The year has a rhythm of its own when you work in digital commerce. Each holiday has a slightly different flavor, even those which, on the surface, appear quite similar. This year we looked at how Mother’s Day compares to Valentine’s Day.
Mother’s Day: Many Gifts Are Either Useful or Cute
Flowers and chocolates aside, the theme for Mother’s Day seems to be that gifts are typically either practical or small and cute.
Practical doesn’t sound like a gift, but people often consider finding the right balance between useful and tastelessly functional. Luxury kitchen gadgets, the kind that someone might hesitate to buy for themselves (but really want), make great gifts. If you’re considering a high-end smoothie maker for your mom, you’re not alone — sales go up 4%.
Of course, these sorts of gadgets are fraudster catnip, too; they’re easy to resell, have somewhat evergreen popularity, and are in the sweet spot between good ROI for the criminal and not so expensive that merchants are extra cautious.
This year, consumers ought to be particularly careful; with many folks feeling the effect of the economic downturn, there’s a higher risk than usual that people will look for deals and be taken in by offers that look “too good to be true.” Generally, when that happens, that’s precisely what they are.
A fraudster may steal and misuse personal information shared as part of the purchase or not intend to send the item at all. Even if the merchandise does arrive, Mom probably doesn’t want stolen goods for Mother’s Day.
With 75% of fraud prevention leaders reporting an increase in fraud attacks this year, it’s worthwhile for merchants and consumers to be extra careful.
A Longer Buying Cycle
Mother’s Day sees an uptick in purchases a little earlier than Valentine’s Day. Whereas Valentine’s Day is typically about 10 days in the purchasing cycle, loving kids start shopping for their moms about three weeks ahead of the date.
But of course, not everyone is that organized — and especially nearer the time, sales of gift cards rise about 8% compared to the rest of the year. No one sends gift cards for Valentine’s Day, but it can be a good gift for a mom with favorite stores where her family knows she loves splashing out.
Gift cards, of course, are a perennial favorite with fraudsters because they effectively become free money as far as a criminal is concerned — so that’s always one to watch out for, as far as fraud fighters are concerned. For consumers, beware of third parties selling gift cards off cheaply — if you buy them from a fraudster, they may be fake, empty, or inactive.
One way or another, fraudsters always find a way to leverage whatever’s happening in the world. Mother’s Day is no exception!