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3rd Parties

Layers of Defense: What is Journey Hijacking?

Creating and maintaining seamless and profitable online shopping experiences is difficult and complex. There are many forms of interruptions that can happen, some of which are out of a retailer’s control. One of these is a phenomenon called “Journey Hijacking,” where malicious browser extensions and malware provide unauthorized discounts and divert shoppers away from the intended retailers’ site. 

Where it starts  

Shoppers visit sites from various devices, networks, and browsers, which can contain unknown and malicious browser extensions. These extensions are added to the browser by shoppers attracted by the promise of great deals and discounts.  

However, these extensions are not harmless. Though many of them claim not to track or store shopper activity, the way they work is by learning online shoppers’ behaviors so they can inject targeted ads and discounts that can lure a shopper away from their intended purchase. 

Retailers pay the price 

Retailers spend a significant amount of time and money creating and implementing ad campaigns to drive paid traffic to their site. Unmonitored browser extensions scrounge this paid traffic with intent to: 

  • Provide unauthorized discounts to shoppers, or even  
  • Redirect them away from the intended retailer’s site  

On average, 20% of online sessions on any given eCommerce site are hijacked. This problem directly impacts the key performance indicators retailers’ work to improve on their eCommerce sites like conversion rates, bounce rates, and more. 

Low visibility fuels these takeovers 

The key reason this widespread problem was hidden for so long was the lack of client-side visibility. Retailers already have a tough time investigating issues with Nth party assets (technologies brands don’t put on site like 3rd, 4th or even 5th parties) running on their own site because they lack the visibility of where and when they execute. Even more obscure: extensions live on each individual shopper’s browsers, which makes it that much harder to identify the bad actors.  

This phenomenon of hijacking the shopper continues to be a blind spot for eCommerce teams looking to optimize their digital experience and maximize the ROI of all campaigns that drive traffic to their site. “Journey Hijacking” is a growing problem that retailers need to solve to maintain a seamless shopping experience without the negative impacts on business. 

You don’t have to be in the dark when it comes to malicious browser extensions. Get a free eCommerce site evaluation and see what’s running on your site today!