Digital Transformation

UK retailers count £205.4 million cost of e-crime

E-crime cost British retailers £205.4 million in 2011-2012

While the internet has continued to grow in popularity and scope, cyber crime has also been on the rise in recent years, and new figures have revealed that e-crime cost UK retailers £205.4 million in 2011-2012.

The statistics, gathered by the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) first e-crime survey, indicate that Britain’s retailers are struggling to cope with the threat posed by online criminals, meaning that the extent to which they are benefitting from the impressive performance of the booming e-commerce sector is being limited.

So given that the UK has the biggest internet shopping spend per capita in the world – accounting for 11 per cent of global online retail sales – it is vital that more extensive measures are taken to combat cyber crime.

"Online retailing has the potential for huge future commercial expansion but government and police need to take e-crime more seriously if the sector is to maximise its contribution to national economic growth," said BRC director general Stephen Robertson.

"This first comprehensive survey assessing the make-up and scale of e-crime shows where efforts need to be directed."

According to the study, personal identification-related fraud was the most costly form of e-crime for retailers, but what was also concerning was the extent to which they lost out as a result of business being rejected due to crime prevention measures.

Indeed, with consumers put-off from going through the purchasing process by extensive online security measures, the difficulty lies in finding a balance between an effective cyber protection policy and one that does not damage the internet shopping experience.

But considering the importance of data protection and securely backing up files – especially when it comes to people’s financial details – it is vital that a solution is found which enables retailers to guard against losing out to online crime and builds trust in the e-commerce sector.