According to a study from Sift Science, the people who shop online between midnight and 1 am in the morning are likely to be fraudsters. If you have any experience operating an online store, you know shady cyber characters are plentiful. And not too surprisingly, it appears that while online shoppers surf from the comforts of their own home, many major retailers are watching their every move.
Retailers use this information to stay on top of new trends and many tech start-ups are tracking these online shopping behaviors on behalf of retail giants. Sift Science co-founder Brandon Ballinger revealed that the company has observed a million different signals that flag any one buyer as a potential fraudster, while they were busy with beta testing. For instance, they say retailers should beware of people that shop with a Yahoo email account as they are twice as likely to be fraudulent than users with an AOL or Outlook.com email. This is just one of the interesting patterns they found. Attempts at online retail fraud is not just annoying, it can cost companies millions of dollars each year.
Similarly, a company called Commerce Sciences is trying to apply users’ behavioral patterns to increase sales on e-commerce sites. They monitor everything about a user’s online visit, including their mouse clicks, time on site, browser type, movement patterns and search terms. E-commerce stores are continually trying to collect user data in order to improve their online advertising and increase their revenue, all while the shopper is blissfully unaware. The best market research is the kind you don’t have to pay for! For now, back to the cage.