Online shopping: the hidden cost

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Goods lost in transit is a perennial problem, but now there is evidence that it is becoming more of an issue with the growth of online shopping. A recent survey of loss prevention professionals found that 88 per cent see retailers placing a greater focus on fraudulent goods lost in transit (GLIT) claims than they were two years ago, and the same proportion view returns fraud as a similar or greater risk.

The Transactis-Retail Knowledge survey also indicated that lost deliveries and returns fraud is not an isolated problem: 81 per cent of the experts surveyed saw a correlation between GLIT and other types of loss, while 94 per cent saw a link between any opportunist fraud and other types of fraudulent activity.

And it suggested that most retailers have a long way to go to put in place the methods and infrastructure necessary to deal with fraud: only 13 per cent of loss prevention experts believe retailers can distinguish between legitimate and false GLIT claims without alienating genuine customers; while just 31 per cent believe retailers are aware of the gross margin loss caused by GLIT claims.

Transactis argues that some consumers see failure to use data properly to track their actions or an in invitation to take advantage. Another survey of 1,000 consumers found, for example, that half would keep an extra item if a retailer mistakenly delivered two instead of one.

As we move further into the era of big data, managing supply chain data more effectively to minimise fraudulent goods lost in transit is going to be a major challenge.


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