Striking the balance between security and convenience

In today’s digital world where individuals can get what they want at the single click of a button and where same-day delivery exists, consumers increasingly demand access and convenience. However, the danger is that fraudsters can easily go through card-not-present transactions without detection until after the crime has been committed. The greatest challenge for payment service providers in is striking the balance between the two: security for the merchant and convenience for the consumer. 

Making it easier for customers to buy will certainly improve the user experience – a known factor in determining customer loyalty – however, when it comes to prioritisation security of course comes first.

Consumers hate friction

Cart abandonment rates have been reported to be as high as 77% for some online retailers which equates to a huge amount of missed potential revenue and other sources state that eCommerce merchants might be missing out on up to 42% of sales due to checkout friction. Considering the amount each customer would have spent on average, even small improvements in the user experience could have huge impacts on revenue.

Reducing fraud

Payment providers typically have a suite of fraud tools used at different levels during the transaction process. However, these are often limited to very black and white triggers which either allow or block a transaction.

While these tools can effectively reduce fraud, the haste at which they act to block fraudulent transactions can result in accidentally blocking good ones too. This means that a significant number of ‘good’ customers are being prevented from transacting, carrying with them a huge amount of potential revenue that the merchant misses out on.

Not only are ‘good’ customers being rejected, many are dropping off due during the process. Consumers clearly are keen to avoid risk of fraud, with 56% of consumers saying they are happy to accept whatever measures it takes to eliminate fraud, however this still leaves 44% that are unhappy with the additional friction.

How to strike the right balance

Finding a solution that can address the issue of fraud and minimise friction in the user journey can be a difficult task.

PROFILE works by connecting to the consumers digital footprint during the checkout process and analysing their data in real time to supplement traditional data sources in the identity verification processes. With the added benefit of smoothing out the customer journey with form pre-fill, PROFILE provides a robust and proven solution for verifying identity and reducing fraud, so that you can accept more good transactions while minimising fraud rates.


Personalisation software helps Euroflorist’s customer engagement bloom

Euroflorist is improving its customer experience by embracing multilingual text and big data analytics with Hello Soda’s innovative personalisation software solution, PROFILE 

Using the in-depth tool, the flower delivery expert, which partners with 54,000 flower shops across 10 countries, will gain valuable insights to enable them to providpersonalised and convenient customer journey.

James Blake, CEO at Hello Soda, said: “To remain competitive, businesses need to create a user journey that is as convenient and tailored to the customer as possible. The obvious way to do this in the digital age is to harness the power of data and utilise the digital footprint of customers. 

“We’re proud to be supporting Euroflorist on the next step of its digital journey and have no doubt that our advanced personalisation software PROFILE will help the company to boost its engagement with its current customer base, and expand its reach even further.”

Alex Bloemendal, eCom director at Euroflorist Group, said: “As a global company, ecommerce and digital communications make up the majority of the customer journey. Euroflorist remain dedicated to delivering an up-to-date, personalised customer experience, and are delighted to be partnering with Hello Soda to become vanguards of the digital age.”

Retail Systems


James Blake is shortlisted for two Entrepreneur of the Year Awards!

We’re excited to announce that our CEO, James Blake, has been shortlisted not just for one – but two – Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

James has been nominated for the Great British Entrepreneur of the Year award in the category of Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as the UK Digital Entrepreneur Awards in the Digital Entrepreneur of the Year category.

Following a successful 2016 and an even better 2017, we are excited at this time of growth for the company and what the future holds. What we do at Hello Soda becomes even more relevant the further we delve into the digital age, with more demand for convenience, access, and personalised experiences than ever before.

Both awards ceremonies will be held in Manchester. The Great British Entrepreneur Awards are taking place on 11th October, with the UK Digital Entrepreneur Awards held on 22nd November.

Remember to check back to find out whether James has won.

View the full shortlists here:

UK Digital Entrepreneur of the Year Shortlist

Great British Entrepreneur of the Year Shortlist



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Who won the Hello Soda pool tournament?

We like to keep things exciting in the Hello Soda office, so what better way to bring out everyone’s competitive side than a pool tournament? But who were the winners?

