At the NBCS we are proud of our record of tackling business crime on our high streets since 2014. However, we recognise the growing shift in consumer behaviour dictating the rise of online shopping. The effects of the pandemic have propelled this shift many years into the future in a short period.

And business crime? We know there are still strong challenges facing our high streets, and the shift to online has only added to the remit. More businesses are tackling crime in their physical stores as well as their digital space.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the shift to online retail would reduce the opportunity to commit crime. But this would be wrong, we believe new crime types are emerging significantly online, we are already seeing this trend in the form of goods lost in transit claims and suspicious returns sharply rising. We are familiar with the online challenges businesses face, like protecting against card fraud and having adequate order screening checks etc. But are we doing enough to protect against this new digital shoplifting?

Those au fait with loss prevention in physical stores, will know the challenges around preventing stock from being stolen on the shop floor, then presented at the till for a ‘refund’. It’s taken seriously, systems are built, and resource spent to identify these crimes. It costs our businesses millions.

However, when this behaviour is mirrored online, do we invest the same? Do we challenge offenders or treat them like customers? The reality of the matter is the digital space provides more opportunity. More “customers” will be shoplifting from our online stores than any of us can really know.

From so called “professional refunders”, to exploitation of customer service policies, however you dress it up (no pun intended), this type of offence costs businesses millions of pounds each year. Recent research has valued the estimated cost of a lost parcel at £148.21 for retailers. In the context of 6.6 million parcels claimed last year alone, this loss of £978,186,000 is just a conservative figure according to the IMRG.

So, what is the solution? The NBCS has taken its successful high street model of tackling business crime and applied it to the online space. Doing what we do best, collaborating claims data, highlighting trends and patterns, identifying the most persistent offenders, and engaging relevant bodies to prevent this from continuing. Our new platform allows for this insight, it also allows you to manage your claims data, build reports, task other users with incidents and receive notifications based on bespoke rules unique to your business.

Shoplifting does not just occur in physical stores, it’s happening online. The good news is the NBCS has responded by adapting its tried and proven methods of collaboration. We are stronger together, and only with collaboration can we overcome these new challenges.


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