Guest Column | December 7, 2021

3 Secret Tips For Having Your Best Year Ever As A U.S. eCommerce Business

By Liron Damri, Forter

Three 3 Tips

It’s no secret that U.S. eCommerce is booming. Sales surged 32.4 percent in 2020, as consumers stayed home and gobbled up everything from groceries to apparel, games, technology, and more. Consumers spent $791.70 billion online last year and are poised to buy even more in 2021, up to $933.3 billion.

As a result, it’s never been a better time to grow your eCommerce business. However, to make the most of willing buyers with open wallets, it pays to mind the back end, optimizing payment processes to make it easy for customers to buy. eCommerce teams are mindful that process friction, in the form of too many steps, causes customers to stop midway through payment processes, resulting in lost sales. Here are three strategies for avoiding that fate:

Maintain alignment with issuing banks: Retailers may approve buyers’ transactions, only to have them declined by issuing banks. That may happen because banks perceive higher risk than actually exists, causing merchants to lose valuable business.

An easy way to address this issue is by maintaining alignment with your issuing banks. Retailers can do this by sharing real-time identity-based fraud data, increasing banks’ insight into buyers, their behaviors, and risk profile. By doing so, we have found that retailers can reduce false declines by 85 percent and increase approval rates by one to three percent, which could have a significant positive impact on the bottom line.

Customers whose purchases are declined may end the relationship. That’s especially true for brand-new customers. Studies have found that 40 percent of declined new users won’t return, meaning that potentially years of product sales are at stake. Since false declines cost the retail industry 75 times more than fraud, solving this problem now could open up the door to faster, more profitable growth.

Capitalize on exemptions: From our data, we’ve witnessed that the process friction customers experience interacting with 3D Secure solutions can drive cart abandonment of more than 20 percent. That’s occurring in European Economic Area (EEA) countries governed by Payment Services Directive 2, but also affects global retailers operating in Europe. These regulations shift liability for fraud from businesses to banks, but that does not mean businesses can afford to also outsource customer experience—leaders are looking for ways to implement 3DS and to use exemptions to complete more transactions.

While the process isn’t easy, merchants can tap partners for support. Online fraud detection (OFD) platforms use advanced technology such as persona graphs and automated decisions to authorize online transactions with confidence and provide protection across every touchpoint. During this process, OFD platforms determine buyer identity and risk, while also reviewing transactions to see if they qualify for PSD2 exemptions around transaction value and risk. Merchants can then send verified transaction traffic to banks, protecting their standing and maximizing their potential of achieving PSD2 exemptions.

Implement an online fraud detection platform: By 2023, nearly 420 billion customer transactions worth $7 trillion are expected to move from cash to cards and digital payments. As a result, the race is on to secure eCommerce processes. Cyberattacks threaten eCommerce because that’s where the money is, evolving their techniques to match pace with the latest technology. Increasingly, they’re not just able to steal customer data, but also to impersonate identities at scale.

As a result, many eCommerce leaders realize that point solutions won’t help them grow their business, protect customers and meet regulatory mandates. Instead, they need an OFD platform that helps them form trusted conversions, authorizations, and policies. An ideal OFD platform would use more than a billion buyer personas to evaluate transactions for risk and evolve them all the time. Automated processes powered by machine learning would scan transactions and deliver decisions in as fast as 400 milliseconds, providing a seamless customer checkout experience.

These processes also enable merchants to connect directly with issuing banks to share fraud decisions and insights and transactional data, benefitting all parties and strengthening these vital relationships. Together, these groups can screen out chronic abusers who industrialize processes to steal millions and billions of dollars in transaction value. Finally, OFD platforms should be backed by significant expertise, with researchers continually studying the latest fraud issues and tactics and using this information to evolve their technology.


While business is booming for retailers, they may be losing significant transaction value they’re not fully aware of. Thus, it makes sense for many to rethink their approach to verifying buyer identities and transactions as the all-important holiday season approaches. Evolving fraud detection now can pay rich ongoing dividends that lift revenue and profitability by reducing false declines, maximizing PSD2 exemptions, and evolving processes to combat the latest fraud tactics.

About Forter

Forter is an online fraud protection platform used by eCommerce retailers and marketplaces such as Farfetch, Sephora, Nordstrom, Instacart, Adobe, and Priceline.