The Hello Soda pool tournament winners are… our Business Development Director, Phil, and our Director of NLP & Data Science, Iustin!

Get in touch with Phil today to congratulate his winning status (or to find out how you could benefit from our solutions).

Keep your eye out next quarter to find out which Hello Soda tournaments are coming up.


James Blake shortlisted as Digital Entrepreneur of the Year

Hello Soda’s CEO James Blake has been shortlisted for the UK Digital Entrepreneur Awards in the Digital Entrepreneur of the Year category.

Following a successful 2016 and an even better 2017, we are excited at this time of growth for the company and what the future holds. What we do at Hello Soda becomes even more relevant the further we delve into the digital age, with more demand for convenience, access, and personalised experiences than ever before.

View the full shortlist here:



How to reactivate your dormant customer base with social data.

How to reactivate dormant customers

Say you’ve signed up 3 million customers, but only 2 million are actively betting with you, leaving the other 1 million sitting there, dormant, providing no value to your business… sound familiar? Chances are – these consumers aren’t all ‘dead’, they could even be very active with another provider. Consider the additional value you would get from reactivating even 2% of these dormant customers… So here’s how to reactivate dormant customers.


1) Change the channel of communication

You’ve probably tried email marketing to this dormant database with not much luck, so why not consider a channel change – being unresponsive on email does not necessarily mean that that consumer wouldn’t respond via social media, for example.

With the right tools (like our Discovery platform), you can identify who out of your consumer base is on Twitter and what their handle is. With this information you can then target these individuals on Twitter via pay-per-click advertising in a bid to get them back onto your website.

This can be tricky to get right though, as it can be expensive and the click rate can be low… so now I am going to tell you how to form the most effective campaign to maximise the likelihood that you will reactivate dormant customers.


2) Discover their interests

Once you have their Twitter handles, you can then discover their interests in order to make your ads more relevant and hence click-throughs to your website more likely. Don’t assume most of these consumers will engage with ads for Football bets just because its popular with your current active use-base, you might be surprised that the top interest of your dormant audience is actually boxing, or that 10% of them are really passionate about cricket. Not only that, you can identify the teams that they support – maybe they are more likely to place a bet against Liverpool because they support their direct rival Everton.


3) Segment and target

Now you know their interests, it is time to segment your audience and target them with relevant content. Here is a key thing to take note of when utilising social advertising such as Twitter Ads – they will make decisions depending on the quality of your advert (the quality including how relevant it is to the chosen audience and what proportion of that audience engages with it). The Twitter ads platform effectively works as an auction process in that your ad is competing with other ads that have defined a similar audience – the more relevant your ad is to the audience (so whether it matches their interests), the more likely it is to be shown. Equally – the more relevant the ad is to the audience, the cheaper your cost-per-click will be due to the huge discounts that Twitter give.

The average click-through-rate (CTR) for social ads stands at a mere 0.5% – increasing relevance will increase CTR.  Standard keyword targeting can result in a CTR as low as 0.13%, yet tailored audiences targeted based on specific interests show a huge improvement, with a CTR 11x greater.


There you have it. How to reactivate dormant customers in 3 easy steps. Follow these and you can reap the benefits of reactivating those customers that were once interested.

How? Book a demo or have a chat with one of our team to find out how Discovery can work for you.


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Hello Soda Inc. turns 1!

On the 3rd of August we celebrate one year since our incorporation and the start of Hello Soda’s US journey!

Launching Hello Soda Inc. truly solidified our stateside presence, and the opening of our US HQ in Austin is only the start.

Since launching, we have grown the team to include experienced sales and office management members and have signed up a number of new clients.

We will be celebrating with drinks and snacks with local businesses between 4 and 6 this Thursday in Industrious Austin, 201 West 5th Street – we welcome anyone who wants to join!

Contact us to RSVP or for more information


Cracking down on the dark web trade

Two big players in the dark web have just been shut down as reported by the BBC.

The two sites – AlphaBay and Hansa – have been associated with trading illicit items including drugs, weapons, and stolen data leaving millions at risk of fraud.

