Report: Online Shopping, Curbside Pickup Boomed in 2020

Merchants that offered the “buy online, pick up in store” delivery channel pre-pandemic experienced 70% increase in volume in 2020 compared to 2019, according to new data from ACI Worldwide.

The data revealed a 24% increase in ecommerce transactions globally in December 2020 compared to December 2019. In particular, online transactions in the retail sector increased 31% and the gaming sector increased 90%, comparing December 2020 with December 2019.

While many merchants initially implemented the buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) delivery channel during the pandemic, those that already had this option available pre-COVID-19 experienced an increase of 70% by volume and 58% by value in 2020. However, BOPIS fraud has also seen a significant increase, with a 7% fraud attempt rate compared to 4.6% with other delivery channels.

“In 2020, we saw the pandemic drive the highest number of merchants implementing the BOPIS delivery channel for the first time in one year,” Debbie Guerra, EVP of ACI Worldwide, said in a statement. “We expect this channel to increase as more consumers get used to the convenience of shopping at home and the speed of in-store pickup. However, this is also a channel to watch closely for fraud, as these same benefits appeal to fraudsters.”

ACI’s data also showed that non-fraud chargebacks increased 26% in December 2020 compared to December 2019, driven by shipment delays over the holiday period. Non-fraud chargebacks include product received was not what the customer ordered, not delivered on time, damaged upon delivery, poor customer service, etc.

“Non-fraud chargebacks continue to rise since the low that was experienced in April 2020,” Guerra said.

She added that “porch pirates” were active in 2020, which impacted the increase in non-fraud chargebacks as fraudsters follow delivery trucks. In addition, shipment delays consumers experienced over the holiday period as well as a backlog of returns processing and product back orders have also contributed to the increase in non-fraud chargebacks.

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Online purchasing trends December 2020: Travel and ticketing continued to see a significant dip in December due to the pandemic, declining 27% and 76%, respectively. Transactions in the gaming sector increased 90%.

In Q4 2020, global eCommerce transactions increased 22% compared to Q4 2019. Through January to December 2020, global e-commerce transactions increased by 19% compared to 2019. The U.K. saw an increase in transactions of 28% and the U.S. of 14% from January through December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

The gaming sector increased 84% January to December 2020 compared with 2019. The retail sector increased 48% January to December 2020 compared with 2019.

Fraudulent attempt purchase value decreased by $10 in 2020 compared with 2019; this was the impact of airline, sporting event and concert ticket purchase declines, which have a high average ticket price. Average value of genuine purchases decreased by $18​.

Fraud attempt rates by value increased slightly by 0.2% to 3.4%, similar to prior holiday seasons, as a result of increased genuine consumer spending outpacing fraud.


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