Walmart is testing out a new solution designed to automatically address soft declines on its eCommerce site.
Walmart Labs, the technology arm of Walmart, discovered that most declined purchases on the retail giant’s site were soft declines, which are credit card rejections due to generic issuer errors such as server timeout or issuer unavailability. While the site usually sends a customer back to the payment page to re-enter their credit card information after a soft decline, many customers ultimately decide to abandon their rejected purchases.
“To save the orders dropped off from Soft Declines, we implemented a feature that automatically resends the same card/name/address information the customer had previously entered after the payment receives a Soft Decline,” wrote Ling Jing, product analytics manager, payments, in a blog post. “The response of the automatic attempt overwrites the initial Soft Decline status. This version retries once, and the response on the auto retry is the final status of the attempt and was tested against the original version using Expo.”
The final results of the test showed that the solution resulted in an incremental lift in gross merchandise volume (GMV) per visitor for credit card payments on Walmart.com. In addition, historical data showed that orders with high basket size were more likely to be soft declined, so the automatic retry has helped to authorize these orders.
“This feature was really successful in terms of the level of effort to achieve and the amount of revenue lifted,” added Jing. “The great results of this also inspired us to apply the same feature to other business units like Photo, Vudu and Grocery. We look forward to seeing more successful stories from future experiments. While the results may have seemed obvious, running an AB test helped to validate and quantify the actual lift generated, which is a big reason for running tests to begin with.”