Holidays are traditionally all about family, food, and community. But there’s a new kid on the block, a modern holiday centered not around family, but around bachelorhood. Single’s Day is held annually on November 11, or 11/11 – glorifying the digit 1. Branded a major cyber holiday by China’s eCommerce giant Alibaba in 2009, it has since smashed global online shopping records, with sales reaching $14.3 billion last year. The opportunity is immense; in the US, merchants are already aiming to brand Single’s Day as the “Black Friday” of luxury goods.
But what do the shopping patterns of single shoppers mean for eCommerce merchants? Ahead of Single’s Day, we analyzed our data on single-item shopping carts across online verticals, and sought the correlation between single-item orders and eCommerce fraud.
Single-item carts are the new (and slightly risky) black
With the age of marriage steadily rising across the industrialized world, it’s only natural that more people are shopping for themselves. It should come as no surprise that more than 60% of online orders reviewed for fraud by Riskified are for a single item. Single-item carts are especially common in consumers electronics and camera purchases, where they account for 81% and 87% of online orders, respectively. The exception to the rule is travel, where single-ticket purchases are less common, accounting for only 28% of online orders.
Generally, shopping patterns that are more prevalent are correlated with a lower rate of fraud. In the case of single item orders, however, the opposite is true. With a fraud rate of nearly 2%, single item orders carry 23% more risk than multi-item purchases. This may be explained by the fact that a whopping 70% of digital goods orders include a single item (compared to 60% of physical goods orders). Digital goods carry a higher risk of fraud, and single-item orders of this category are twice as likely to be fraudulent compared to carts with a single physical item. Within digital goods, digital gift cards are especially likely to be targeted by fraudsters, who essentially “buy” money using stolen credit card details.
Is single ever safer?
Across the board, single item orders do carry a higher risk of fraud. However, not every single item purchase is equally likely to be a fraud attempt. As we’ve shown before, mobile orders are safer than desktop orders. This holds true in single item orders as well, where the rate of fraud in mobile purchases is 1.5%, compared to nearly 2% in desktop orders.
Interestingly, in some types of physical goods, single item purchases are actually safer than orders of multiple items. Shopping carts containing a single pair of sneakers, one watch, a single piece of jewelry, or one luxury fashion item are less likely to be fraudulent than purchases of multiple items. This reflects legitimate user behavior – most of us are likely to need just one watch or pair of sneakers at a time, and usually avoid splurging on more than one pricey necklace or designer coat at once.
Know your customers, so you can sniff out fraudsters
Single’s Day is a holiday that embodies the essence of modern day consumer culture. It’s popularity highlights the growing impact that single, young adults have on global markets and on eCommerce specifically. Young, single consumers are also spearheading demand for omni-channel shopping and shipping options, mobile shopping apps, convenient payment methods, and a smooth checkout process. Learning more about the preferences and online shopping habits of young, single shoppers, is key to ensuring good customers make it smoothly through the checkout process, while fraudsters are left out.