Next step: Getting ready for the holiday shopping season

Based on the expertise and insights of Cybersource’s Managed Risk Analysts, we have put together a set of tips that will help you prepare your business for the holiday season. We can protect it from fraud and risk and provide a frictionless shopping experience to genuine customers.

You have now spent time evaluating your business and connecting the dots. Let’s bring it all together by providing tips on implementation and preparation. You can read the first blog of this series if you missed it.

Prepare for the holiday season. Part 2 CLICK TO TWEET

Prepare for the Holiday Shopping Season

Our tips are divided into three phases to help you prepare for the holiday season. These include evaluation, implementation and preparation. This post covers implementation and preparation.

Phase 2 – Implementation

Promote your marketing materials

You have taken the time to talk about your marketing role, made any necessary changes and created a strategy which brings your goals together. You should be aware that marketing may want to jumpstart things during peak season. It’s crucial to agree on dates, product limitations, and sales amounts. Many companies now run ‘Early Black Friday” sales. Is the fraud team prepared to stop customers from purchasing multiples of an item if the business decides to promote it with a one-per-customer limit? What is the definition of a ‘customer?’ Is it defined by email, payment or customer ID, and is this made clear in marketing materials and policies?

By preparing and solving this problem upfront, you can avoid manual intervention as well as fire drills. You will also achieve your goal of automating the process and providing a frictionless experience for customers.

Tip: Update policies

After you have gathered feedback, and are confident that your policies align with the goals of your business, ensure they are put into practice for customers to view. If you leave policies alone, they can remain unchanged for many years. “Because we’ve done it this way” can kill your success. Expect some resistance, but keep pushing forward.

Tip: Refresh your strategy

It’s now time to implement the changes. You’ll need to implement them early in order to have enough time for testing and re-testing. Simple mistakes like forgetting to account for currencies and regions, using ‘and statements’ instead of ‘or statements’, or not accounting for policies, can have a major financial impact. Do not wait until the volume reaches its peak to identify any gaps or errors.

Tip: Set expectations

A solid business plan, including marketing and fraud, can improve the chances of your business being successful. It’s vital to communicate your plans with all relevant teams. In the past, you might have needed extra support to help with manual review. This year, however, it may not be necessary. Be transparent about the demands of the season with your close colleagues and direct reports. Be transparent with your direct reports and close colleagues about the season’s demands. Consider how you can work with your team to make them feel supported and engaged during this busy time of the year.

Phase 3 – Prepare

Keep on track

A business can be put under a lot of stress during peak season. IT resources, staffing and product management will all have specific goals and responsibilities. In addition, all employees must provide world-class service and consider the customer’s expectations. Planning, automation and a focus on the customer experience can prevent chaos during peak season, so you can reap the rewards later.

Tips: Be agile

You still need to be flexible, even if you have spent months planning and making changes. If sales are up and customer engagement is high because of the changes, you will not have time to make any last-minute adjustments. Review your goals for the peak season. Check in with your supporting teams and quickly correct course.

KPI Monitoring: A tip

Measurement is the key to improvement. Compare your daily KPIs with the data of previous years, while taking into account any relevant changes in your business. Reporting should be automated to save you time. There are many tools and platforms with built-in functionality. You may need to change where you obtain your reporting if the focus of this peak season is different. We’ll look at some key areas.

    • Customer Service. Check with the team of customer service to see if complaints have risen or fallen, and take note of the reasons. If so, does the team have reporting available to them? You might find complaints about limitations on products, like the “limit one per customer” example we discussed earlier. What is the best place to fix this problem: fraud strategy, website or marketing?
    • Marketing. Ask the marketing team which items are gaining traction. It may be necessary to adjust your thresholds for velocity to account for spending patterns.
    • Finance. It may seem obvious, but the finance department is an excellent resource to measure success. In addition to checking the general health of sales through a revenue statement, you can also dig deeper into chargebacks. It is also an excellent time to discuss authorization rates and reason codes for declines. Communication and collaboration with the finance department can help you achieve success.