This year, Brits plan to spend an estimated £3.95 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases according to Finder. Although only taking-off in the UK in 2010, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become a nationwide tradition ahead of Christmas. But there’s a dark cloud that looms over the weekend for merchants and consumers alike… bots.
In 2021, bots and fake users made up 35.7% of all online shoppers on Black Friday [Source: CHEQ].
What are bots?
Although originally a simple snippet of code to automate manual tasks, bots (and the people who code them) have evolved.
Bots simulate the actions of real people clicking through an ecommerce site in order to purchase multiple or limited edition products. After selecting the items to buy, bots known as ‘scalpers’ automate the actual purchase. They log in to premade accounts or create a guest account and complete the order from a batch of cards. The people behind the bots then resell the products at a higher ticket price to turn a profit.
How can merchants tackle bots this Black Friday?
There are a few ways you can stop bad bots in their tracks:
There’s technology available to help your ecommerce site test for human vs. bot activities. reCAPTURE has been around for a while, but the release of v3 means that not everyone is stopped in their tracks with a challenge to test if they’re a real human. reCAPTURE v3 returns a score to tell your site how suspicious an interaction is by running risk analysis in the background to alert you of potential bad bots while letting humans carry on their buying journey as normal. While combating the majority of bad bots the more sophisticated bots could beat the system and make it to the point of payment.
Implement bot-detecting software
There are a whole host of software solutions designed to locate, track and stop bots when they hit your website. These solutions can significantly decrease bad bot traffic, but can come at a pretty penny.
Add cardless Open Banking powered payments to your checkout
Forget about cards payment journeys, which bots can easily mimic. Instead offer a cardless payment option which has Strong Customer Authentication embedded into the payment journey. Each and every payment needs to be verified in the customers own banking app - something the bots can’t automate.
Here’s how Open Banking powered payments works:
The benefits: You're able to convert more customers with cardless checkouts, verify each customer with Strong Customer Authentication and biometric identification and retain more revenue by eliminating chargebacks.