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From wholesaler to e-tailer: Imagine Diamonds uses fraud protection to drive online sales

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How does a 30-year old wholesale family business in New York’s Diamond District grow its sales by selling directly to consumers online?

According to Arthur Ilyev, Head of Operations for Imagine Diamonds, the latest technology trends and tools are still no replacement for fundamental business concepts like risk management and financial security. “To build any successful business it is important to minimize risk. Once you can predict your risk and potential losses it is fairly easy to grow your business and the value of your brand.  No unexpected downturns offset your profit and sometimes that is the most crucial part of successful growth.”

Understanding Online Buyers

Like most online businesses Imagine Diamonds analyzes their site traffic and conversion patterns carefully to optimize their marketing spend. “Ever since we started our ecommerce business we’ve continued to experience growth by driving relevant traffic from various sources like PPC campaigns, SEO, affiliate marketing and social media. As these avenues developed we then optimize our traffic for conversion purposes.” says Ilyev. He understands his site’s user journeys and buying journeys and optimizes for both the first-time buyer looking to get to a purchase decision quickly and the returning user who needs a lot more handholding to get to a decision.

Using Fraud Protection To Grow Sales

Imagine Diamonds also leverages a “secret weapon” of sorts in their use of Signifyd to guarantee their online customer payments against fraud and chargebacks. Ilyev explains, “Signifyd gives us the ability to deliver goods to our online customers with confidence as we’re protected against fraudulent activity. They’ve also played a crucial role in optimizing our efforts by winnowing out the good sales from the bad orders.”

Given their pace of growth, Imagine Diamonds has chosen not to build their own in-house fraud prevention team. “Since we’ve had Signifyd from day one, we really never dealt with any headaches associated with creating an internal fraud team so we’ve saved on resources in that regard.  Signifyd has streamlined the ease of fraud detection, and for that reason, we hope to continue growing without the need to build this function internally.” Since Signifyd leverages real-time machine-learning across thousands of merchants, Imagine Diamonds’ new and returning customers are recognized instantly, even with new payment details or shipping arrangements. With limited data, merchants often can’t see enough about a potential customer to approve an order and thus their order review team declines orders to avoid a possible chargeback in the future. Such orders from good customers that are wrongfully declined are known as “false declines” and each year ecommerce merchants lose billions of dollars to false declines despite having an in-house order review team.

Enabling protection online from day one was important for Ilyev to protect margins without compromising growth. “Fraud is a relatively new issue for us as we were solely in B2B (Business To Business). But since we’ve pursued growth in B2C (Business To Consumer) we’ve experienced more fraud as people are always looking to make a quick buck on our jewelry through internet fraud. Especially since jewelry is a tangible asset that can always be resold at a fairly high price, a jewelry company like ours is always prone to fraudulent activity.” Being in the online jewelry business put Imagine Diamonds at greater risk than other merchants, but on the other hand, this encouraged them to address online payment fraud proactively from day one.

Winning with Customers

Building trust with customers quickly has unique benefits for an online jewelry company. Consumers buying jewelry online are seeking a brand they can trust as each purchase is significant and emotional. Ilyev explains how fraud prevention helps secure trust early with online buyers. “Once an order is guaranteed by Signifyd, we can rest assured that we are getting paid, so it becomes easier for us to ship out expensive merchandise. Our customers appreciate the quick turnaround as they know we trust them after the purchase is made. With this quick turnaround in fulfillment, our customers feel brand loyalty immediately as they know we mean business.”

Imagine Diamonds doesn’t need to “guess” whether a customer is who they claim to be. Ilyev explains, “With Signifyd’s dashboard we’re able to quickly see all order details, from where the IP is, to email duration, to the social media background of the consumer placing the order. With a score from 1-1000, Signifyd is facilitating fraud detection in its simplest form.  Since it has positioned itself to reimburse a company like ours if the charge is actually fraud against chargebacks, they’re helping our company grow as we now know that even if Signifyd is wrong in their assessment, they’re able to back it up with a monetary reimbursement.”

Customer loyalty is critical in the jewelry business and in ecommerce, so Ilyev takes it very seriously. “Even though we’re constantly approached by other fraud detection companies with better incentive packages, we’ve never found a need to pursue them as Signifyd delivers a service and solution that’s efficient and reliable. As we continue growing our other ecommerce business, we plan to use Signifyd there as well since they provide such a seamless process.  From a business standpoint, customer loyalty is everything and since Signifyd has proved itself in so many ways, we don’t see a need to pursue other avenues at this time or in the near future.”

Trust and loyalty have helped Imagine Diamonds reach new online customers and grow new lines of revenue in addition to their wholesale business in New York’s Diamond District. They use Signifyd to ensure they can trust their customers as much as their customers trust them. By removing doubt and the risk of financial loss, Signifyd is helping Imagine Diamonds secure their future in the online jewelry business while increasing customer satisfaction by eliminating “false declines” and shipping orders out sooner. Arthur Ilyev and his team have turned fraud prevention into a revenue growth strategy that allows their company to grow faster and fearlessly without compromising margins or customer satisfaction.

For more information about Imagine Diamonds, visit their website at

Sourabh Kothari

Sourabh Kothari

Sourabh is the former Director of Merchant Advocacy at Signifyd, where he brought over 18 years of experience defining, designing and delivering content through stories, events and video.