Using Digital Body Language to Fight Fraud and Increase Conversion

Waaaaay back in 1981, the book Body Language: How to Read Others’ Thoughts by Their Gestures was the definitive guide on understanding people’s nonverbal communications and the messages people sent by how they stood, sat, held their arms, and so on.

These days, there are countless books, articles, and even TV shows about body language and how it’s used to win at poker, spot lies, and solve crimes. Not wanting to be left out, the digital world has even begun exploring the world of body language, and how they can use it online.

According to an article on PYMTS.com’s website, digital body language can be used to boost online sales conversions as well as spot fraudulent activities. (I only wish it could tell me when people are cheating at Words With Friends.)

One company, Neuro-ID, has been trying to help ecommerce merchants, financial service providers, and insurance firms understand that there is digital body language available (“behavioral data” for you psychologists). It can give important insights into finding sticking points in your registration and purchasing processes, as well as spotting fraudulent activity from hackers and identity thieves.

A young woman with both hands over her mouth. What is her body language saying? Monitoring igital body language works much like watching a person's own body language.“The keyboard, the mouse, the touch screen, all of those devices allow us to essentially translate what’s missing today,” Neuro-ID’s CEO, Jack Alton, told PYMNTS.com. “That’s why we call them human analytics. The piece that’s been missing when we try to build these beautiful applications is the ability to engage and connect with that customer on the other side. . . What we do is translate that into actionable insight for you.”

Alton said that their clients are amazed, not only at the things they learned, but at the things they didn’t know that they didn’t know. All it takes is a small piece of JavaScript installed on their website to come up with heat maps to find the hot spots on a website. (The practice is known as heat mapping and hot spot analysis.

They use a small piece of Javascript code to look at where a user moves their mouse, how long they stay on a page or a screen, how quickly they scroll, how long they stop, and how long it takes them to fill out a form or even a box on a form. All of that can tell how the average user explores a website. From there, it can look for abnormal behavior from users to identify problem areas.

These cues help organizations build a better user experience that is both more secure and enjoyable to use. It spots crooks and identifies sticking points.

How Digital Body Language Fights Fraud

As users interact with a website, behavioral data patterns are established as a baseline. This is more or less the “correct” behavior of users. And when someone deviates from that — when they aren’t “acting right” — it can trigger the alerts and let you know there’s a problem.

For example, users who are regular customers often move “confidently and powerfully” as they explore a website or fill out a form. They don’t make mistakes when entering personal data, and their use with the technology seems a lot more confident.

Conversely, when users are too fast, it could signal an automated bot or piece of software that’s interacting. Or in the case of online testing, could signify cheaters who are copy-pasting answers, looking on pre-written notes, or even switching tabs on their browsers. Or if users are being too slow, it could signal that they’re unfamiliar with the information they’re trying to fill in.

Of course, it may work too well and identify problems that aren’t actually there. Alton told the story of one financial services company that thought it was flagging a high number of fraudsters because one of the steps in the application process had a longer lag time than all the others.

The issue, said Alton, was that the question in particular asked for a borrower’s hourly income rate. Rather than signaling the behavior as fraud, Neuro-ID actually helped them realize the applicants were trying to convert their annual income to an hourly rate.

This actually helped the lender identify a sticking point in their application process. Things like that can also help improve your conversion rates.

How Digital Body Language Boosts Conversion

Customer conversion is usually typically low online, in the single digit percentages, regardless of your industry. And it doesn’t matter how much you spend, how much social media you do, or how O’d your SEO is.

Where you can start to find some traction is looking at your entire purchasing process with behavioral analytics. Is there a place where people drop off? Maybe you can see where, but do you know how or why? In the case of the lender above, it was because people were trying to figure their hourly income rates.

Are there steps people aren’t happy about taking? Are you noticing a drop off because you ask people to come up with a suitably complex password and make them try three different times? Or is it because your written product descriptions are too long and boring?

By examining users’ digital body language, you can have a better chance of figuring this out, as well as keeping your own website and ecommerce store secure and safe from crooks. Your customers have valuable insights and information to share with you, and you can get it from them without taking up a single second of their time.

To learn more about securing your ecommerce and boosting your conversion rates, Corepay can help. To learn more, please visit our website or call us at (866) 987-1969.

Photo credit: JonathanAlvarezF (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)