New Research: What is the nature and scale of e-commerce losses?

E-commerce Loss

E-commerce Loss


Professor Adrian Beck

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New Research: What is the nature and scale of e-commerce losses?

Date and Time

March 17th - 3pm UK Time



17 Mar 3:00 PM

The emergence and growth of omni-channel/e-commerce represents a significant new challenge to the retail loss prevention industry, not least because it not only reintroduces organisational complexity, which in turn can provide new opportunities for loss to occur, but it also generates new forms of risk in new settings, such as cyber space or even more mundanely, outside a consumer’s house. Whereas ‘traditional’ forms of loss experienced in retail stores have been thoroughly defined and understood, not least in the various iterations of the Total Retail Loss Typology, the same cannot be said for the e-commerce/Omni-channel environment. In some respects, this is understandable; it takes time for new risks to emerge and methods to be established to define and measure them. But, without this taking place, those tasked with responding to and controlling these new risks will remain in the dark – just as traditional loss prevention moved from what was once regarded as a data desert to now overlooking richly abundant data lakes, those tasked with getting to grips with the negative outcomes of Omni-channel/E-commerce retailing now need to go on a similar journey.

The purpose of this new research is to drive this work forward in three ways:

• Confirm the relevance and representativeness of the E-commerce Typology developed thus far – does is accurately capture all the main ways in which retail organisations experience losses because of their E-commerce-related activities?

• Establish some form of industry consensus/way forward not only on whether these types of losses are measurable, but also how they might be measured – what is manageably measurable and how should retail businesses calculate/quantify these losses?

• Once a better understanding of the quantification framework of E-commerce losses has been identified, can some limited/preliminary benchmarking be done to understand their impact on different types of retail businesses?

To learn more about the research click here.


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