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Signifyd’s FLOW Summit 2024 lives on — on demand

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“The State of Commerce 2023” report

Cover of Signifyd's State of Commerce 2023 report

If ever there were a day to celebrate the constantly accelerating world of commerce, Signifyd’s recent FLOW Summit 2024 was it.

The summit’s theme — resilience — ricocheted through the lower Manhattan event center as an impressive army of speakers from top global brands and innovative organizations not as well known — yet — grappled in lively sessions with the challenges facing online retailers today.

“Resilience in Action” was the formal tagline for the annual event and in fact while “resilience” thumped through the keynotes and break-out sessions it was the “action” end of things that stole the show. 

Ecommerce is entering a new era, which was clear from Signifyd CEO Raj Ramanand’s opening keynote presentation to the closing Champagne toast. Future success depends on profitable growth, Ramanand said, rather than growth at all cost — and profitable growth is built by establishing maximum trust of and personalization with brands’ customers. 

How do trust and personalization relate to customer lifetime value?

For hours after the opening, panels and presenters drove home the strategies and tactics that can lead to that kind of trust and personalization and ultimately to maximum customer lifetime value.

The third annual FLOW, like its predecessors, was no trade show requiring the agility of a ballerina to avoid solution providers selling their wares, all while hiking between educational sessions dispensing actionable insights. 

The day-long event in New York was more akin to a salon where more than 300 commerce professionals gathered to take in tactics, strategy and advice, but also to hand out wisdom from their experiences, successes and challenges. FLOW is a conversation — and of course it, um, flows both ways. 

FLOW Summit 2024 is available on demand

If you were there, you know what we mean. If you weren’t, well, we’ve got you covered. We bottled the wisdom, words and action in a series of on-demand videos available on the Signifyd website. 

Signifyd FLOW Summit 2024 — videos on demand

For the third year in a row, the Signifyd FLOW Summit brought together the best and brightest in the fields of retail, digital commerce, payments, risk and fraud to spend the day contemplating the industry’s biggest challenges and sketching out from experience and research some of the solutions to tackle the constant change that fuels retail’s future.

We’ve assembled a number of videos of the FLOW Summit presentations that include representatives of Mastercard, Forrester, Canadian Tire, Lenovo, Discover, Worldpay, Square, Abercrombie & Fitch, Google, Christian Louboutin, BetMGM, Pandora, Michaels, Adorama, EBANX and others. Together they offer a master class in past best practices and how to brace for what will be the inevitable and continuing breakneck pace of change. 

Explore the FLOW 2024 video library.




In fact, identity was the thing at FLOW 2024. Ramanand set the stage, literally, with his focus on trust and personalization. Both are built on a foundation of identity. It’s what tells a merchant who its best customers are — and which customers might be out to do them harm. Understanding a customer’s identity is what allows brands to delight them. 

What’s the role of identity in successful ecommerce strategies?

“A delightful customer experience consists of two things,” Ramanand said. “One, I as the retailer, as the brand, have to trust who that person is. And two, once I can do that, I need a way in real time, at the moment when someone is making a return, when someone is checking out, at that moment, I need to be able to personalize that experience.”

The end goal for retailers, Ramanand said, was to achieve profitable growth. He noted that the advantage in shareholder return had flipped from high-growth, low-profit retail enterprises in the thick of the pandemic to high-growth, low-profit retail enterprises as we moved into 2023. In the pandemic years, the high-growth, low-profit merchants were returning 3.2x to their shareholders compared to 1.3x returned by low-growth, high-profit operations. Coming out of the pandemic, low-growth, high-profit was the winning investment, providing a 1x return versus a .7x return from high-growth, low-profit merchants.


A chart from Signifyd CEO Raj Ramanand's FLOW Summit 2024 keynote presentation showing the different shareholder return from laggards and adopters


Ramanand also took the audience through an explanation of how increasing sales from existing customers was the path to profitable growth, as you’ll see in the on-demand video.

Identity provides an ideal perch to view the entire customer journey

Identity is also what gives merchants the tools to visualize and utilize the entire customer journey in its effort to provide a customer with an experience they will never forget — and which will keep them coming back time after time.

An afternoon panel on the innovation imperative for ecommerce featured Marc Lupinacci, VP growth at GarageCo; Anh Vu-Lieberman, VP of conversion rate & site optimization at Nogin; and Patti Bamford, AVP ecommerce operations for Canadian Tire. Vu-Lieberman laid out a number of strategies for building personalization engines in a cookie-less world by turning to AI and other technology.

Bamford pointed out that customer lifetime value is not only a key metric to guide marketing spending, but it’s also what focuses an organization on putting the customer at the center of decisions. 

A focus on customer lifetime value also brings home the importance of doing right by customers when things don’t go well. Making things right is a key way to bring customers back to  your site, Square General Manager & Chief Risk Officer Samant Nagpal told audience members. Antonio Colicchio, Abercrombie & Fitch VP returns, fraud & abuse, stressed the importance of balancing a high-quality customer experience — for instance by providing fast returns and refunds when appropriate. 

Turning to demographics, psychographics and first-party data to better understand identity also allows merchants to build a relationship with customers, as Sachin Bhargava, senior director, digital product & ecommerce at luxury jewelry company John Hardy, explained. 

How to tackle return fraud and abuse 

Other panels took FLOW attendees through the value of identity in protecting the enterprise from return abuse and first-party fraud. Emilie MacFarlane, clothier Tuckernuck’s CFO, provided insight into the challenge of “bracketing” in the online world. 

Ecommerce apparel shoppers increasingly use their homes as fitting rooms, ordering several colors and or sizes of an item, keeping one version and returning the rest. The retailer laid out multiple approaches to managing returns without damaging an aspect of the shopping experience that is important to some of its best customers. And as important, the panel discussed the pros and cons of adopting policies that decline orders from customers known to be frequent returners. 

Signifyd’s FLOW event ended on a high note 

The exigency of embracing maximum trust and personalization was again established by Forrester Vice Principal Analyst Sucharita Kodali who nimbly ran through an overview of the economy — good — and the mindset of the consumer — not as good. The word “vibecession,” a new economics term of art, came up, if that offers any clue to the rest of her presentation.  

That said, Kodali pointed out that ecommerce is growing but at a considerably slower rate than during the go-go online shopping days of the pandemic. Think more 10% than 30% — and 2024 will present some challenges with shoppers remaining price conscious and inflation remaining stubborn. 

But, resilience, remember? 

The theme was brought home toward the end of the day, first during an unrecorded session during which make-up artist Bobbi Brown relayed the story of how she built a $1-billion company and a brand while overcoming roadblocks and becoming a globally celebrated entrepreneur in the process. 

The day’s capper was a celebration of resiliency in the person of dozens of retail leaders, all named to Signifyd’s Most Influential in Ecommerce, class of 2024. The members in attendance took to the main stage, where they were feted enthusiastically with cheers and a Champagne toast. 

After all, resilience has its advantages.

Want to see for yourself what FLOW was all about?

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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 [email protected].