As online retail has grown from a mere tadpole to a full-grown frog while changing the way people shop. This has also resulted in increased return-related frauds. The mounting cost of returns is like a horror story, and it just keeps getting scarier as the industry is witnessing unprecedented growth.
A recent survey by the National Retail Federation also reveals the enormity of the problem. It says that in the last year alone, US merchants lost over $25.3B to return abuse and fraudulent returns.
The point to understand is each return whether genuine or fraudulent has a certain cost in terms of time, money, operations and logistics. Shipping goods back and forth is expensive, time-consuming, and a logistical nightmare for retailers.
What is eCommerce Return Fraud?
The merchandise return swap is one of the most common eCommerce frauds where ‘con-artists’ buy a brand–new product online and then return the used, duplicate or defective product and claim a full refund.
Wardrobing fraud is another common problem in the fashion industry. It involves fraudsters wearing a clothing item multiple times and then returning it like a new cloth.
Unfortunately, some retailers are duped into issuing a refund because they initiate an online refund before ascertaining the authenticity of the returned product.
Key Challenges in Managing eCommerce Frauds
Merchandise delivery/logistics workers bear a significant responsibility of interacting with customers and so they act as a last-mile defence in preventing return frauds.
Sadly, they don’t have the capability to track and verify the veracity of returned product identity. Without putting a proper verification system in place, the logistics guy has no choice but to take back the product at the customers’ word.
It’s clear that the existing practice of managing returned products is inefficient and prone to fraud.
How Live Video Can Solve eCommerce Return Fraud
With a live video chat function embedded in the company’s CRM solution & logistics app, the logistics employee can verify with the customer service agent that the buyer is indeed returning the right product at the time of picking up the product. It allows the delivery person to instantly confirm the authenticity of the returned items using a live video call with the agent at the backend who has full product details and images in their CRM.
Such calls can get automatically recorded and tagged against the transaction in the CRM system to ensure a proper audit trail.
eCommerce companies are already using technology efficiently for selling and managing logistics. By embedding real-time video calling capabilities in their workflows, they can not only improve customer experience but also address the challenges around eCommerce frauds!
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