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Signifyd’s FLOW provides a post-COVID playbook for building the ultimate customer journey

Read the State of Commerce Report for 2021

Read the State of Commerce Report for 2021

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Signifyd’s FLOW Summit 2021 was a gathering last week of retail professionals prepared to kick off a new era of ecommerce powered by customer journeys that are frictionless and secure from the moment of inspiration to the point past fulfillment when complete customer satisfaction is assured.

No doubt the nearly 400 who came together virtually from around the world were a forward-looking bunch. And their view of the future was seriously shaped by the year of pandemic we all just lived through. COVID-19 and the forced lifestyle changes it wrought combined to change retail faster and in more ways than anything to come before.

The Signifyd FLOW Summit 2021 brought together some of the most forward-thinking commerce practitioners of our age. They provided insights and strategy on the full range of the modern customer journey.

You’ll find on-demand video presentations covering customer experience and direct-to-consumer best practices, best practices for risk and fraud professionals and key strategies for building a modern tech stack for the modern era of ecommerce and omnichannel retail.

Commerce in 2021 is operating in a world of growing ecommerce, buy online pick up in store, curbside pickup, new online shoppers, bigger basket sizes and new, deeper relationships between brands and consumers who now buy directly from those brands. 

And as always, the professional practitioners of commerce are hungry for new ideas, better practices, more ambitious strategies and more powerful ways to serve customers.

“The community was looking for an event where they could talk about eliminating friction and creating flow for their buyers while protecting against fraud and abuse,” Signifyd Co-founder and CEO Raj Ramanand said in welcoming attendees. “And hence, FLOW was born.”

What you need to know
  • The Signifyd FLOW Summit 2021 brought together the brightest minds in ecommerce and omnichannel retail to share strategies, aspirations and war stories with nearly 400 virtual attendees.
  • The conference came as ecommerce reaches an historic inflection point created by a year of pandemic lockdowns and retail transformation.
  • While the conference is over, the knowledge lives on in a series of on-demand presentations available for viewing anytime.

Frictionless customer experience is always a hot topic when retailers gather, but 2021 is different; 2021 brings more urgency, more focus, more determination.

“This is now more important than ever,” Ramanand said in his opening remarks. “In a  COVID and post-COVID world, ecommerce has moved ahead five or six years. But the customer experience and the friction across that customer journey is still stuck in time.” 

To hear FLOW presenters tell it  — presenters from retailers and brands including Walmart Mexico, Lenovo, Toys R Us, Sonos, Blue Nile, Cuts and more — the customer journeys they are building are in constant motion, quickly catching up with the customer expectations. 

The state of commerce 2021 is optimistic

Bolstered by stories from ecommerce experts representing agencies and consultancies like Americaneagle.com, Payoneer, Deck Commerce, Astound Commerce and One Rockwell, the FLOW conference bubbled with optimism and a sense of the limitless possibilities ahead for digital and omnichannel retail.

“We’re living in a world where ecommerce has been on the rise for a while,” Ramanand said. “2020 just flipped the script. Digital is now the new normal, not just for a few but for a majority of buyers. It’s almost like COVID retrained all of us on so many fronts. But from what we’ve seen in regard to digital shopping patterns, it’s really unlikely that we will return to the past…we’ve arrived at the new normal.”

Taken together, FLOW’s day of sessions provided a commerce users manual for 2021 and beyond. Consider the stories: They ranged from tales of deploying DoorDashers to bridge the overloaded last mile during stay-at-home orders, to deploying data to upend fraud rings operating on a deserted college campus, to batting back an illegitimate chargebacks caused by an employee who used a corporate credit card to pay for buttocks augmentation and a Puerto Rican vacation, to expanding direct-to-consumer channels, to developing new apparel products in an age of business meetings from the waist up on Zoom.

Yes, 2020 was different.

“In just a year, we all lived through time warp and digital transformation and the whiplash is real,” Signifyd Chief Marketing Officer Indy Guha said in kicking off the day’s lineup. “In the audience are folks who just in the last few months made curbside pickup a thing — candidly from nothing to the thing.”

Retail leaders were up to the challenges that 2020 brought

Guha noted that some of the presenters and some in the audience made huge strides in cross-border commerce and were able to scale up operations in the face of holiday-like order spikes — holiday-like order spikes that persisted for months.

“You used glue and duct tape and will power and teamwork to come up with a 50% year-over-year growth rate, on average, across all of ecommerce,” Guha added. “What’s left out in the numbers is, and candidly, the most important part of all that, you brought joy in the midst of social distancing and lockdowns. It wasn’t easy, but you did it.” 

And it was clear from the presenters, that the pace will keep up and the glue and duct tape is giving way to more sustainable solutions, whether it was Toys R Us’ Rohan Cherian talking about supercharging in-store and at-curb pickup or Cuts’ Steven Borrelli explaining rethinking inventory levels and location or Sonos’ Rob Harris talking about ramping up automation.

“It’s been kind of a revelation for our business,” Harris said of increasing automation in Sonos’ fraud review. “Instead of having a team of three people who are spending three or four hours a day manually going through orders, the members of the team can be more focused on what are the other processes that we need to drive improvement on. We were able to increase our conversions as well. Signifyd was an absolutely huge help and fit right in with our strategy that we had over the last years — automate and simplify the process for our customers.”

Signifyd’s solutions paired with top-flight strategy equaled success for Walmart Mexico

And 2020 was a year that many retailers discovered that their instincts were solid and their moves to push their enterprises’ digital transformation forward paid off in a time of great disruption. Speaking to Signifyd Senior Product Manager Celena Ng, Walmart Mexico Ecommerce Jr. Director Sharon Alenjandra Lopez said Signifyd’s solutions helped the retailer provide a top customer experience in an extraordinary time. 

