How an Innovative Menswear Retailer Cut Chargebacks by 90%
By Sarah Beldo /
2 Aug 2016
Combatant Gentlemen (Combat Gent) is a design-to-delivery menswear company using technology to ultimately offer high-quality products and approachable, aspirational price points. Launched in 2012 with the mission of using technology to help guys get where they want and need to go, Combat Gent is growing fast. They just launched their first retail store in Santa Monica, and are gearing up to add even more offline experiences and partnerships, along with new product lines and collections.
We chatted with Mohit Melwani, CPO and Co-Founder at Combatant Gentlemen, to learn more about how this thriving retail business protects itself from payment fraud and chargebacks as it grows.
Tell us a bit about your audience and market.
We’re definitely in the space for millennials. A lot of our guys just graduated college. They’re starting and scaling their careers. They’re getting married, and they need suits and essentials but can’t afford to break the bank for quality styles. That’s where we come in. There’s nobody else who comes close to the value and experience we offer, and that’s something we’re extremely proud about.
What was your fraud situation before Sift Science?
Most of our fraudulent orders involved stolen credit cards. It was somebody on the internet purchasing orders with someone else’s information, and we found our system would sometimes ship packages to abandoned locations or forwarding services. This would result in chargebacks, which is always a tedious process to undo.
Before we implemented Sift Science, we didn’t have any formal method or process for preventing fraud. I was using a guess-and-check method, where I’d try to catch red flags and abnormal patterns – like peculiar shipping addresses, invalid emails and orders for abnormal amounts of the same or higher-priced items.
It was extremely time consuming. Our company’s been growing tremendously, and this guess-and-check method wasn’t smart or scalable at all. I can only look at so many confirmations. Some fraudulent orders aren’t as obvious as others. For every fraudulent order I did catch, no doubt there were multiple orders I didn’t.
How did the process of implementing a fraud solution go?
We chose Sift Science as our fraud solution because we’ve developed our own backend system, Tower, and Sift’s open API let us easily introduce and integrate the two.
Integration was very simple. It took us 48 hours to implement Sift Science and another week to initially train Tower to learn and understand the new software. Sift gets smarter as it picks up new signals. It started identifying fraudulent orders the day we integrated, and it only took a few weeks to get it to a 95% accuracy rate.
The user interface is extremely intuitive and user-friendly. Not only did we seamlessly integrate it into our own system, we were able to easily implement the program with our customer service department. Our Customer Service Manager, for example, isn’t trained in technology. She’s never developed software or worked with fraud detection before, but she quickly learned and understood Sift Science. She can log in and look at additional signals herself, and the platform made that transition straightforward.
How do you use Sift Science?
The fraud rating score is one of our favorite features. It gives us the quick glimpses we need to determine whether or not orders are fraudulent. That saves us time.
The IP location feature is extremely helpful as well. We can see where orders are actually coming from, which gives us meaningful insight to use beyond fraud management alone.
The ability to train Sift and make it intuitively smarter by giving it feedback is another feature we love. Fraudsters only get smarter, and we can rest assured that the software is adapting, too.
What benefits and results have you seen from Sift Science?
Before Sift Science, our chargeback rate hovered between 8 and 10%. Now it’s less than 1%.
Sift Science gives us protection for the business and our customers. It saves us time and money on all accounts—from reduced chargebacks to shipping and logistics—and it protects the intellectual and technical aspects of our company.
There is also a significant level of protection for consumers, whether or not they’re purchasing at Combatant Gentlemen. It prevents identity theft and fraud all around.
Using Sift Science saves us at least a few hours every day. We don’t need a fraud department anymore. It was something we considered in the beginning, but Sift Science really serves as our fraud department now. We’re using technology to solve a problem and avoid unnecessary costs. As a technology company ourselves, nothing makes us happier.