumer abuse is to build good relationships with your customers. You do not have to be a nuclear scientist to conclude that consumers tend to misbehave when they feel they've been treated poorly. If an order doesn't arrive on time or they're not updated on a slow order's progress, it damages the customer/retailer relationship. It is harder for customers to cheat a person or organization that they respect and like.
There are also some precautions you can implement which can be beneficial, such as:
- Communicate with customers & send order confirmations and updates.
- Make product descriptions rich and accurate.
- Share authentic customer reviews.
- Do you think the customer's disappointment is justified? Offer a discount on a future purchase.
- Push back on chargebacks suspected of consumer abuse.
If you think you need some extra professional help from relevant agencies offering these types of services, don't hesitate to reach out and contact them.
In the end, what more can we say. It's no secret that the ongoing pandemic has changed us all and has changed the way consumers behave. Some might be less honest in their dealings with retailers. It has also changed how consumers are shopping and how many are shopping online. Those new online shoppers, along with E-Commerce veterans, are doing more of their shopping online. So, they represent an expanded market for all digital retailers. Work on improving customer experience. As we know, the customer is always right - and a happy customer is less likely to abuse your relationship.