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Seven signs of online fraud

BY CSA STAFF

Everyone knows detecting fraudulent e-commerce activity is crucial, but how do you know when something is up?

Fraud detection provider Simility aggregated patterns across 500,000 browser-based devices throughout January 2016. Analysts looked for patterns in the 10,000 (or 2%) of those devices that were in the hands of fraudsters and contrasted those with the other 98% of devices in the hands of good or “organic” users.

Simility discovered seven anomalies that were leading indicators of fraud:

1. 32-bit OS running on 64 bit processors: A transaction is eight times more likely to be fraudulent if the device configuration matches this description. Similty analysis indicates this is often because fraudsters use “cracked versions” of older Windows machines which are imaged and then explicitly programmed for greater control.

2. Fresh cookies without old cookies: Fraudsters clear their cookies 90% of the time, whereas organic users clear cookies only 10% of the time. Thus cookie age is a strong fraud signal, and browser cookies are more likely to be good the older they are.

3. Null values: Browsers have a “Do Not Track feature. For organic/real users, the possible options are “Yes”, “No”, and “Unspecified.” The default setting is “No” 70% of the time. With fraudsters, this value is often “null” which is not among possible organic values. There are more browser configuration parameters where fraudulent devices have values other than the possible organic values.

4. Flushed browser referrer history: Fraudsters often flush their browser referrer history. Less than 5% of the organic population explicitly filters their referrer history using third-party plugins or extensions. Fraudsters as a population are five times more likely to do this.

5. Fraudsters don’t use Macs: Windows desktop and laptop have a dominant market share organically (90%-plus overall) and 70%-plus among the sampled data of users. However, more than 96% of fraudsters use Windows.

6. Fraudsters do not install a lot of plugins and extensions: Ninety percent of fraudsters having less than five plugins in the browser. By comparison, good users have more plugins, and in fact 5% of the organic population have more than 25 plugins/extensions installed.

7. Fraudsters don’t go incognito: A user in “private mode” is more likely to be good than bad. Surprisingly, fraudsters do not enable private mode. Organic users are three times more likely to prefer private mode.

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Tailored Brands alters growth plans with 250 store closings

BY CSA STAFF

The company formerly known as Men’s Wearhouse plans to significantly reduce its physical presence this year by closing 250 stores, including more than 20% of the Jos. A. Bank stores acquired in 2014.

The major reduction is selling space by the company which changed its name to Tailored Brands earlier this year was announced in conjunction with the release of weak fourth quarter results that were in line with previously released results, which showed Jos. A. Bank stores had 32% decline in same-store sales.

“Our transition away from unsustainable promotions has proven significantly more difficult and expensive than we expected,” Tailored Brands CEO Doug Ewert. “We do, however, remain confident that Jos. A. Bank offers a longer-term opportunity to profitably grow market share in the menswear business. Additionally, our Men's Wearhouse, Moores, and K&G brands continue to perform well, with profitability in line or ahead of our expectations.”

To fix the situation, Ewert said the company would close between 80 and 90 Jos. A. Bank stores and all 49 of the brand’s outlet stores. At the end of the fourth quarter, Jos. A. Bank operated 625 locations. Also slated for closure at nine Men’s Wearhouse outlet stores, but none of the company’s 714 Men’s Wearhouse store. Between 100 and 110 stores branded as MW Tux are due to close.

“We have determined that outlet stores, which collectively were not profitable, are not sufficiently differentiated enough from our core offerings and have not resonated with our customers,” Ewert said.

The closing of store offering formalwear marks the continuation of a strategy to migrate tuxedo rentals to full line stores and a new store-within-a-store concept with Macy’s. Ewert said Tailored Brands has refined its Tuxedo Shop @ Macy's rollout schedule and now plan to open 166 stores in 2016 with another 122 locations due to open in 2017."

The closures and prompted the company to take a nearly $1.2 billion goodwill and intangible asset impairment change in the fourth quarter which resulted in a loss of $21.86 per share. On an adjusted basis to exclude the non-cash charge, the loss per share was 30 cents.

As previously reported in February, same-store sales at Men's Wearhouse increased 4.3% and K&G comps increased 1.9%.

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Specialty retailer mobilizes social efforts

BY CSA STAFF

Bag, Borrow or Steal, a specialty online retailer that allows consumers to buy, rent and sell luxury handbags and accessories, is all about creating a sense of community.

To further enhance the feeling of connectedness among customers, Bag, Borrow or Steal is partnering with mobile marketing solutions provider Zumobi to curate and optimize its social content for mobile shoppers. Using the Zumobi Zbi brand integration platform, Bag Borrow or Steal aggregates content from its blog, Twitter and Instagram feeds into a dynamic shopping experience called a microzine that is optimized for the mobile Web.

A key component of the microzine is the ability to introduce shoppable content, allowing the retailer to offer direct links to purchasable items in the social content delivered to customer mobile devices. The retailer is also partnering with Seattle-based digital marketing agency Hi Pop Media to produce the microzine.

Bag, Borrow or Steal is also able to collect and analyze customer data for refined targeting, as well as measure overall mobile content performance. Customers receive personalized mobile content based on their behavior and shopping history.

“Our job as a retailer now requires the ability to not only stay ahead of fashion trends, but digital trends as well, as more consumers take their shopping habits to their smartphone,” said Robert Treves, COO of Bag Borrow or Steal. “This year, we’re focused on jumpstarting our mobile efforts and engaging smartphone users – a new audience for our company. Zumobi’s Microzine enables us to accomplish this by providing an elegant app-like experience for our customers, without developing a separate app.”

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