Beating the Rush: Keeping Operations Smooth When Order Volume Spikes
One of the biggest challenges of managing an operational team is staying one step ahead – spikes in inbound order volume happen throughout the year, and whether the result of the holiday season, promotional sale, or a successful marketing campaign, being proactive is paramount to ensure customer satisfaction and maximize sales conversion.
During these waves, many operational services provide flexible, on-demand solutions that can be activated for a specific period of time, without any disruption to the regular order flow. For example, UPS can provide scaled shipping solutions, and inventory operations, like manufacturing and storage, can adjust their volume and capacity as needed. If you host your shop on an ecommerce platform like Shopify or Magento, for instance, the platforms will automatically launch servers if the site is overloaded with traffic.
An often-overlooked part of an online business that can also benefit from a scalable on-demand solution is risk management and order review. When you suddenly receive an influx of orders, it can be beneficial to have a trustworthy service you can rely on to support the additional load. Once you integrate with such a service, you can begin automatically submitting orders for review, relieving pressure, and giving you peace of mind during high-volume periods.
Commonly Used Methods:
Aside from using a third party service, there are some strategies that may alleviate the stress of a growing order review queue. However, these tactics typically come with trade-offs.
Best Practices to Maximize Efficiency:
If you find that your team is anticipating an upswing in orders and needs some actionable steps to mitigate the peak, one of the best ways to optimize your review process during these periods is to maximize efficiency of your current team and process. Without adjusting automation models or filters, these best practices implemented by Riskified’s own analytics team are three of the quickest wins to maximizing efficiency.
1. Impact Ranked Data Display:
Display your order data in such a way that shows the most important or relevant information at the top of the page viewed by manual review staff. Limiting click throughs by displaying data hierarchically on the page according to priority can save a surprising amount of time. Highlighting mismatches can also draw the reviewer’s attention to order details that might warrant further investigation. Displaying correlations between various data points logically or clustering related order details next to each other can also help reviewers analyze the information more quickly. For example, listing IP data next to browsing history and email data, placing credit card information next to total order amount, and showing billing and shipping addresses comparatively can be very useful for your review staff.
2. External Data Intelligence:
Riskified uses third party data providers, like MaxMind, White Pages, and EmailAge to supplement order information provided by the customer when the order is submitted. Each of these data sources provides important information that can help verify an order and cut down on research time.
- Pay special attention to high-risk orders with MaxMindMaxMind provides IP detection and online fraud prevention tools. Their minFraud service can assign an order a risk score (link to their risk score page) which represents the likelihood that a given transaction is fraudulent. It is an aggregated data score, given as a percentage between 0.1-99. For example, an order with a score of 52.0 has a 52% chance of being fraudulent according to their calculations. MaxMind uses email data, IP data, address data, and information about the credit card country to assign an order a risk score. This can be a valuable indicator for a risky order, though sometimes orders flagged as high-risk by MaxMind can still be approved with additional research.
- Cross reference names and addresses with White Pages White Pages is one of the largest providers of contact information for North America. Its database functions much like a traditional Yellow Pages directory; it contains information about names and address, but in this case of White Pages, can also flag full and partial matches between names and addresses. It also lists whether an address is deliverable (accepts mail) and a brief location descriptor (whether it’s a single-family residence, multi-family unit, business etc.)
- Verify email addresses with EmailAge EmailAge utilizes secure cloud-based tools to validate and confirm the existence of email addresses and email domains. It can be useful for determining information about the email provided with the order; for example, EmailAge can tell you when an email address and the email’s domain were created. It also provides various measurements, like whether or not the email address has high velocity, if the email domain is high risk, or if the email is linked to a low or high risk account.
3. System and database operation:
One often overlooked detail that makes a significant difference in order review efficiency is ensuring that the system used by review staff is up-to-speed and functioning. Regularly checking that all relevant order details are displayed and accurate and that page load-time is quick can greatly improve order review time. Analysts should be instructed to immediately alert the appropriate manager should they see any data irregularities. Implementing an alert system or flagging orders with data gaps is a good way to ensure technical issues are promptly addressed by the development or engineering teams.
Thinking ahead: Long term planning and strategy
Electing to bring on a third party service during high-volume periods may be an attractive option for teams that do not have the resources to work on integrating outside data sources and sharpening order data displays. No matter the solution you ultimately choose, Riskified emphasizes investing in a solution that is sustainable and scalable, whether an in-house operation or sending orders to a third-party service. Optimizing order review and streamlining risk management processes are always top-of-mind for us, and we are happy share our best practices with enterprises looking to improve their current systems.