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Delivery fraud on the rise

Are you sure that your brand’s products ordered online actually make it to the customer? If not, you may be dealing with delivery fraud. Find out which sector is most affected by this issue and how to ensure it doesn’t happen to your brand.

Online shopping is as easy as can be. You click on a product, pay for it, and wait for delivery. This sounds perfect, unless the product you ordered is not the one that ultimately shows up on your doorstep.

Unfortunately, this can happen more frequently than you’d think.

Mystery box

Delivery fraud is when the wrong product is deliberately delivered to a customer.

According to a report issued by the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Germany, an increasing number of consumers are affected by delivery fraud when ordering from within the EU. In many cases, consumers receive a completely empty box, or a different product than the one they ordered.

And by different, we mean entirely different. For example, a German client ordered a smartphone from France worth over 1,000 euros, but received a bottle of perfume. Similarly, a client in Hamburg ordered a laptop from the Netherlands, but instead of the 1,068-euro item, the package contained a cooking plate. And another German consumer received tea lights instead of the tablet they ordered.

Mistakes can happen and in some cases, when the problem can clearly be attributed to the marketplace and/or the third party seller, they try to rectify the situation as soon as possible. But since in most cases the package goes through many processing stages and is handled by a variety of parties, finding the entity or person at fault is not always straightforward.

Image of the inside of a delivery van
Image of the inside of a delivery van

For example, as the Amazon watchblog reported, a client who ordered an Apple magic mouse received a jar of milk fat creme in the box. As the delivery man was still in the neighborhood, the client confronted him and it turned out that he replaced the high-value item with the jar of creme.

But this was a “lucky” coincidence. In the overwhelming majority of cases, it’s a lot harder (if not downright impossible) to find the guilty party and demand rectification from them.

Risks and consequences

In general, sellers have to bear the risks arising out of transport. This means that if the wrong goods were delivered or nothing arrived at all, the seller must resend the items to the customer. Unfortunately, some sellers may not wish to do so, especially in case of costly items and when they believe they’re not at fault.

If they encounter such sellers, consumers have to prepare for a lengthy process of complaints. Eventually, according to the ECC, the seller won’t be able to evade responsibility or blame other parties and will have to step up to rectify the situation.

But such a lengthy and tiresome process can have far-reaching consequences for both the seller and the brand whose product wasn’t delivered. After all, if a consumer had such a bad experience when ordering one of your brand’s products, do you think they’d be ready to order another one?

Most affected products

The majority of delivery fraud reported by the ECC seems to affect high-value electronic products. There may be multiple reasons why.

First of all, fraudsters may believe that stealing lower value items is simply not worth the risk. And similarly, when such a product is not delivered to a customer, sellers may find it easier to replace the item than trying to find out what happened to the original package.

These cases then don’t make it to the report, because the consumer in question is satisfied with the replacement and doesn’t issue a complaint.

Nevertheless, even though it’s not your fault, if your brand’s products are repeatedly affected by delivery fraud, you stand to lose revenue, customer trust and reputation.

How to protect your brand

Protecting your brand from delivery fraud sounds quite hard. After all, it’s not you but online marketplaces, third party sellers and delivery companies that are at fault here. How do you control or even monitor their actions?

Luckily, you don’t have to. That’s what online brand protection experts are for.

We at globaleyez have created various services that aim to protect brands from all kinds of adverse events that could harm them, including delivery fraud.

First of all, our partner compliance service ensures that your business partners act according to your agreed conditions. Are your sellers only selling on the channels you’ve authorized? How do they represent your brand to customers? What kind of customer service do they provide? Our service finds comprehensive answers to those questions and more.

A seller serving a customer
A seller serving a customer

We can even vet sellers, distributors, etc. before you sign a contract with them to make sure that they’d be worthy business partners of your brand.

But are your products only available at your authorized sellers’ shops? Since your customers have no idea which sellers are authorized and which offer counterfeit or grey market products, it’s vital to do a broader sweep of the market to detect any unauthorized parties that harm your brand.

Our various monitoring services do just that. We monitor marketplaces, images, social media platforms, domains and more to detect and remove any content from the internet that infringes on your IP-rights. With fraudulent sellers thus inhibited, potential customers simply won’t have access to unauthorized product listings which can greatly decrease the probability of delivery fraud.

But our services will do so much more. Without grey market and counterfeit listings, your authorized sellers will be the only ones appearing on online marketplaces, presenting a clean and flawless marketplace image to your customers. This in turn can do wonders for your brand’s revenue and reputation.

Conclusion

Sometimes a mistake is just a mistake. The wrong product gets delivered once in a while; the seller fixes the mistake and all is well. However, when this becomes a repeated and systematic issue, then we’re talking about deliberate delivery fraud.

Don’t let issues like this adversely affect your brand’s bottom line and reputation. Set up a comprehensive brand protection program to stop delivery fraud and other issues like counterfeiting, grey market products, and more.

Contact us and find out how we can protect your brand.

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