Key trends in online spending

ThreatMetrix identified several key trends in online spending over the holiday weekend.

Mobile represented nearly 40 percent of all transactions

Throughout Cyber Week this year, mobile continued its rapid growth, accounting for 39 percent of all transactions. Consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping on mobile devices, but their average spend is still higher when shopping on their desktop – according to The Network, the average desktop transaction was more than double the average mobile transaction over the long weekend.

“Shopping on a mobile device similar to walking around and having a few appetizers before your Thanksgiving meal for consumers,” said Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer, ThreatMetrix. “You’re probably only going to have one or two, so you’re not too full for the main event. Sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner is what desktop shopping is like – and consumers are still more likely to do most of their larger spending from desktops.”

iOS dominated mobile transactions

iOS dominated mobile transactions, accounting for more than 80 percent of transactions analyzed, versus about 13-16 percent via Android. Additionally, iPhones alone accounted for 51 percent of all mobile transactions. iPad came in a close second with more than 30 percent of all mobile OS/device transactions analyzed. However, according to recent data from the “ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Report: Q4 2014,” 48 percent of mobile attacks target iOS devices.

Consumers return to sites they trust

71 percent of all transactions analyzed on Thanksgiving and the following Friday were logins to existing accounts where customers have already stored their personal information, and on Monday logins to existing accounts accounted for 61 percent of all analyzed transactions.

“Account takeover is without a doubt the biggest challenge facing e-retailers in the wake of many huge data breaches over the past year, compromising hundreds of millions of user accounts,” said Faulkner. “During Cyber Week, the last thing online retailers want to worry about is having revenue taken away from purchases made through account takeover attacks. Chargebacks can take up to three months to return, which can cause a huge hangover for retailers around the New Year after the holidays.”

There is a major upswing in fraud losses due to account takeover activity on retail websites. However, retailers cannot simply add more rigorous login credentials, as they cause friction for customers and result in cart abandonment. For example, customers are getting used to storing information on a mobile phone or online account, and they especially prefer to use that option when attempting to shop on their mobile devices.

“It can be difficult for retailers to use such technology as IP geo-location data to ensure mobile transactions are authentic, and many make the mistake of creating added friction for the user to combat potential fraudsters,” said Faulkner. “Most companies view fraud as a cost center, but it should be viewed as a profit center. By combatting fraud without adding friction to the user experience and instead giving authentic customers the red carpet experience, retailers can ensure those customers will return to their site, therefore increasing the overall bottom line.”

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