Introduction

Until recently, jewelry and watches was the fastest growing category in fashion. But the industry has experienced a downturn over the last few years, with jewelry and watch retailers increasingly turning to eCommerce to reach new customers and boost sales. As a result of this shift, a growing portion of sales can now be attributed to digital channels. The online share of watch and jewelry brand sales in the US increased from less than a third in 2011, to over half in 2016. Globally, online sales are projected to account for 25% of the jewelry market by 2020.

For some retailers, selling online is unchartered territory. While consumers may hold concerns over the authenticity of jewelry and watches purchased digitally, merchants face a different set of fraud-related challenges – namely, card-not-present (CNP) fraud. Being light weight, high value items makes jewelry and watches classic targets for fraudsters. Compounding this threat is the large secondary market, fueled by enthusiastic resellers of branded goods.

Every business selling online is wary of chargebacks, but jewelers and watch retailers pay an especially high price for accepting fraudulent orders, as a large share of online revenue is made off a relatively small selection of high ticket items. Unfortunately, the fraud prevention measures implemented by online retailers in response to this frequently involve the application of rigid fraud filters that ultimately block good customers.

As eCommerce becomes more prominent, retailers need to consider how to adjust their operations to stay ahead of the game. To capture new markets and continue reaching revenue goals, jewelry and watch sellers must balance CNP fraud prevention with the need to provide a smooth shopping experience. This means reducing manual intervention and limiting the use of high-friction validation measures (e.g. contacting customers over the phone).

Riskified has extensive experience protecting online jewelry and watch retailers from CNP fraud. In this report, we share best practices for effectively distinguishing between fraud attempts and legitimate shoppers, with the goal of helping retailers safely grow eCommerce revenue.