Despite the disruption of the COVID era, Lopez said, with Signifyd in place Walmart was able to avoid fraudulent orders. Better yet, it was able to avoid declining legitimate customers’ orders, something that had been an issue before Signifyd. 

“It has been absolutely fantastic, quite honestly, to see the improvement we’ve seen in saved sales, but also in satisfaction,” Lopez said. “I think that’s a huge win.” 

And while the examples came in presentation after presentation, the big takeaway was that 2021 and beyond calls for an enterprise-wide view of the entire customer journey — from customer acquisition through checkout and beyond. 

A diagram of the buyer's journey as envisioned by Signifyd, with key questions at key points in the journey

By now, if you did not attend FLOW (And why was that, exactly?) you’re probably wondering how you can get the full flavor of the knowledge-fest it was. We’ve got you covered with on-demand versions of the 15 presentations that created the foundation of the day. Of course, you’ll want to watch every one, but to help you figure out where to start, there is a brief summary of each below. 

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Signifyd Chief Marketing Officer Indy Guha reflects on a year of retail in the pandemic and looks ahead to what the seismic shift in consumer habits and behavior means for the future of commerce.

The New Normal in Commerce: Challenges to the CX Journey in a Post-COVID World

Signifyd Co-founder and CEO Raj Ramanand provides the context of the end-to-end customer journey and the importance of viewing it holistically. He touches on the origin of FLOW and explains why Signifyd’s recent $205 million Series E funding round and unicorn status is not an end, but a means to accelerate and expand the company’s mission. 

Designing Post-Pandemic Customer Experiences

Joana de Quintanilha, Forrester VP, principal analyst, customer experience, takes the FLOW audience through an analysis of how to orchestrate the customer journey by relying on data while being mindful of the emotions consumers experience while conducting commerce.

Winning On Customer Experience

In 2020, Lenovo saw double-digit year-over-year online sales growth at a time when it was expanding its product portfolio and its target market. Listen as Lenovo Vice President, Americas Ecommerce Carlo Savino describes how Lenovo took a deep dive into mapping its customer journey and the kind of success that exercise led to.

Abuse Prevention with Decision Center

Walmart’s Sharon Alenjandra Lopez talks about how Mexico’s largest retailer was able to use Signfiyd’s Decision Center to increase authorization rates and combat consumer abuse, all while increasing customer satisfaction.

Seamless Risk Assessment Across the Entire Journey

Signifyd’s Vice President of Product Gayathri Somanath and Director of Product Marketing Ashley Kiolbasa focus on the balance of avoiding risk and creating a seamless customer experience. The two explain how Signifyd’s Commerce Protection Platform relies on identity-centric commerce protection to do both across the buying journey.

How One Curbside Rollout Changed Ecommerce Operations at Toys R Us Forever

Toys R Us Canada’s Rohan Cherian shares the lessons his team learned during the pandemic and lays out the story of how Toys R Us spun up curbside pick-up in no time and won an army of fans. 

War Stories from Signifyd’s Risk Intelligence & Chargeback Investigations Teams

Signifyd Senior Risk Analyst Alex De Kroon spins the tale of the mysterious uptick in ecommerce deliveries to a deserted West London college campus and how he upended a fraud ring. Kirsty McClean followed up with the story of a wayward HR manager who allegedly used the corporate credit card to buy luxury goods, a vacation and plastic surgery. Find out how Kirsty and team put 2 + 2 + 3 together to build a case that upended an effort to claw back the manager’s spending through the chargeback process.

Decision Making at Scale – A Look into Signifyd’s ML Models

Among the many things the pandemic has taught us is that fraudsters thrive on chaos and that keeping up with them requires ever-more-sophisticated tools. Signifyd’s Senior Vice President of Decision Science Swami Vaithi takes FLOW attendees through Signifyd’s machine learning philosophy and runs down the considerations for assessing approaches. 

Mini Masterclasses: Fast Track to Ecommerce Best Practice

Ecommerce gurus from Americaneagle.com, Deck Commerce and Payoneer provide a crash course on best-practices for several aspects of successful ecommerce. Hear the experts’ takes on the modern ecommerce tech stack, getting curbside and buy online pick up in store right and providing top-flight payment orchestration. 

Building Your 21st Century Fraud Team From the Ground Up

Blue Nile Senior Manager, Fraud Prevention at Blue Nile Conor Corkrum runs through the considerations for building a fraud team from scratch — or reviewing whether the fraud team you have is the fraud team you need. Spoiler alert: There is no one answer for every enterprise.

Product Unveil: Refunds & Returns Abuse Prevention

Signifyd’s Director of Business and Strategy Analytics Pranav Gandhi and Director of Product Design and Experience Mariana Ortiz Reyes unveil the company’s newest solution: Return Abuse Protection. The customizable solution extends Signifyd’s identity-centric commerce protection to the nettlesome area of returns — using Signfiyd’s vast data to assess the degree of risk involved in each return request a merchant receives. 

Digital 2021: Trends and Opportunities to Guide Your Ecommerce Strategy 

Rockwell One President Paul Healion and Senior Project Manager Belle Johnson talk attendees through how recent ecommerce trends relate to the customer experience from beginning to end. They also provide strategies to help merchants build customer lifetime value. 

Ecommerce Leaders on CX in a Post-COVID World

Sono’s Americas Fulfillment Operations Manager Rob Harris and Cuts Clothing CEO Steven Borelli talk about the agility their organizations demonstrated during the pandemic. Moderator and Americaneagle.com Strategic Account Director Brendan Cameron steers the conversation toward what larger lessons emerged from those pandemic experiences. 


Did you miss the FLOW Summit 2021? We’ve got you covered with the FLOW Summit 2021 on demand.

 

Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

Mike is the head of storytelling 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.