Wednesday, 22 August 2012
I caught a piece of news this morning that normally I wouldn't have taken much notice of, but something in it made me sit up and pay attention. The British Retail Consortium, having done a survey, has concluded that online crime cost British retailers 'at least' £205.4 million last year (these wild guesstimates always come up with a strangely precise figure). So far, so unsurprising - but wait a minute: it turns out that, of that figure, only £77.3 million was lost to actual fraud. The rest was largely accounted for by the cost of fraud-prevention measures and - an estimated £111.6 million - by business lost when honest would-be purchasers became so frustrated by endless online security checks that they gave up the attempt to buy. So, anti-fraud measures are costing retailers a great deal more than fraud. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere, but I don't know quite what it is. Perhaps that sometimes it's easier just to go to a shop.