E-Commerce Sales Rise 81% in May, Chargebacks Remain Troublesome

E-Commerce Sales Rise 81% in May, Chargebacks Remain Troublesome

June 11, 2020

Global retail e-commerce sales grew by 81 percent in May compared to the same period last year. Some sectors saw triple-digit year-on-year growth, according to analysis by ACI Worldwide of millions of e-commerce transactions globally.  

Sectors with the biggest gains were sportswear and sporting goods (216 percent), retail specific to housewares and DIY supplies (190 percent), and gaming (84 percent).

“The sustained increase in e-commerce transaction volumes reflects a further full month of wide-ranging Covid-19-related restrictions, with consumers opting for online and click-and-collect channels over brick-and-mortar stores,” said ACI in a statement. “However, the easing of lockdown restrictions in many countries is reflected in certain sectors that until now have experienced the biggest boost; gaming purchases were up 126 percent over the previous year in April, compared to 84 percent in May, while electronics were up only 32 percent in the past month after having been up more than 55 percent in April.” 

The data also finds sectors that have been most negatively impacted by quarantine orders showed a slight recovery in May; travel was down 91 percent in April, while in May improved slightly to 73 percent lower than the same period last year.

Fraud Attempt Rates Improve, But Chargebacks a Dark Spot

The analysis also found fraud attempt rates for May were at 3.4 percent, down from 5.3 percent and 4.4 percent in March and April, respectively.  ACI said not only did fraud rate by value decrease in May, it was also the first time this year that fraud decreased on a year-on-year basis (3.8 percent in May 2019). However, the average ticket price of attempted fraud increased by $18, driven by electronics and retail goods. 

However, non-fraudulent chargebacks have increased 25 percent overall, with airline and ticketing sectors particularly impacted, said ACI. 

"Chargebacks are taking slightly longer to process due to Covid-19 (on average, 7 days longer) as issuers and merchants strive to maintain positive consumer experiences,” the ACI release stated.

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Joan Goodchild

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