Nobody said online commerce was easy but today’s environment resembles a constant high-wire act where retailers must constantly adapt to avoid shopping cart abandonment while stopping the bad guys.

In fact, researchers estimate approximately $4 trillion1 worth of merchandise and as much as 75% of all potential transactions will be abandoned in online shopping carts this year. While at the same time, businesses lost an estimated $3.5 trillion globally from retail fraud in 20142. Online retailers realize that improvements are required to increase conversion rates, but may also think they need to gather more personal information to ensure shoppers really are who they say they are.

Privacy Concerns

It’s a fine line to walk, as privacy has also become a key component of shopping cart abandonment. Customers don’t want to disclose too much information, and are afraid it may be comprised if they do. The prevalence of data breaches with retailers such as Target, Ebay and Home Depot have no doubt fueled this concern. According to a recent consumer study3, 25% of respondents have discontinued an online transaction because they were dissatisfied with the level of privacy provided by the merchant, and 51% have withheld personal information due to concerns about personal privacy.

Customer Experience

In addition to privacy concerns, customers are increasingly influenced by how easy or intuitive a site is to use, or the number of steps necessary to complete a purchase. Case in point; last year Gartner4 reported that 64% of people think customer experience is more important than price in their choice of brand, and expect that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.

So how do online and mobile retailers improve customer experience to stem the tide of cart abandonment, but also address privacy concerns and adequately protect their business to guard against global losses?

Device Intelligence

Adding device intelligence to the equation can be key to curbing shopping cart abandonment. We consider a device to be anything that can connect to the Internet, such as a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or even a Smart TV. By simply deploying a behind-the-scenes device check during the customer’s transaction, the online merchant can alleviate the need to collect more personal data. That’s because if done correctly, device intelligence gives retailers information about past transactions made from a specific device and other fraud indicators like where the transaction originated, the time of day a transaction was made, etc. This intelligence can be used to streamline the transaction, mitigate privacy concerns and improve the customer experience. By integrating device intelligence at key touchpoints such as payment, order submission and order tracking, online and mobile retailers can build in frictionless protection against chargebacks, payment and shipping fraud, account takeover and more.

To strike the best balance, retailers should consider employing a flexible strategy that adapts authentication measures to mirror the risk level of each transaction. One such approach is used by iovation partner Equifax, as described in their new video on Equifax Progressive Authentication. For more information on how iovation is powering this solution, read the press release.

Much like retail in the physical world, there’s more than meets the eye in online commerce; from privacy concerns to bad guys lurking at every turn. While device intelligence can’t make all of a retailer’s problems go away, it can be a good method to keep retailers shopping carts increasingly on track.

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[1] Business Insider, Cooper Smith, Mar 4 2015, “Shopping cart abandonment: online retailers’ biggest headache if actually a huge opportunity,” http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-retailers-can-reduce-shopping-cart-abandonment-and-recoup-billions-of-dollars-in-lost-sales-2014-4

[2] Kerr Consulting, May 18, 2015, “Online Fraud Prevention,” http://kerrconsulting.com/online-fraud-prevention/

[3] CardNotPresent.com, Feb 2, 2015, “Report: Privacy Concerns a Factor in Shopping-Cart Abandonment,” https://cardnotpresent.com/news/cnp-news-feb15/Report__Privacy_Concerns_a_Factor_in_Shopping-Cart_Abandonment_-_Feb__2,_2015/

[4] Neosperience Team, Dec 12, 2014, “10 Useful Customer Experience Statistics for your 2015 Strategy,” http://blog.neosperience.com/10-useful-customer-experience-statistics-for-your-2015-strategy