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Stop ecommerce fraud from becoming a holiday tradition

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Retail has its own set of annual holiday traditions.

Starting before the last scrap of gift wrap is cleaned up, merchants start looking at what went wrong in the holiday frenzy just passed and what they could do differently to come up with a different result next year.

By summer, a substantial number of retail executives are already planning inventory, promotions, extra hiring and how to break it to their families that they’re going to disappear for long stretches right after Thanksgiving dinner. (Hint: “See you next year,” sometimes gets a laugh.)

We’ve learned that online fraudsters, too, have their holiday traditions. As retailers’ ecommerce orders double, triple and more, fraudsters see an opportunity to strike. Experienced fraud teams are taxed and often supplemented by inexperienced temp workers.

It’s a traditional recipe for a disappointing and possibly disastrous holiday season for merchants with so much on the line. Everything is bigger, faster, harder during the holiday season. Online spending in November and December 2016 was up 13 percent year-over-year and there’s no indication the trend is slowing. For many merchants, the stretch is a make-or-break run.

This holiday season the anxiety meter is running higher than ever after hackers in the Equifax breach made off with the personal information of 145.5 million consumers — everything they need to create fake credit accounts that are indistinguishable from legitimate accounts.

Which brings us to another holiday tradition, this one for retailers: second guessing. Is there more I should be doing to gear up my fraud protection? Is it too late to do more?

The answers: Maybe so. And definitely not.

OK, those are the short answers. For a more in-depth look at what you can do right now to handle the increase in holiday volume and your increased exposure to fraudulent orders, check out our holiday e-book.

“Easing the Pain of the Holiday Crush” provides a detailed look at the cost of fraud and declined orders, includes real-life examples of challenging orders and offers some specific steps you can take to protect your business this holiday without staffing up.

Just the thing to add to you list of traditional holiday reading.

Photo by iStock

Mike Cassidy is Signifyd’s lead storyteller. Contact him at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.


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].