Making E-commerce Marketplaces Safe for Sellers

Online marketplaces must verify seller accounts to prevent fraudsters from stealing seller credentials and using them for fraud

The e-commerce industry has become the shining star of today’s digital economy, benefitting customers and businesses alike. Low barriers to entry, a ready-to-buy customer base and the ability to sell goods from anywhere in the world make e-commerce platforms attractive to sellers. Add to this the wide choice of e-commerce platforms available, and we have a large global e-commerce ecosystem buzzing with activity 24/7/365.

Large online marketplaces including, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Sears, Flubit, Fruugo, Allegro, Cdiscount, FNAC, OTTO, Alibaba, JD Worldwide, Rakuten, Lazada, Jumia, and Flipkart, are among the many that are driving the exponential growth of e-commerce industry worldwide.

Marketplace Seller Fraud Ensure Safe Business Environment

E-commerce platforms have raised the bar when it comes to providing customers with a frictionless shopping experience, complete with multiple payment options. But, they must also make selling simple and secure for the sellers onboard. Given the fierce competitive e-commerce landscape, sellers can always switchover to a more flexible, safer platform that can result in loss of revenue and an adverse effect on brand equity of the e-commerce provider.

Unlike banks that verify customer details with proofs, e-commerce websites rely on the details that online shoppers provide on their own. This is a big lacuna as e-commerce platforms cannot verify the details to distinguish between a good customer and a fraudster. As a result, when a shopper makes a cash-on-delivery purchase with fake or invalid details such as phone number and/or shipping address, it can cause revenue loss to the seller.

Similarly, anybody can create a seller profile with little or no verification. This provides fraudsters with an easy opportunity to create fake seller accounts and con customers. Fraudsters are always looking for ways to monetize their exploits. They also copy the profile of a legitimate to create fake accounts either on same or other channels including emerging platforms and social media platforms. They use these fake accounts to sell counterfeit products and/or post details of non-existent items—usually expensive—and dupe buyers into paying for goods they would never receive.

With social media increasingly making inroads into the e-commerce space through “buy now” buttons, the attack surface for fraudsters has also increased. Fraudsters are exploiting social media to post item details stolen from other channels by creating a fake seller account. When customers click the post, they are redirected to a platform similar to the e-commerce player, meant to phish out personal details for identity fraud later.

Trust: The Currency of E-commerce

Maintaining trust is key to growing a business. In an e-commerce setup, where the buyers and sellers do not know each other, it can be a struggle to build that trust, requiring time and multiple transactions. Therefore, to help build trust, many e-commerce platforms allow users to rate and review the sellers. A seller with a higher customer rating comes across as trustworthy. Most buyers also base their purchase decisions on the reviews. Even offline buyers look for recommendations and reviews online before making the purchase. However, fraudsters can post fake and negative reviews to tarnish the image of an otherwise genuine seller and adversely impact her business. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the e-commerce platform to provide review guidelines and implement adequate gatekeeping to ensure their rating systems allow only verified users to rate the sellers.

The onus of providing a safe and secure marketplace to the sellers onboard is on the e-commerce providers. Therefore, to ensure their marketplace is trustworthy, e-commerce providers need solutions that help strike a balance between seamless transactions and fraud prevention.

Maintain Trust with Simility

Simility’s Adaptive Decisioning Platform is a risk-based fraud prevention solution that validates sellers based on intelligence gathered from various internal and third-party data sources. Moreover, Simility’s intuitive workbench brings together all the user’s attributes together to provide a comprehensive view of the risk associated with each seller profile.

Simility, thus empowers e-commerce providers to accurately evaluate its users by combining the gathered data with digital identity to proactively identify and prevent potential fraud in real-time and reduce the time, effort, and monetary costs associated with manual reviews.

To learn how Simility’s automated fraud prevention solution can ensure a safe e-commerce platform, check out our offering or schedule a demo.


Arthi Rajan

Arthi Rajan

Arthi Rajan, Engineering & Product leader in the Risk Platform team at PayPal, has built a brand over 12 years at PayPal as a fearless leader with a passion for building and leading high performing global teams and cutting edge platform adoption. Her team builds innovative risk experiences that utilize the strengths of PayPal in machine learning in a unique ecosystem of a 2 sided global network. These solutions and experiences span across consumer, seller fraud and credit underwriting challenges. She and her team thrive on solving complex business problems and enabling world class customer experiences using the intersection of technology and data.
Arthi Rajan