Each year, the holiday shopping season brings online retailers a flood of business – and a big wave of card-not-present (CNP) fraud attempts.
In 2017, e-commerce fraud attempts increased by 22 percent between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, in part because criminals knew they could take advantage of the additional load on retailers' order screening, manual review, and customer service teams to slip fraudulent orders through. To ensure that your business is ready to thwart holiday fraud, use this checklist to see where you're prepared and where you need to work quickly to shore up your defenses.
Review your mobile and desktop fraud-prevention strategies to make sure they're tailored to each channel's customers, frequently targeted items and most common fraud types.
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2. Scale up your fraud screening capacity.
As holiday orders pour in, your store's fraud screening capabilities may get overwhelmed, especially if you only have a small staff to manually review flagged orders. The solution is not to skip manual review in favor of automatically declining flagged orders, because falsely declining good orders can cost merchants more in the long run than fraud by driving those customers to your competitors.
There's no reason to let orders pile up in your manual review queue either. If you've had problems keeping up with manual review demands during past holiday seasons or if you'd like to avoid the possibility of delays, now is the time to look at outsourcing some or all of your manual review to a third party, at least through the peak holiday season.
3. Focus on customer service.
The best fraud prevention programs make it easy for good customers to buy what they want. Take a look at your false decline rates during the past few holiday seasons to see if there have been spikes during that time. If so, look at how your fraud prevention program handles flagged orders.
Another aspect of customer service that can help fight fraud is your manual review team's training and skills. Reaching out to customers to check the validity of their orders requires a savvy approach that makes the customer feel taken care of rather than treated as a suspect. For merchants with an international customer base, the manual review team also must be able to reach customers during the appropriate time of day in their time zone, using the language they speak. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective and faster to outsource manual review than to hire and train an in-house team with all these capabilities.
4. Set up stricter shipping procedures.
As merchants get better at spotting attempted CNP fraud during the order stage, organized criminals look for other weaknesses they can exploit.
One area we've seen targeted is the shipping stage of the order. To do this, fraudsters use a complete set of stolen customer data that includes the victim's card number, billing address and shipping address in order to avoid raising flags when they place the order. After the order is approved, the fraudsters then attempt to get the merchandise re-routed to an address where they can get their hands on it. One way they do this is by asking the merchant's customer service team to re-route the package. Another is to simply call the shipping company and request the change themselves.
To avoid shipping fraud losses, instruct your customer service team and your carriers to refer all re-routing requests to your manual review team so the order can be rescreened.
By tailoring your store's fraud prevention for each sales channel, tracking your false decline rate, improving your manual review capacity and outreach quality, and guarding against shipping fraud, your store can earn more revenue, suffer fewer losses and end the season with more satisfied customers who will want to shop with you again.
Thought leaders are credible experts in their field. They know their industry, and they know how to explain complicated topics to their audience. The question is how to get that information to the people who need to see it.
There are many outlets for thought leaders to spread their knowledge and build their audiences. One of those channels is often overlooked. LinkedIn provides a great opportunity to reach a large audience of interested readers. Here's why you need to be a part of the LinkedIn community and how to position yourself as a thought leader on the platform.
Giving a face to the name
LinkedIn provides a unique opportunity for people to read what you write, then easily learn more about you as a person. When you post here, you're more than just an avatar and a one-line bio. You're a real person with work experience, connected to companies and groups, with professional connections that will say a lot about you. It's a chance to let people see who you are and why they should be listening to you as an authority.
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Here are a few tips for improving your LinkedIn profile to position yourself as a thought leader:
Use your headline as a first impression to introduce followers to what you're passionate about.
Write a summary that lets people know who you are, what you do and how you can help them
Include media in your profile. Use eye-catching images and video to highlight campaigns you've worked on and spotlight yourself as a thought leader.
Reaching your audience
Did you know that 562 million people are signed up on LinkedIn, as of September of this year? Further, 40 percent of them are active on the site daily, checking out content from their connections and reading articles others are posting. That's a huge number of people who could be exposed to your message with one simple post.
Every time someone logs in, they're in the mindset of learning about career skills and connecting with others in their industry. They're ready to hear about what you, as a thought leader, have to say. This is what makes LinkedIn the prime spot for sharing your thought leadership expertise.
Using LinkedIn tools
LinkedIn provides various tools for publishing content and reaching a wide audience. Those tools include company pages, sponsored content, Showcase Pages and SlideShare. Using all of them together can help you develop a LinkedIn strategy for best showcasing your work. Here's how to use them.
Company pages – Use your company page as a landing page for anyone who sees your content and wants to learn more about what you're doing. Readers can look at your personal profile to learn about you, but they'll also want to know about the company and how your thought leadership is shaping that company. Post your content on your company page to reach customers, employees and followers.
Showcase Pages – These are extensions of your company page used to spotlight specific projects or branches of your business. Set up and use Showcase Pages to focus on a narrower audience that will be receptive to your specific messages.
Sponsored content – As on other social media sites, creating sponsored content on LinkedIn allows you to pinpoint your target audience so you have control over who sees your messages. You can also set your budget based on CPM or CPC. Use the analytics this tool provides to discover which messages are working and where you should be focusing your content.
SlideShare – In a survey, 32 percent of marketers said that visual images were the most important form of content for their business. SlideShare allows you to take your thought leadership to a new level by putting it into a visual form.
Consistency is key
A benefit and a drawback to social media is the constant influx of new information. There's always something new to see, and it's important that you don't let your voice get lost in the crowd. Posting new content consistently will help ensure that you always show up in your network's feeds and your content is always being shared.
That said, there's another number to keep in mind. Only 1 million users have published an article on LinkedIn. With such a large number of active users, that number seems pretty small. When you post content, you'll be part of a smaller group of thought leaders taking advantage of the opportunity LinkedIn provides to reach an audience.
With a large audience at your fingertips, a solid message to share and the ability to create a consistent posting schedule, you have everything you need to make LinkedIn work for you.