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How Staples is Fighting eCommerce Fraud this Holiday Season

To help retailers prepare for the holiday season, Whitepages Pro is talking to fraud managers at major online retailers who have been through it all before. Elie Chemaly from Staples joined us for the second in our webinar series. Watch the replay here. To learn more, don’t miss the replay of last week’s LEGO webinar, and sign up here to hear how Urban Outfitters fights fraud.

As a brick and mortar retailer with a large online presence, Staples faces some unique challenges when it comes to fraud prevention. In 2017, eCommerce spending is expected to have another double-digit increase over last year, which means Elie Chemaly, Senior Manager of Global Fraud & Investigations at Staples, has more to do than ever.

Throughout the year, Staples’ business is primarily B2B, though they see a fair amount of B2C during holiday season, in part due to promotions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Elie’s team is responsible for Staples’ multiple banners—Staples.com, Staples.ca, and Staples Business Advantage (the company’s B2B site)—and expect to see an influx of traffic coming into fraud queues over the next two months, driven by opportunistic fraudsters wanting to blend in with holiday traffic.

Elie spoke with us about fraud trends he expects to see this year, how to prepare your fraud team, and how Staples handles the specific challenges of combining eCommerce with brick and mortar.

  • 2017 shopping and fraud trends: Elie expects that changes in both fraud methods and shopping patterns will affect the 2017 holiday season. The many data compromises we’ve seen in the industry this year are likely to be weaponized in synthetic IDs, credential attacks, and account takeovers. At the same time, shopping patterns are expected to shift in new trends like “Couch Thursday,” when shoppers take to their laptops and mobile devices to recover from turkey dinner with a pre-Black Friday online shopping spree. Elie’s team is preparing for heavy traffic by making sure they have a streamlined approach to information verification.
  • Preparing your fraud team: Elie advises eCommerce retailers to benchmark last year’s traffic in order to get granular on traffic trends for this year. That, along with partnering with the merchandising and marketing teams to understand upcoming promotions, will help you staff appropriately and design your fraud strategy to align with anticipated traffic patterns. He also recommends taking good care of your fraud team, since they’ll likely be working longer hours away from their families. Effective scheduling and recognition can go a long way toward keeping your team in good spirits.
  • Combining eCommerce with brick and mortar: Retailers who split their revenue between eCommerce and brick and mortar will especially appreciate Elie’s discussion of managing fraud in buy online, pickup in store. Because Staples has a 1-hour pickup guarantee, the team needs to speed store pickup orders through the queue as soon as possible. Elie suggests focusing on disparities between billing address and pickup location, and tightening policies allowing alternate individuals to pick up product. Since the name of the game is speed, it’s critical fraud teams don’t have to search around the internet for identity verification information.

Watch the 30-minute webinar replay here, and be sure to listen through to the Q&A at the end, where Elie answers a number of great audience questions about specific market challenges.

About our guest speaker

Elie Chemaly | Staples
Senior Manager of Global Fraud & Investigations
Elie Chemaly leads fraud strategy for Staples’ global e-commerce properties with teams focused on real-time fraud detection, fraud analytics, modeling, and investigations for Staples’ 1,256 US retail stores.

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