2020 changed the way that customers shop. From buying in bulk to online shopping, COVID-19-related shifts in buying behavior translated into an additional $41.54 billion in digital revenue for November and December of 2020. As more customers turn to online shopping, many new users are experiencing false declines. Merchants are losing millions in missed revenue and loss of customer trust. Fraud prevention systems flag purchases as suspicious — false positives —- because the systems don’t recognize this new customer behavior. Businesses that would never turn away 40% of customers in a face-to-face setting are doing just that through e-commerce.
With twice the number of people shopping from home, new shoppers are five to seven times more likely to have their purchases declined than returning customers. These new shoppers are being denied the opportunity to become a customer. And with that false decline, shoppers are turning to competitor brands to complete the shopping experience. Customers do not like the hassle of card declines, especially if they do not know the reason, and will often find a comparable product on another site where the order is approved. 40% of those declined on the first visit will not try again on that merchant’s site.
What can be done to improve approval rates? The answer is to understand the main reasons ecommerce customers are lost. First, the fraud prevention tools may not have enough data to identify the customer, resulting in a decline. That data includes in-store behavior and purchase history, returns, coupons, loyalty programs and, finally, history with other e-commerce sites. Second, obstacles in the purchasing process, such as requiring more information than is required, may make the shopper feel nervous and lead to cart abandonment.