This year, back-to-college spending is expected to hit an all-time high. And back-to-school spending is anticipated to be almost as impressive, with its second-highest spending level on record.
That’s according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey tracking consumer patterns around the back-to-school season. We're looking at a total spending in the range of $83.6 billion. That represents a significant increase from last year’s $75.8 billion - a growth of more than 10%.
It’s nearly two years since the 2015 festive season when Comscore declared that “mobile is eating brick-and-mortar retail.” Since then, mobile’s increasing importance has only become more apparent. UPS recently reported that 80% of U.S. shoppers have used an app from a retailer, and this year a CTA study found that two out of three shoppers turn to mobile devices.
Are you prepared to make mobile shopping a pleasure?
Naturally, one of the groups particularly enamoured with their mobile devices is the millennial generation - who are also key influencers in the back-to-school and back-to-college spending spree. Yet, how many retailers are fully prepared to provide the smooth, seamless mobile experience their customers are looking for this summer?
Many merchants invest considerable efforts in site design and user experience, only to fall down on one particular point. Unfortunately, that point is part of the crucial checkout process. It’s fraud prevention.
Why fraud prevention matters to mobile...
It’s not uncommon for online commerce to underestimate the impact fraud prevention has on checkout. It’s often siloed as a risk consideration, not part of the discussion about customer experience. Yet, since it sits at the point of checkout, and can reject or delay customers’ orders, failing to take it into account can cost you sales. During busy periods such as back-to-school, that can be an expensive mistake.
The Annual Fraud Benchmark report found that 61% of merchants support m-commerce, up from 52% in last year’s survey. That makes sense - retailers are getting in on the mobile action, aware that their customers are already of a mobile-first mentality. But those that specifically track the fraud originating from mobile transactions fell from 52% last year to 49%.
That’s not a good sign for fast, easy mobile orders this season.
… and why many merchants get it wrong
As we’ve discussed before on this blog and elsewhere, mobile fraud protection has to be treated differently to e-commerce. You make fraud decisions based on the data you receive about every transaction. Since the data you get from mobile is different, you need to calibrate your system for that. If you don’t, or you don’t do it right, your customers’ experience suffers and so do your sales.
Chargebacks are one of the primary ways that fraud detection improves. If you’re not learning from chargebacks, you’re not learning properly. You’re likely to increase false positives and increase successful fraudulent attacks. If you’re not tracking chargebacks by channel, then you’re not analyzing your data on a by-channel basis.
Your marketing team will tell you that consumers on mobile devices have different requirements and display different browsing patterns to consumers - even the same consumers - on a computer. A marketing team that isn’t analyzing what works (and what doesn’t) for retail sites versus mobile sites or apps, isn’t forming a complete picture of the consumer lifecycle or how they ought to target it effectively.
Fraud prevention is just the same.
The dress rehearsal of back-to-school
If your fraud prevention isn’t ready for the mobile crowd of back-to-school shoppers, don’t throw up your hands in despair. Treat it as a salutary wake-up call. You can get ready in time for the holidays just around the corner.
Review and research the data you have about mobile and fraud, and talk to your fraud prevention provider about how to deal with this challenge. Forter’s system is built from the ground up to decision mobile transactions as mobile (rather than a version of e-commerce) and the result is that we recently received a Customer Choice Award for Best Mobile Fraud Prevention.
You can make sure that your customers love the mobile experience you’re providing just as much as ours do. With back-to-school happening right now and the holidays on their way, make sure you’re ready to make checkout frictionless for your good mobile customers, and impenetrable for the fraudulent ones.
Forter's fraud prevention is designed to optimize for mobile - there's a reason our customers chose us for Best Mobile Fraud Protection of the year. So if you want to make the mobile experience on your site as smooth as possible, get in touch.
To find out more about what makes mobile different for fraud prevention, read about this Forrester study.