GUEST COMMENT Your customers are, but are you ready for a World Cup extravaganza?
With the World Cup 2014 just weeks away, the associated ecommerce frenzy is already in full swing. Many of us will be preparing our schedules, nervously waiting for the first whistle to kick-start the extravaganza. Others will be eagerly awaiting the delivery of the new TV screen they ordered, while the luckier ones will be booking their last minute flights to Rio. Either way, there’ll be a surge in ecommerce orders as we step up support for our favourite nations.
The revenue predicted to be generated by this spectacle is just staggering. Travel intelligence firm Skift reports that each World Cup attendee in Brazil will spend on average $2,500 (around £1,500) during their stay, which Forbes estimates will add $3.03 billion (£1.81 billion) to the Brazilian economy. Closer to home, when Samsung reported its January-March 2014 earnings, it predicted that during its next quarter: “The outlook for household appliances will also pick up on seasonal demand for air conditioners, as well as orders for high-end TVs based on the World Cup effect.”
However, with increased ecommerce orders comes the need to optimise – speeding genuine transactions through, and quickly identifying the more suspect. As online and mobile orders for TVs, pizzas, barbeque equipment and official merchandise begin to stack up, you could find yourself with a backlog of orders to review. Not only can your order pipeline slow down, but fraudulent purchases may slip through the net. So, how can you ensure that your business is equipped to cope with peak football season performance?Learn from the past
Before making any changes to your fraud strategy, take some time to review trends from past football or other major sporting events. Did you have a problem reviewing orders in time? Were any particular products more susceptible to fraud?
If so, make sure you are taking the correct precautions to ensure this doesn’t happen again. It’s not uncommon for fraudsters to target a specific retailer annually or at specific times, so use your chargeback history to review potential patterns and whether there are any particular indicators of fraudulent behavior for the products and services you sell.Identify your priorities
After analysing previous fraud trends, you can begin to assess your priorities for the current event. Whether that’s reducing fraudulent orders, increasing acceptance, or a combination of the two – once you’ve established your goals, you can put a plan in place to achieve them.
Your fraud strategy needs to accommodate any expected increase in turnover so considering turnover forecasts is also essential, particularly if you have a review process in place. For example if you manually review 10 per cent of all orders and currently process 10,000 orders a month – that’s 1,000 orders to review. However, if you expect your order volume to treble before and during the World Cup season, that’s 3,000 to review – a figure that may not be viable. Review your rules
Shoppers spend more in World Cup season and at different times of day, therefore your peak season fraud rules need to be adjusted accordingly. This could be raising the threshold for the value of orders that are sent for review to cater for higher value purchases, or relaxing velocity rules to cope with an increase in orders.
Similarly, look at ‘good’ customer criteria; if a customer has been through the review process several times using the same email address, do you really need to review the order? Auto-accepting these orders could save valuable time, enabling staff to focus on higher-risk transactions.
Also, ensure that your rules are updated to reflect any past fraud trends. For example if fraud has previously originated from certain postal or zip codes, then consider revisiting the business rules you have in place. But don’t simply block all transactions from particular shipping postcodes or zip codes; it’s just too extreme a course of action to take and would most likely result in a large number of orders to either review or reject.
Instead, it’s much better to either block or manually review specific postcodes in combination with other factors such as the fraud score and / or the data associated with high risk products.Think about the wider picture
eCommerce is not the only avenue for fraudsters looking to exploit peak season trading; peak season fraud can also originate from call centres. If they don’t have any success online, the telephone represents another avenue they can use to bypass the system (IP addresses can’t be checked over the phone).
So if you have a call centre sales channel, take the time to educate staff about historic fraud trends and empower them by sharing tell-tale signs. This can be enhanced by maintaining an open and regular communication with your acquirer and conducting regular fraud analysis. Most have daily fraud reports which can be the difference between identifying a high scale fraud attack in progress as opposed to afterwards.Don’t rely on extra time and penalties
Much like the World Cup teams, you’ll be looking to deliver results on time; avoiding extra time and penalties. If a customer orders a TV ahead of the World Cup tournament, they’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t arrive promptly. And you don’t want to be left with 1,000 (or 3,000) orders to review the day before kick-off.
By simply asking review staff to come in a bit earlier during the World Cup season you can help ensure that orders are processed in time. Or if that’s not possible, then prioritise the biggest financial risks first – the higher value items; a fraudulent order on a high value item can leave a bigger dent in your profits. So why not filter orders by amount, ensuring that those that can do the most damage in chargebacks are taken care of first?Keep calm and lift the trophy
It may feel like you’ve got a lot to consider, but don’t worry – help is always available. From studying past trends, to defining your priorities and required rule changes, partnering with a trusted payment management advisor can provide you with the guidance and support you need.
By following these simple steps ahead of the World Cup, you’ll be better prepared to accommodate the increased demand – ultimately accepting more orders, optimising your fraud management and providing the best possible customer experience.Amdadul Rahman is regional manager, managed risk services, EMEA, CyberSource