With the start of peak shopping season, you're likely moving on to the final phase of your preparations. Check out our four tips on what to focus on as you count down.
If you followed the tips in our previous blogs, you'll have done most of the heavy lifting involved in peak shopping season preparations by now. Most recently, in phase two, you'll have:
- Moved ahead with your A/B testing
- Reviewed 2020 peak season performance and set goals for 2021
- Followed up on your IT requests to get them implemented in good time
- Aligned your communications (internally and with partners) and agreed on your team's PTO
Now, as Black Friday draws near, we have four recommendations for the final phase of your planning schedule.
Tip 1. Make sure your fraud screening data is up to date
When it comes to the truth about fraud, chargeback data is your most reliable source—without it, you're simply guessing. Chargeback data provides you with a clear understanding of the types of business and transaction that fraudsters are (and aren't) targeting. When the chargeback data is fed into the machine learning risk models, it generates a source of truth data automating future risk reviews, minimizing time to approvals, and increasing order acceptance. This is foundational when identifying risky transactions.
We recommend you ensure your fraud screening system has access to all the latest chargeback data to help it accurately identify fraud.
Tip 2. Clean up your customer lists
Besides ensuring your fraud data is current, it's also the right moment to clean up your positive, negative and any other customer-identifying lists. Update your positive lists with any target customer lists provided by marketing during your work with them in phase 1 on identifying promotion and sale periods.
When it comes to negative lists, try to be systematic about clearing out old entries. Also consider supporting your negative list with additional data points for a more nuanced approach. For example, instead of flatly rejecting all customers on the negative list, you could reject only negative list customers who are shopping for low-risk or low-value items. Taking account of additional data points—such as shipping method, loyalty status and velocity—can help you use your negative list more accurately and make more informed decisions about which orders to reject and which to accept.
Tip 3. Start migrating customers based on your A/B testing
In the previous preparation phase, you carried out A/B testing of your fraud strategies to dial in your peak season plan. Now you're ready to begin moving customers onto your new strategy before sales volumes start to take off.
Instead of migrating your customers all at once, we recommend you do it gradually. One approach is to migrate customers according to how you segment them. You could start with a lower-risk customer group and work your way up to the highest-risk group. A key advantage of this type of phased approach is that you can make adjustments as you go along without having to completely revert to your 'pre-peak' configuration.
Tip 4. Prepare and forecast chargeback volumes for post peak
In phase 1 you educated the finance and other supporting teams on the chargeback process and timeline, and anticipated chargeback volumes. But things may have changed since you put that forecast together, so take the time to revisit the numbers and update your forecast if necessary, to ensure it's as accurate as possible. Among the factors worth reviewing:
- Did your IT enhancement request get implemented? If so, how has initial usage impacted on your KPIs?
- If a high-risk product or item was due to be released for sale during peak shopping season, is that still on the cards? If so, have there been any policy amendments around buying it, such as a change in quantity limits?
- Has your organization recently experienced a bot or other attack that's revealed a vulnerability that could increase your organization's exposure to fraud risk?
We trust you've found our peak season preparation tips helpful, and we wish you a successful peak season. If you're not yet a Cybersource customer, learn how Decision Manager, our fraud management solution, and our Managed Risk Services team can help you manage fraud risk while delivering a great customer experience—during peak season and throughout the rest of the year.