A Guide To Deciphering Fraudulent Purchases As A Retailer

A Guide To Deciphering Fraudulent Purchases As A Retailer

What many customers think is the toughest aspect of retail organizations doesn’t come close. It isn’t the folding of clothes, or stocking shelves, but instead the constant returns that must be dealt with and honored. Mistakes happen and regardless of the party responsible, genuine returns are meant to be honored so that the customer can leave a store with what they actually want. It isn’t always so easy discerning which returns are genuine for retailers, though. In fact, many returns are disingenuous and often predatory. This post will breakdown a number of the tactics that criminal customers use to take advantage of retailers, in addition to the ways returns impact a retail business.

The most common issue that customers reference in regards to returns is that the product arrived, and it wasn’t what they were expecting at all. This often starts with the description or image of a product that customers see. When they order this product, they often receive an item that does not live up to what was described or pictured. Retailers must mitigate these discrepancies through honest descriptions and revealing pictures on the product page. None of these photos should be enhanced in a way that provides misleading visuals. These product pages also benefit from the inclusion of accurate sizing information. With recent research indicating that 52% of returns were due to issues with sizing, this issue is more prevalent than ever.

Though traditional return policies may seem like they’re disadvantageous, they often bring about a new opportunity for retailers to get their products in front of their customers. For some context, free shipping and free returns are massively influential, with research supporting the claim that 96% of shoppers consider free shipping the most influential on their willingness to purchase, with 79% of shoppers saying free returns are more important. Retailers may have to deal with some customers taking advantage of these return policies, but anytime a customer purchases a product assuming they’ll return, but end up keeping it, retailers greatly benefit.

Adjusting to the rise of online retail has also meant that retailers will have to accommodate to additional returns. The frequency of returns has risen ridiculously over the past year, though. Nearly a 70% increase over the past year has made tough issues for retailers to navigate through. As new scamming tactics arise, such as wardrobing or bracketing, retailers are left to find ways to protect themselves from these customers.

Even worse than returns, retailers sometimes have to deal with the hassle of fraudulent purchases. Conniving customers may purchase products from a retailer through a stolen credit card, then try to return the products in order to launder money to their cards. With the right anti-fraud tools, any retailer would be protected from the first swipe of the stolen card. These tools even allow the retailer to offer refunds to the original card with no issues. Though these techniques may leave retailers confused, the right partnership between an agency offering these professionals services can reduce the likelihood of falling victim to fraud or abuse.

Innovation within the retail space often leads to more chances for customers to engage with a business and their diverse offerings. Unfortunately, this can bring about some chances of fraud against a budding retailer if they’re uncareful. To better defend against these attacks on your retail business, consider reading on to the infographic featured alongside this post for more information. Infographic courtesy of Signature Payments.

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