Fraud Protection That Focuses on Customer Experience

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Are your fraud protection methods driving away good customers? Learn how to have great fraud protection and great customer experience. 

When it comes to being successful online, merchants know they need to strike a balance between protecting their business against fraud while also providing a top-notch customer experience.

It’s harder than it sounds.

Retailers know that while preventing fraud is incredibly important, it can come at a price. If fraud prevention results in a negative experience that drives consumers away, it won’t matter much if a company is successfully stopping fraud.

For example, multifactor authentication and complicated passwords can make signing into an account a struggle for customers. If the process is too complicated, they won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere. Even brick-and-mortar retailers are experiencing new challenges as they try to protect their business and customers against fraud while also delivering an amazing shopping experience in the midst of a pandemic.

The good news is that there are several points during the customer journey where you’ll be able to easily decrease your risk of fraud while improving the customer experience. Here are three places to get started today.

Moment 1: Product Descriptions

Buying items online can often feel risky for shoppers. They like knowing what they’re getting — being able to touch, feel,  even try on an item before they buy it — but that just can’t happen with a purchase made sight-unseen.

And if the real deal doesn’t match up with what was advertised on your website, you run the risk of vocal, disgruntled customers and increased chargebacks.

One of the ways you can deliver on the trust customers are putting in you is by providing comprehensive product descriptions that answer the questions customers didn’t even know they had. When you’re ready to start writing the product descriptions that improve the customer experience and turn new buyers into long-term customers, don’t forget to integrate these two suggestions:

1. Amp Up Your Photos

When you’re trying to replicate the in-person shopping experience as closely as possible, include a photo gallery of pictures on your product pages. Prominently feature one product image while also including a photo gallery of high-resolution photos taken from multiple angles and featuring all product variants (size, color, etc.). Consider adding some nontraditional phototypes, too, like 360-degree spin photos (consumers love them) and user-generated photos.


JenniferTaylorHome.com features customer photos on its product pages.

These customer-submitted photos are a welcome change from the carefully staged pictures in your gallery and offer a more realistic view of how a product will fit into a customer’s life. When customers see other customers happily using your products, it helps demonstrate that you can be trusted to deliver exactly what you’re advertising, and it also shows customers are more than satisfied with their purchases from you. You’ll benefit from confident customers who can make educated decisions about a product before they buy it — translating into fewer returns and chargebacks.

2. Be Comprehensive in Written Descriptions

Just as important as great product photos for helping a customer choose the right item for them are the right product descriptions. Well-written, comprehensive descriptions can entice a consumer to make a purchase. But a sparse or a misleading description can cause shoppers to second-guess their purchases and abandon their carts or the checkout process.

But it can get even worse: If the reality of purchase based on a product description doesn’t match the customer’s expectations, customers may file an “Item Not as Described” chargeback. And that can cost you the price of the merchandise, shipping fees, and associated chargeback fees and penalties. These same disgruntled customers may even take to social media to complain, negatively affecting your online reputation.

Make sure your product description is going above and beyond to sell the product and give the customer everything they need to know by including information like:

  • Dimensions and shape
  • Materials
  • Any damage or defects
  • Care and storage instructions
  • Seasonal information
  • Allergen information
  • Links to product manuals
  • Comparison of data
  • Shipping costs and delivery windows
  • Anything else a customer might be interested in, such as the weight capacity of seating products. 

Don’t be afraid to get creative in your product descriptions, too. While it may seem like a fact-based description would be better for casting a wide net of potential purchasers, the best product descriptions are those that specifically address your target audience. Write your product description by imagining your ideal buyer and then using that to guide your language and use of humor to resonate with them.


Think Geek uses humor and gaming references to entice customers to purchase this floor mat.

Moment 2: Order Screening

After launching your e-commerce platform and activating the built-in fraud protection, it’s easy for you to think you’re protected. After all, a platform wouldn’t include fraud prevention if it didn’t do the job, right?

Unfortunately, these automated solutions aren’t always the right fit for your needs. Sure, basic fraud filters can quickly scan hundreds and thousands of purchases, but they don’t always do so accurately. In fact, these one-size-fits-all solutions can result in a significant percentage of transactions being falsely declined, which means these fraud filters are rejecting legitimate transactions.

Many merchants try to navigate this obstacle by adding in new fraud filters or changing the order in which these filters are applied — all of which can potentially backfire and result in the merchant being exposed to more risk than before. These false declines can also impact the relationships with the customers who have their transactions rejected, leaving them embarrassed, frustrated, and ready to take their business elsewhere.

But if you integrate manual reviews into your fraud prevention solution, you may find you can build your customer relationships and improve the shopper’s checkout experience, while also improving your fraud defenses.

The result to you is higher approval rates, safer revenue, and happier customers.

Moment 3: Manual Review

Speaking of manual reviews, having a specially trained team of fraud analysts manually reviewing every gray-area transaction can help fill gaps an automated fraud solution leaves behind. This increases the confidence that no legitimate transaction will ever be incorrectly denied outright.

But if the manual review isn’t performed correctly, it can cast a negative shadow on the customer’s shopping experience. If an order sits too long in the “to be reviewed” queue or the reviewer talks disparagingly to the customer, not only will you risk order cancellations, but you’ll also potentially see declines in important KPIs, like customer lifetime value and net promoter score.

Expert manual reviewers can truly shine at this moment. Not only can they detect subtle fraud patterns as they emerge, but they can also develop and apply more accurate fraud rules to guide transactional decisions. Even more, a skilled manual reviewer is adept at making the customer feel valued and protected, leaving the customer with a great experience and minimal delays.

Balancing Fraud Prevention With a Great Customer Experience

E-commerce merchants are keenly aware of the effects that negative customer experience can have on their business. But they’re just as aware of how fraud, chargebacks, and false declines can impact them. 

Luckily, balancing the two is possible simply by knowing how your e-commerce business might be at risk for fraud and where the pivotal moments are in your customer’s buying journey. Keeping these two things in mind, you can choose thoughtful, customer-centric solutions that provide a smooth customer experience while protecting your business.

Guest Post By Rafael Lourenco

Rafael Lourenco is Executive Vice President and Partner at  ClearSale, a card-not-present fraud prevention operation that helps retailers increase sales and eliminate chargebacks before they happen. The company’s proprietary technology and an in-house staff of seasoned analysts provide an end-to-end outsourced fraud detection solution for online retailers to achieve industry-high approval rates while virtually eliminating false positives. Follow on Twitter at @ClearSaleUS .

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Karthik Ramachandiran

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