Discover the New Problem Affecting E-Commerce Businesses … Even Amazon
As a retailer, there have probably been times when you notice an uptick in unexplained cart abandonments or a drop in online sales. While there are a number of factors that can lead to these issues, there's a relatively new problem that has flown under the radar for most retailers: malware-driven advertisements. These unauthorized ads distract consumers with fraudulent, invasive pop-ups that direct them to other sites to make a purchase or where — in some cases — personal information is compromised. This is known as “malvertising,” and these types of injected ads can lead to cart abandonment and lost revenue, as well as thoroughly damage brand equity.
What most retailers aren’t aware of is that malvertising, also known as online journey hijacking, appears during 15 percent to 25 percent of online shopping sessions, and up to 30 percent during peak holiday seasons! This happens when malware is inadvertently installed on a consumer’s device, causing unwanted ads to be injected into their browsers. These ads can often appear legit, as if the retailer is allowing them on the site. Other times, the ads are blatant disruptions to the customer journey.
The scale and scope of this problem is increasing exponentially, and it’s affecting retailers of all sizes. Amazon.com recently filed a lawsuit over malicious advertisements that are misrepresenting the company. If this problem can be this disruptive to the world’s largest online retailer, no retailer is safe from online journey hijacking.
To demonstrate how impactful this issue is, we recently analyzed hundreds of millions of online shopping sessions across verticals to provide retailers with insights on how injected ads are affecting the customer experience, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue each year.
No Brand is Safe Without a Proactive Strategy
Online journey hijacking isn't a vertical-specific issue. Any online business can experience its ill effects since it's caused by malware running on the customer’s device, not on a retailer’s server. In last year's second quarter, for example, desktop users were the most infected with injected ads when browsing subscription-based and apparel websites at 22.01 percent and 21.60 percent infection rates, respectively. Mobile users were most impacted when browsing footwear websites at a 20.94 percent infection rate.
No Browser is Spared
Just as injected ads don’t target specific retail verticals, their impact is also felt across all major web browsers. Our report found 62.51 percent of desktop users impacted by online journey hijacking use the Google Chrome web browser. When it comes to infected mobile shoppers, the numbers become even more staggering, as over 79 percent of all mobile users impacted by injected ads were browsing on Apple’s Safari, the default browser for iPhone users.
Injected Ads Come in All Shapes and Sizes
There are many types of ads that can infect a user’s journey, and each have their own method of targeting a customer. When visiting a website, 38.69 percent of infected users were interrupted by banner ads, followed by nearly 31 percent experiencing pop-up ads. And infected users experience product ads while shopping 28.18 percent of the time. These smart widgets display similar products to the ones users are browsing for on a website, redirecting customers to an external site to complete a purchase.
In order to protect the customer journey and convert online shoppers, retailers need to understand the growing scope of injected, malware-driven advertisements. Now is the time to take back control of the online customer experience and keep customers coming back time and time again.
Chemi Katz is the co-founder and CEO of Namogoo, a SaaS company that helps businesses prevent online journey hijacking.
Chemi Katz is the co-founder and CEO of Namogoo.
With over 17 years of experience in the security, commerce and advertising spaces, Chemi is an experienced visionary and serial entrepreneur who has been building disruptive technologies. Prior to co-founding Namogoo, Chemi was General Manager of DoubleVerify Israel and co-founded Seapai and Reissod. Earlier in his career, Chemi led Production Operations at LivePerson, was Global Business Technology Manager for Aladdin and managed IT Outsourcing for Bynet.