By Steve Platt, Executive Vice President, Fraud and Identity, Experian

Guest Perspective: How to Ensure Customers are Happy AND Protected While Shopping Online In the last few years we have seen a gradual shift in customer expectations when it comes to their online shopping experience. Historically, customers didn’t mind an interruption in their shopping if it allowed for increased security measures and stronger protection. They appreciated the concern. Today’s consumer, however, demands a smooth, enjoyable and safe experience without any hassle. They expect the places where they do business to safeguard them in ways that don’t waste their time, question their intentions or force them to prove who they are each and every time. Instead of appreciating the extra steps as they had in the past, today’s online shoppers feel frustrated with the extreme overload of more passwords, authentication, identity confirmations, etc. Consumers expect to be recognized and welcomed in every channel available to them. They are right to expect this. And when it doesn’t happen, it’s more than inconvenient. It erodes loyalty and damages trust.

Retailers are left with the challenge of balancing the customer experience with financial protection. And, this isn’t a one-and-done concept. In some cases, we’ve found consumers are willing to forgo certain levels of protection for a hassle-free shopping experience, yet there is still an expectation that strong anti-fraud protection measures are in place—preferably ones that go unnoticed. That’s the consumer perspective. The fraudsters themselves are not predictable, and the speed at which they evolve their tactics adds even more complication. They take advantage of any opportunity while retailers work to keep up, protect shoppers and grow their business. To avoid losing customers and revenue, retailers need to find a way to sort the good from the bad and understand who their customers really are without impacting the customer experience.

Fortunately, there are actions retailers can take now to minimize fraud, maximize customer satisfaction and confidence and accelerate business growth. What are the best ways to balance customer protection with customer experience?