There’s no question that mobile has established itself as a default channel as far as the average consumer is concerned, and the growing cottage industry of turnkey software-as-a-service startups proves that getting on mobile is as ironclad a requirement as it gets in commerce.
But starting up a mobile operation is just one half of a potentially profitable coin. If retailers want to turn razor-thin mobile margins into reliable sources of revenue, some prescient strategizing and a little elbow grease will go a long way.
That’s the takeaway from an e-book on mobile revenue optimization put together by Kount, and rather than leaving mobile-challenged retailers in the dark, the firm outline the three key ways any merchant can maximize revenue from this channel – both by optimizing what’s coming in and preventing unscrupulous actors from siphoning it out.
Step 1: Maximize Mobile Revenue
Kount’s first conclusion may seem obvious to some merchants, although that doesn’t make it any less of a cornerstone of a successful mobile rollout. But of the dozens of ways merchants can pour resources into revenue optimization, which will yield the biggest returns?
False positives aren’t a terrible place to start. Improved mobile screening technologies that identify devices and the users attached to them through location tracking, device IDs, average user habits and more can take big chunk out of the transactions declined out of an abundance of caution against fraud. Doing this at scale might be impossible or at the least incredibly expensive for a team of humans, but the growing prevalence of artificial intelligence and machine learning in mobile analytics can hand the task of monitoring and red-flagging transactions to software more capable of the task.
As always, though, lost revenue is a two-way street. Retailers can deny legitimate transactions, but shoppers also aren’t afraid about leaving full carts a click away from the order page all because of improperly designed checkout pages. This isn’t a problem exclusive to mobile, but it is one where speed and details are key — anything outside of the 100-300 millisecond “approve/decline/review window” is as good as retailers opening the door through which their consumers will gladly leave.
Step 2: Minimize Mobile Fraud Losses
In a perfect world, retailers would situate themselves at the center of a Panopticon of mobile security, able to see anywhere and everywhere fraud via their mobile channel is about to occur. This, unfortunately, supposes that revenue losses to fraud can be completely eliminated. Rather, retailers will have a much easier time focusing on reducing the instances and impact of mobile fraud in the first place.
Just as fine-tuning screening strategies can prevent the denial of legitimate transactions, a steady hand will also refocus these prevention measures to target fraudulent purchases — and only fraudulent purchases. In particular, cooperation with other retailers through cross merchant linking and detailed monitoring of transaction velocity are strategies that Kount recommends for retailers who need to sail a tighter fraud prevention ship.
In some cases, though, a little top-level management can turn many would-be fraudsters away before they get anywhere close to revenue. Applying specific restrictions to known red flags like prepaid devices and forwarded numbers can help merchants identify and sidestep revenue losses from a mile away.
Step 3: Reduce The Cost Of Mobile Fraud Prevention
Again, the ideal fraud prevention strategy identifies and blocks every instance of illicit activity as soon as it rears its head. Whether this is possible is one question, but if it were, how much it would cost cash-strapped merchants is an equally important follow-up.
That’s why Kount recommended a blend of automation and integration to maximize the efficiency of fraud prevention programs without ballooning their costs. Human auditors, while effective in their own right, are not exactly efficient in terms of the bulk monitoring of fraudulent transactions. Tasks like these are much better suited to automated processes capable of reviewing transactions in real time, and shuttling all incoming purchases into an integrated channel that combines those originating on mobile, desktop and anywhere else limits the chances of fraudsters slipping by without the upkeep of independent systems.
It all might seem a little overwhelming for merchants that are just getting their mobile feet under them, but once the heavy lifting of revenue optimization and fraud prevention is taken care of, the best mobile revenue strategies can be as simple as setting it and forgetting it.
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