Published: January 18, 2022
Reading time: 4 minute read
Written by: Forter Team

We’ve seen a dramatic shift in how consumers shop in the past few years, most of them choosing to buy a broader range of products online. In 2020, we saw a 172% increase in home furnishings and garden eCommerce transactions. Many people have taken a new interest in DIY home improvement projects, shopping online for things like power tools, gardening kits, and furniture. 

This shift by consumers to online shopping has led to three interesting eCommerce trends that home and garden retailers should pay attention to, as we expect them to continue throughout 2022 and beyond:

Trend #1: Omnichannel Experiences

Consumers increasingly want omnichannel experiences, expecting retailers to offer order options like:

  • Buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS). 
  • Buy online and pick up at curbside.
  • Buy online return in-store (BORIS).

They also expect retailers to fulfill online orders fast, providing same-day and next-day delivery or pick-up options. 56% of online shoppers “always or very frequently” buy from retailers with an efficient delivery or collection (pick up) service, per the PWC December 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey

More Omnichannel experiences mean more fraud.

Consumers want retailers to offer more omnichannel options — and so do fraudsters. BOPIS, BORIS, same-day pick-up — these options greatly expand the surface area fraudsters have to exploit. For example, we saw a 55% increase in BOPIS fraud attacks in 2020. Too many retailers expand their service offerings to include omnichannel, yet still rely on traditional systems for preventing fraud and abuse. These systems don’t cover the entire shopping journey, especially omnichannel touchpoints

Trend #2: New Online Shoppers

We saw a 500% increase in new online buyers between March 2020 and March 2021. Many consumers now buy products online that they used to buy in person, including large-sized items like furniture and appliances. In 2020, online sales for home goods increased 51.8% YoY while offline sales decreased 8.8%, per a Digital Commerce 360 report.

Home and garden retailers with online stores need to accommodate an influx of new users. Unfortunately, many of these retailers have little to no data on new online users. Because of this lack of data, new users are 5-7X more likely to have their transactions declined than returning customers. And 40% of new users who get falsely declined won’t shop at that business again. Another fun fact: retailers can lose up to 75X more revenue to false declines than they do fraud. 

More new users lead to more account takeovers.

Many new online users aren’t tech-savvy and don’t know they should take basic measures to protect their online accounts. For example, you should always enable two-factor authentication (2FA) when available. You should also use strong passwords that fraudsters will have difficulty hacking. Unfortunately, too many new users don’t use 2FA or strong passwords, making their accounts much easier to hack into and take over.

We’ve seen a 55% increase in account takeover (ATO) attacks in 2020. We expect these attacks to continue as new users shop at more online stores and fraudsters work on obtaining login credentials for future ATO attacks. 

Trend #3: Widespread Policy Abuse

As more consumers shop for home furnishing and garden products online, they will look for retailers that offer a fast and easy shopping experience. They will also seek retailers that reward loyal customers with attractive sales incentives, like free shipping and special discounts. 

More online sales mean more policy abuse.

Policy abuse costs U.S. retailers with more than $100 million in revenue up to $89 billion per year, per research conducted by PYMNTS and Forter. 

What does policy abuse look like? Here are a few examples:

  • A customer might purchase a set of high-end power tools online, intending to use them for a short time, and then return them in-store (aka wardrobing or free renting).
  • Another customer might create multiple accounts to bypass the “one-per-customer” limit on a high-value digital coupon or promotion code.

Home and garden retailers will see policy abuse rise, with more customers abusing store policies via online and omnichannel services. Retailers should expect to see widespread abuse of promotions, returns, and loyalty programs.

How Should Home and Garden Retailers Address These Trends?

If you sell home and garden products online, you need to consider many things when addressing these eCommerce trends. An excellent place to start is with a fraud prevention solution that makes real-time fraud decisions, so you can provide fast and convenient services while also blocking fraudsters. That solution should let you safely welcome many more new users to your store, which requires a vast global network of identities. And it should allow you to apply store policies in real-time so you can stop policy abusers before they buy.


Want to keep making better decisions for your home and garden eCommerce business?

Check out our interactive eCommerce revenue optimization (AERO) report for home and garden.

4 minute read