“I would say Riskified changed our lives.”
Eileen Shulock, VP eCommerce at Kirna Zabête
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In their attempts to compete with online-only merchants, many brick-and-mortar merchants focus on building their digital operations and offerings. They see it as the key to omnichannel success. While a robust online footprint is critical for competitiveness, it’s not a panacea. By concentrating solely on what they lack, these brick-and-mortar merchants are losing sight of one of the few real advantages they have over online-only competitors: their physical locations.

As a response to these customer demands, many merchants now offer buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) offerings, also known as click-and-collect, or in-store pickup (ISPU). Merchants can catch two birds with BOPIS: improve their staff and inventory efficiencies while simultaneously generating additional in-store revenue, as customers make unplanned purchases during in-store pickup.

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Ecommerce conferences, just like the eCommerce business-scape, have evolved considerably. On the heels of the global ascent of online shopping, new types of hybrid events are appearing: from traditional trade shows to more business-to-business meeting formats, and most of all – retail events that reflect the symbiotic relationship between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar.

For a retailer, or anyone involved in eCommerce, participating in these events is elementary. Whether it is to build a good business network, increase visibility and see what key players are up to. In a fast-evolving digital environment, attending leading events is the best way to anticipate developments and trends: omnichannel strategies, data science, artificial intelligence, new technology, payment systems, and much more.

For 2019, we’ve composed this list of the best conferences for online merchants and industry professionals to attend this year.

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In 2018 eCommerce evolved in some directions we expected… and others we didn’t. The holiday season rewrote the record books again – Black Friday sales in the US were up 23.6%, and, as of writing this, it looks like holiday season volume as a whole rose 20%. 

Regarding our cryptocurrency prediction, while bitcoin captured headlines last year, it had little impact on the payments landscape. As for fraud, we correctly predicted that attacks would become more commonplace in many staple (as opposed to luxury) industries. Our data shows that CNP fraud in food delivery services and consumer appliances crept up in 2018, while in North America the rate of attacks in sales for vapes (and related paraphernalia) fell slightly. In fashion, while the attack rate in Japanese and South Korean apparel orders rose in 2018, they were still much safer than similar US orders. 

So what does 2019 have in store? Here are five trends omni-channel retailers and online merchants should keep an eye on to help strategize and to protect their bottom line.

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Fraudsters are constantly looking to exploit vulnerabilities in eCommerce. They try a number of different approaches (“attack vectors”), and if one is proven effective, they exploit it until it’s discovered and the vulnerability closed. Fraudsters are ever-evolving, and, in order to stay ahead of them, merchants must stay abreast of the latest forms of eCommerce fraud to preempt them as quickly as possible.

At the same time, online shopping behavior is evolving just as quickly. Many merchants struggle to update their fraud-management strategies to account for the changes in customers’ lifestyles and their evolving expectations. That leads to false declines and missed opportunities.

Here we share three interesting order types we have seen over the last 12 months. We’ll show two tactics that we’ve seen fraudsters recently employ along with a suspicious-looking — but legitimate — order. This should help merchants understand how eCommerce fraudsters think and better respond to the threat.

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Ecommerce is a critical cog in the European economy, and growing in importance. In 2017, European online sales grew 11%, and in 2018 they will grow another 13%resulting in an annual volume of $602 billion Euros.

But there’s evidence that this online market has the potential for even more robust growth. According to a 2017 study, fewer than 40% of European merchants sell via a digital channel. Moreover, 74% cater only to their own country, in their own language, meaning there is massive untapped potential in cross-border sales. Another major factor holding back growth in European eCommerce is one many merchants aren’t even aware of: the unusually high rates of false declines in this market.

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We’ve written extensively in this blog about the scope and cost of false declines. Riskified estimates fear of fraud leads merchants to decline good orders at a total value equivalent to 5.5% of their annual online revenue. But false declines are only one leak in the payment funnel – most merchants don’t realize that around 10% of orders placed at their online store are declined even before they have a chance to capture funds.

In 2019, the $48B paid in chargebacks, and the roughly $187B that will be lost to orders falsely declined at checkout, will be dwarfed by the $340B of potential revenue that fails payment authorization.

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The holiday season is widely recognized as one of the biggest online shopping periods of the year. eCommerce revenue from the upcoming year-end sales is predicted to be 13% higher than 2017. For merchants, it’s an incredible opportunity to bolster annual revenue over the course of just a month or two, and to dramatically grow their customer base.

But managing the influx in traffic and shoppers is no easy task. With large order volumes on the horizon, merchants need to make sure their fraud operations can handle massive amounts of transactions without suffering fulfillment delays, false declines, or costly chargebacks. Reviewing data from previous years is crucial to forecasting and ensuring preparedness, and our new guide offers a novel approach to analyzing holiday performance.

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Any good captain will tell you it’s impossible to acquire customers in a turbulent industry like travel without a good flight plan. For airlines and online travel agencies (OTAs), that’s where loyalty and frequent flyer programs, alliances and partnerships, fare sales and social outreach all come into play.

But Facebook posts, low fares, and pretzel-filled lounges can only do so much to make thin margins work against sky-high acquisition costs. To be a truly efficient travel business, the hard work isn’t just about identifying, attracting and converting the right shoppers into paying customers. It’s also about having a reliable, scalable way to quickly tell the difference between a valid shopper and a bad actor. After all, what good is a forecast of clear skies if the right people can’t come along for the ride?

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Millennials — the first generation of digitally native consumers, or those born between 1980 and 2000 — are now the most populous group of consumers in the world. Their purchasing power is estimated to exceed $13 trillion worldwide by 2020, according to the Brookings Institute. US millennials are expected to spend the most on holiday shopping this year, spending as much as four times more than baby boomers.

As retailers overhaul their omnichannel offerings to appeal to these consumers’ needs, we have noticed a critical blind spot in their approach: imprecise and outdated fraud prevention strategies that fail to accommodate millennials’ unique lifestyle and shopping behavior, creating friction during checkout.

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Suppose you’re a seventeen year old who wants to buy a bottle of vodka from the liquor store. The problem, of course, is that you’re underage, and the cashier is definitely going to ask for some ID. So you have two ways to beat the system: buy/steal the ID of someone who looks a bit like you, or create your own fake ID from scratch.

Fraudsters who want to log in to your eCommerce site face a similar choice. In an Account Takeover (ATO), a fraudster obtains account credentials and poses as an existing loyal customer. Our guide to ATO covered these attacks in-depth. But there are also fraud MOs that involve creating fake accounts from scratch. As with ATO attacks, the fallout from these fake account scams goes well beyond just financial losses – It can hurt your brand, your reputation with banks, and your ability to provide loyalty benefits to good customers.

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