How Pro Audio LA removed fraud from the equation
Pro Audio LA takes their passion for music beyond just the gear. Jason Hanan, President at Pro Audio LA, likes to joke, “we’re the only company in our industry audacious enough to get into manufacturing as well as retail.” Joking aside, these two areas go hand in hand and serve Pro Audio LA’s mission: make better music. They fulfill this promise to their customers by offering a one-stop shopping experience for everything from custom cabling and integration to retail equipment to onsite services for acoustics, recording studios, and podcasting. Although they primarily serve the Los Angeles market in terms of services, their retail business supports the entire United States, and their wholesale and custom cabling is offered worldwide.
“We Don’t Worry About Fraud Anymore”
Serving as that one-stop shop for their customers has proven to be a wildly successful business model for Pro Audio LA. However, just like any flourishing, young company, they experienced some early growing pains. Specifically, the amount of time and money lost due to chargebacks when they were transitioning into a retail business became a concern. “As a young business, you’re so happy to have that sale and the last thing you think about is a scammer committing credit card fraud,” Jason explains. “Learning that lesson the hard way caused fear of bigger business and wondering what if we not only lose the money, but we also lose the merchandise?”
Over time and with some more experience under their belts, Jason and his team became more savvy and began to understand what red flags looked like. However, even as these red flags became more obvious to the team, they had very manual procedures in place in order to vet transactions. Even with the right set of procedures and protocols in place, it didn’t take long for fraudsters to learn and adapt to the newest technology. Jason recalls, “we were putting a tremendous amount of time into it. When something is wrong, it is extremely stressful for an employee who is making judgement calls based on experience and a set of procedures and protocols.”
As the ecommerce business started building, Jason vigilantly paid closer attention to the customer experience and the increasing boldness of fraudsters. “Scam artists are always getting a step ahead of the game and the technology. They’re very clever,” Jason recalls. “We had instances where fraudsters were bold enough to exchange emails with his team or hop on a phone call to really make them feel confident that these were genuine orders.”
The search for the right solution, enter Bolt
Although there wasn’t a particular incident or chargeback amount that led Jason to look for a more permanent solution, every six months to a year something would happen that would encourage him to evaluate different options in the market. He looked at various solutions, including Signifyd, but it wasn’t the holistic approach he was hoping to find. These solutions still required everything to be perfectly aligned in order for Pro Audio LA to be fully protected. As Jason recalls, “how does that really help me? I’m still stressed. I’m still worried about it.”
After evaluating a few solutions and feeling underwhelmed, Jason continued his search for combating fraud and found Bolt from a quick Google search. Bolt stood out as a company that was able to tackle fraud in a way that was different from its competitors. “I could tell that Bolt was doing something different and it wasn’t just revolutionary, it was evolutionary,” Jason explains. “Bolt looked at the checkout process and the interaction with the checkout process from the customer side as an intrinsic layer to stopping fraud.” Jason was familiar with how other companies analyzed data and ballistics on the backend of a transaction, but to see a fraud solution actually incorporate how customers interacted with their cart and checkout on a website was something entirely new to fraud prevention.
Since implementing Bolt, Jason has noticed a huge difference in how the company feels when large orders come in. “We don’t worry about fraud anymore. We’re no longer conflicted about receiving a big purchase, and we don’t stress about it. We say ‘great, this is awesome! Bolt says it’s good.’” In addition to viewing Bolt as a partner, Jason has also been impressed with how that partnership goes both ways. Specifically around one of Bolt’s newer fraud features, Order Re-Reviews, which enable retailers to provide Bolt with additional information and request re-reviews of orders that were declined. These are useful to merchants if they have past order history with a customer or additional insights they can supply Bolt. After submitting a re-review, “it seems like within minutes sometimes you have made a judgement call,” Jason explains. “On that level, it feels like a partnership. You trust our experience and we trust your experience.”
More than a fraud solution
Although fraud was what first brought Bolt to his attention, it didn’t take long for Jason to see the immense value of Bolt as a solution that could address all of his ecommerce needs. Jason was impressed with how Bolt improved the checkout process to make it as quick, easy, and painless for customers as possible, particularly repeat customers who can check out with one button. Jason touts, “on top of that, Bolt is processing credit card payments and vetting transactions for fraud. Bolt is literally handling the whole process for us.” Consolidating all of Pro Audio LA’s needs down to a single vendor has proven to be incredibly valuable.
Additionally, Jason has also seen the value of Bolt accounts, which give shoppers a one-click checkout experience anywhere in the Bolt network. Jason explains, “as Bolt penetrates with more checkout carts across the Internet, it’s just going to be easier and easier for first-time customers to feel like repeat customers.” He attributes this to the millions of active shoppers already in the Bolt network who recognize and use their Bolt accounts. Jason continues, “whether or not they’ve shopped with Pro Audio LA, they have confidence with a Bolt account and can check out super fast. That’s obviously better for them and will lead to more successful checkouts, more orders placed, and should help increase business.” In fact, Pro Audio LA’s conversion rate for shoppers with Bolt accounts is 34.1% higher than shoppers who use guest checkout. Going one step further, 20.3% of Pro Audio LA’s total transaction volume comes from shoppers with Bolt accounts.
Jason isn’t the only one at Pro Audio LA who feels the positive impact Bolt has had on the business. Jason explains, “if you ask my employees what they think of Bolt, they would literally open a beer and say ‘my gosh, this made my job so much less stressful to count on them and not deal with this on our own.’” Just like Pro Audio LA serves as a one-stop shop for its customers, Bolt has been able to return the favor by serving as a one-stop shop for all of Pro Audio LA’s needs.