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CurrentBody’s Foresight Helps it Serve Customers Despite Lockdown

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We all know the world changed in early March with the realization that lockdown was a reality.  It meant a new way of living and a new way of working. 

Like employees around the world, the CurrentBody team, based in Manchester, headed out to work from home for an unknown amount of time. 

The retailer was determined to continue the high-quality customer care that had helped stoke its rapid growth. CurrentBody is in the self-improvement sweet spot. It sells innovative electronic devices designed to give users the kind of self-care and pampering experiences at home that they might otherwise find at a salon, spa or gym.

What you need to know
  • The recent shelter-in-place orders throughout Europe and the U.S. exposed the difficulties in carrying on business as workforces scattered to home offices.
  • Brands, like CurrentBody, that had considered the importance of business continuity planning were in a strong position to continue to serve customers in the way they’d become accustomed despite the disruption.
  • CurrentBody, in fact, continued its dramatic growth with the help of Signifyd’s cloud-based, machine-learning Commerce Protection Platform. The platform provides elastic capacity, allowing online retailers to scale up as orders increase — sometimes dramatically.

“When people aren’t able to go to salons or to the hairdresser or to the gym, they’re looking for alternatives,” Lyn Carbine, CurrentBody’s international territory manager, said via Zoom from her home office. “We are proud that we can offer consumers a way to maintain a level of normalcy in their lives and take time for self-care and mental well-being.” 

Fortunately, as an enterprise born of innovation, CurrentBody had already taken the steps that would assure the enterprise business continuity in the face of unprecedented disruption, including the need for employees to work from home.  Among those steps was replacing its previous fraud protection provider with Signifyd last summer.

Dated fraud solutions decline good orders and kill revenue

The previous provider was among the new breed of guaranteed fraud protection companies, but its performance didn’t live up to its promise. Its machine-learning system declined far too many legitimate orders because it misidentified them as fraudulent, Carbine said. 

There was no easy way to understand why the orders were being declined or to train the machine to accept the legitimate orders it was turning away. CurrentBody staff members, who had other responsibilities, would spend two to four hours a day reviewing the orders the old fraud provider turned down. They knew from experience that most of them were good orders.

All this was happening as CurrentBody was experiencing monumental growth. In fact, the company has seen some of its highest order volumes in its history in recent months, with the number of transactions increasing by triple-digit percentages.

Signifyd cleared the way for handling that sort of staggering increase, Carbine said.

“Our approval rate shot up immediately. And for that small percentage of orders that still required review, Signifyd offered Dynamic Step Up, an automated way to completely manage review for us,” she said. “The decision to make the switch was a no-brainer.” 

Early this year, CurrentBody realized that Signifyd would become all the more vital to the success of its business. One of the many difficulties for retailers in the time of coronavirus is managing to operate efficiently and effectively as employees have scattered to work remotely.

The geographically distributed workforce is particularly complicated when it comes to reviewing orders for fraud and consumer abuse. With physical stores closed, ecommerce operations ramped up across the globe at the very time that many who ran the online side of the business were being sent home to work in isolation.

Executing on business continuity is the key to success

Order volumes changed rapidly and in unfamiliar ways. As stay-at-home regulations spread, many retailers were seeing dramatic order spikes and wild swings in orders for specific products that would ordinarily be far more predictable. 

Retailers with manual order flows and review processes faced the reality that their order review agents might not have the equipment at home that they needed to do their jobs. All that was complicated by the fact that agents’ home offices were not set up to handle credit card and personally identifiable information, introducing data-breach risk and privacy compliance exposure. 

And even retailers who had turned to machine-learning fraud solutions before the shelter-in-place orders faced a daunting task if that solution delivered sub-par performance. It’s something Carbine thinks about as she directs her-working-from-home team from her own home.

“It simply would not have been possible for us to review incoming orders manually without Signifyd,” she said. “If we were still going through the same processes that we were going through at this time last year, we would have had a significant challenge ahead of us.”

It’s a testament to its foresight that CurrentBody is powering through one of the world’s most stressful and disruptive periods. 

Photo by Getty Images


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Mike Cassidy

Mike is lead storyteller at Signifyd. A former journalist and a retail geek, he covers ecommerce and the way technology is transforming digital commerce. Contact him at mike.cassidy@signifyd.com; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.