Building Off the Off-Season

A guide to optimizing your Q1 downtime

By Lilach Baumer

January 2022

Inside this guide

Merchants look forward to the holiday season and its revenue, but know that skyrocketing traffic and sales result in heightened fraud, inventory and fulfillment issues, and overwhelmed customer support teams. The ramifications – chargebacks galore, dissatisfied customers, and less money coming in – roll in with the new year. Savvy merchants, however, can leverage Q1 to create post-holiday growth by safely incentivizing account creation and offering loyalty-building policies and promotions, while also taking steps to avoid fraud-related pitfalls and decentivize bad actors. This guide discusses how retailers can future-proof against the holiday season’s downfalls and leverage this period as part of their full-year growth strategy.

Table of Contents

Understand your chargeback rate—and control it year-round

Dispute chargebacks to recoup costs and dissuade repeat offenders

Focus on customer retention to ensure future growth

Return and refund abuse: shift from cutting costs to maximizing revenue

What can we learn from the first holiday season under PSD2?

Chargebacks and disputes

Chargebacks and disputes

Learn how the holiday season’s fraud profile impacts your Q1 chargebacks and potential disputes, and the difference between physical and digital goods



Turning new customers into repeat ones is the real opportunity of the season. Read how account creation—and protection—impacts your customer lifetime value

Policy abuse

Policy abuse

A deluge of returns follows the holiday season, and with it, return and refund abuse. What can merchants do to protect themselves?