E-commerce sites protect yourself this holiday season

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and increased Black Friday sales are showing hope for the economy – especially for retailers and e-commerce sites this holiday season – it may be time for these businesses to consider some of the biggest issues of high volume shopping: deliverability and consumer fraud/identity theft.

The good news is profits are up and we may just be rising out of this brutal recession.  The bad news is fraud and identity theft are also up – by approximately 22% (10 million victims).

Take measures to protect yourself and your customers by instituting some form of verification process in your checkout interface. Credit card verifiers are always a good idea, but you can take it a step further and do what many medical establishments with online record access are doing to combat medical identity theft – plug in an address verification Web Service or an automatic reverse phone/address lookup to match customers with their information.  Some even use the Social Security Administration’s Death Index to make sure no one is using a deceased person’s identity to get health care – or buy a new coffee table.

And as for deliverability, the post office provides a nifty little (or not so little) database of addresses that providers can certify to use. The certification is called CASS(R), and rigorous tests must be passed to be able to provide this service.  When addresses are run through a CASS certified(R) system/Web Service/software, they are standardized, validated, and appended with whatever they are missing (if possible). Deliverability is validated, rezoning issues are fixed, and suite numbers are appended whenever possible. This service increases the speed of your deliveries and decreases UAA (undeliverable as addressed) mail, making your customers much happier when they receive their packages on time.

Just something to consider in this chaotic season of giving and receiving. Think about what verification can do for your business.  And have a happy holiday season – in the black!




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