Don't Let Retail Bots Spoil Holiday Cheer

Start Planning Now to Ensure Your Customers Aren't Robbed by Resellers

We’ve all heard about the damage malicious botnets, or bots, can cause. When a bot is used for evil, it can overwhelm an entire website and stop business. We’ve recently seen an upsurge of less obviously destructive bots that have a singular purpose: to buy up your stock of the latest must-have items before your customers do and sell them back to your own customers at a markup. These bots can impact your sales and the great customer experience you’ve worked so hard to create. And, with the holiday season just around the corner, retail bots wreaking havoc on the availability of popular items couldn’t come at a worse time. 

How Retail Bots Work

Retail bots automatically monitor stock levels of leading retailers for popular items. As soon as these items are in stock, the bots immediately buy as many of them as they can while masquerading as consumers who are making purchases on your website. The bots add the item to their shopping carts, enter shipping information, and complete paymentall in a blink of an eye. Then they repeat the process over and over again until the targeted items sell out. If you do a little online legwork, you’ll find the items popping up on online auction sites a few hours later being scalped for double or triple your original retail price. 

The Customer Experience Suffers – and so do Retailers

This is a frustrating experience for consumers left empty-handed when online retail shelves are wiped out. Customers don’t forget it. And on top of disappointing your customers, scalpers often end up returning their ill-gotten gains to your website when they aren’t sold, costing you even more time and money in lost sales.

This is not good for your customers, and it’s not good for you. As we approach the 2020 holiday shopping season  a peak retail period  we expect to see much more of this activity. But there are steps you can take to prevent bots from spoiling the season.

Who is the Real Customer? Identity is at the Core.

Essentially, we are dealing with an identity problem: How do we know we are dealing with a real customer and not a bot? To answer this question, we need to examine a range of environmental, contextual, and behavioral factors and use these to make decisions in real time. 

The ForgeRock Identity Platform gives you the power to unmask the bots. Using a wide range of data sources, our platform can make decisions in real time and adapt the login or guest checkout journeys to make them more challenging when we suspect a bot is present and hassle-free for legitimate customers.

Don’t let retail bots ruin the holidays for you or your valued customers. Read our white paper Block the Bots to Keep Your Customers Coming Back, which looks at how a retail bot works and how you can leverage the ForgeRock Identity Platform to defend against bots today and as they evolve in the future.