Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be behind us, but the holiday shopping rush has only just begun. Between now and January 1, millions of people will order gifts for family and friends online and on mobile. Last year, the sharp uptick in holiday shopping was accompanied by a 22% increase in ecommerce fraud.
If you’re on a fraud or risk team, you might be thinking there’s nothing more you can do to prep. With three weeks until Christmas, surely the fraud-fighting ship has sailed. But that’s not true! We chatted with Courtney Fahrer, fraud guru and former head of marketplace ops at Wanelo, and Jeff Sakasegawa, trust & safety architect at Sift Science. Here are three of their last-minute tips for these crazy final weeks of the holiday fraud rush.
1. Do a Black Friday/Cyber Monday post mortem.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the most strenuous tests of your fraud prevention solution that you’ll experience all year. Although there’s not enough time to thoroughly audit your performance from those two days, there is enough time for a quick check-in. Take a quick look at the data to see how your team performed: your false positive rate, how quickly your team got through their manual review queue, your fraud volume, how many orders were auto-rejected, and more.
Based on those data, see if you can many any quick adjustments to your machine learning system or rules. Even minor adjustments can make a huge difference as those orders keep rolling in. If your team’s performance wasn’t quite what it should have been, you might consider pulling in reinforcements — maybe hire a few contractors, or recruit some customer service reps.
2. Make sure everyone is aligned.
Start with your team. Get everyone in the same room to make sure you’re aligned on expectations, concerns, and goals. Ask about their experience over Black Friday and Cyber Monday to ensure nothing fell through the cracks. A quick check-in is a great opportunity to take the team’s pulse: gauge their morale, take a closer look at their workload, and see whether you can make any improvements.
It’s also important to ensure you’re aligned cross-functionally. Throughout the holiday season, your product and marketing teams are working overtime to push out new features and promotions for customers. Fraudsters sometimes take advantage of major sales events to test stolen credit cards or commit other scams. Even otherwise honest customers might engage in email tumbling, promo abuse, or other forms of fraud. Double check with the product and marketing teams: Are there any sales on the calendar that you don’t know about? Any new features you should be aware of? Armed with this information, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
3. Ask for help!
The fraud-fighting world can get pretty secretive. That’s understandable: people in risk, fraud, trust & safety, and ops deal with a lot of proprietary information that they can’t share. But there’s no harm in sharing learnings — in fact, it can be really helpful! Reach out to friends in the space to ask for tips or hear how they’ve handled the holiday fraud rush in the past. Check out nearby conferences or meet-ups for fraud-fighters. You never know what you might learn.