Ecommerce Fraud Report

Bolt Team


Bolt Team

Get updates in your inbox:

Ecommerce Fraud Report

We recommend reading the PDF version of the report.

Unprecedented Times Call for Unparalleled Protection

2020 has dramatically changed almost every facet of life and the world of eCommerce is no exception. Before changes in shopping behavior due to COVID-19 even began, eCommerce was already growing at a rapid pace with no sign of slowing down. However, there has been another rapidly growing part of the equation that has a detrimental impact on revenue: fraud.

Whether that’s evident from the global cost of card-not-present fraud expected to reach $130 billion between 2018 and 2023 or a 28% increase since last year in the average amount of fraudulent attempts that succeed every month, eCommerce fraud has made one thing crystal clear: it’s not slowing down either.

And as we head into our first “digital-first” holiday season, companies need to prepare for both an unprecedented volume of online purchases and an unprecedented volume of fraudulent attacks. In a world where Amazon’s 1-click checkout dominates, independent retailers must match that same level of speed, security, and convenience if they’re going to make it to 2021.

Fraud and the Customer Experience

Most merchants are well-aware that providing a fast checkout and blocking fraudulent transactions are critical to ensuring a good customer experience. However, what’s important to remember is that the customer experience isn’t limited to only worrying about speed and security. It’s equally important for retailers to ensure they aren’t declining their shoppers’ legitimate orders in the attempt to combat an increase in fraud.

Bolt conducted a survey across the United States of shoppers that make at least one purchase per month to understand their thoughts about fraud and shopping online. We’re excited to share these learnings with our brand partners so they can get a better understanding of where to focus their energy and resources to compete against eCommerce behemoths like Amazon.

Breakdown of Major Findings

Finding 1: Even one false decline can deter a customer from ever doing business with a company again.

False declines, also frequently referred to as false positives, occur when legitimate transactions from good customers are marked as fraud and incorrectly declined. The reason behind false positives is that merchants are declining more orders in an effort to eliminate fraudulent activity. However, this often leads to overcorrecting since many of these declines are actually turning away good customers.

It’s important to note that a one-time false decline isn’t just a one-time loss of revenue. Declining genuine customers can deter them from ever doing business with a company again. According to our research, 35% of shoppers will abandon their current purchase if the payment was declined and more than half of online shoppers are unlikely to return to a retailer after experiencing issues with a payment. That initial false positive isn’t just losing the dollar amount of that order, but potentially the lifetime value of a customer entirely.

Finding 2: Shoppers trust big box retailers significantly more than independent retailers and will abandon their purchase if they don’t trust the retailer.

Big marketplaces, like Amazon, set the standard for the online shopping experience. Whether that be from brand recognition, shipping guarantees like Amazon Prime’s 2-day shipping, or simply the ease of using saved payment and shipping information when making a purchase, consumers have a clear bias towards these large, online marketplaces. And this bias translates into trust as well.

According to our research, when asked which type of retailer do shoppers trust the most to protect them from fraud, 37% of shoppers said online marketplaces (such as Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy) and only 5% said independent online retailers (stores without a physical location that have only one brand). With this stark contrast in confidence levels depending on the type of retailer, it’s no surprise that trust translates into cart abandonment as well. In fact, over half of shoppers surveyed said they would abandon a payment if the checkout process did not seem secure. Since shoppers inherently trust these large marketplaces to be more safe, they will likely abandon a purchase if a checkout process doesn’t provide them with the same level of security.

Finding 3: Shoppers expect speed, but not at the expense of security.

It should come as no surprise that customers expect speed when it comes to checkout. In today’s world, where virtually everything is instantly accessible, customer expectations have never been higher. Requiring too many fields for the consumer to populate or steps before they can complete their order is almost a surefire way to increase checkout dropoff rates. Consumers want every facet of their shopping experience to be as fast and frictionless as possible.

However, customers aren’t willing to sacrifice safety no matter how fast the checkout experience is. In fact, according to our research, when shoppers were asked to rank what they valued most when it came to making a purchase, price was ranked first at 34%, security followed closely behind at 31%, and convenience rounded out the top three responses at 26%. This reminds us that although it’s important to provide shoppers with a speedy and streamlined checkout, convenience should never come at the expense of security.

Methodology / About Bolt

A survey of 848 randomly selected U.S. adults (ages 18 and older) was conducted on September 22 to measure how perceptions of fraud impact online shopping behavior. Respondents were asked ten questions about payment methods, checkout, brand perception, personal data, among others.
The survey was commissioned by Bolt and executed by YouGov.

About Bolt
Bolt is the world’s first Checkout Experience Platform, designed to give retailers the freedom to focus on their brand while Bolt perfects the purchase. People have more options than ever when shopping online, and retailers need to provide the best experience or customers will move on. Bolt solves the complicated technological challenges involved in checkout, fraud detection, and digital wallets, so that retailers can devote their energy to what matters most—growing their business. Bolt was started in 2014 with the mission to democratize commerce. Ryan Breslow is its CEO and Co-founder. Investors include WestCap, Activant Capital, Tribe Capital, Glynn Capital, Human Capital, and executives at nearly fifty of the top 500 internet retailers. For more information visit and follow @bolt on Twitter.


Submit the form and we’ll email your copy.