What is the dark web?

The Dark Web (which can also be referred to as “The Deep Web” or “The Invisible Web”) makes up at least 85% of the internet, with some sources stating that traditional search engines only see 0.03% of the entire web.

Originally launched by the US Naval Research Laboratory in 2003, The Dark Web was created with intentions to use it for secret services, law enforcement, and to train political dissidents in countries with oppressive governments. Additionally, journalists in heavily censored countries could use it to communicate and exchange information.

The Dark Web requires specific software, configurations, or authorisation to access in order to ensure complete anonymity, and transactions are made using untraceable currencies such as bitcoin.


The Dangers of the Dark Web

Despite its original purpose, The Dark Web is mostly used for illicit trade including buying and selling Fake IDs and visas, stolen credit cards, weapons, drugs, child pornography, and even the services of hit men, all with hidden IP addresses of both hosting sites, and visitors e.g. Silk Road.

Cybercriminals are willing to pay good money for stolen data, making the Dark Web a huge target for illegal activity and giving people easy access to commit ID and credit card fraud through the untraceable internet.


Our Solution

Our solution, Fraud Web, enables you to see whether your customers’ data is for sale on The Dark Web, and which data is at risk. This means that you can identify whether a criminal could potentially access your customer’s data and know if your customer has fallen victim to ID fraud.

With Fraud Web, you will receive high, medium, and low risk alerts surrounding the likelihood of ID theft so that you can quickly and efficiently identify fraud and alert your customers.


The average cost of a single stolen data record for any business is $154.

Can you afford the risk?

Get in touch to find out more or book your free demo



Personalising Media Publications

Habits have changed


The last 10 years have seen a significant change in the media publishing market. In 2009, the number of magazine launches and closures was significantly higher than it has been since. As fewer publications are launched and more closed, what we are left with is a core group of businesses who are willing to adapt to the changing digital and social climate.

71% of adults in Great Britain consume a magazine brand either in print or digital format. 56% of GB adults 15+ read a print magazine.

UK celebrity magazines such as Heat and Hello! have seen considerable drops in sales, down 16.5% and 15.5% respectively on last year. As consumer attention has increasingly turned towards websites – most prominently, social media – publications which have failed to evolve alongside social and digital advances have fallen by the wayside.

Reading habits of the average consumer are certainly not the same as they once were. 39% of adults in Great Britain consume magazine brands via their PC or mobile device. The rising tide of mobile’s prevalence as the primary channel through which consumers absorb content has forced content creators to tailor their efforts to digital platforms and a smaller screen, with many companies investing heavily in video over recent years.


The old methods are no longer sufficient


Marketers have been testing which headlines and email subject lines attract the most number of clicks through A/B testing for quite some time. This method can be applied to publications however, it’s a rudimentary method of discerning the content that readers find engaging from that which they don’t. It doesn’t offer any form of personalisation to the customer experience, and provides extremely limited insight into an individual’s likes, taste or personality.

Content selection informed by socio-demographic data is also a flawed strategy. The sheer quantity and diversity of content that media publishing companies have at their disposal means that selecting which topics will appeal to certain audiences based on factors such as gender or age is unlikely to ensure target audiences are reached.


New Approaches


If publications are to remain successful, then they need to implement innovative approaches to personalisation and marketing in order to stay ahead of the game. Last year, Aquarius, a Middle-Eastern lifestyle magazine personalised it’s magazine cover for each and every one of its subscribers. The cover, featuring Adele, bore the headline “Hello [First Name], be bold, be strong, be brave.” The magazine was then delivered direct to subscribers’ doors. Whilst this has some novelty value, there is little longevity to plastering a consumer’s name in a display font across a magazine cover page.  It’s the publication equivalent of sending a mass email which auto-fills the recipients’ name via a [First Name] tag.

However, there are other methods that can be deployed. Will Mansfield, Director of Worldwide Sales & Marketing for Kodak explains that publishers can learn more about their individual readers by printing unique codes, either in special editions or on page inserts, which, once entered online, allow the reader access to content that is situated behind a paywall. The unique code allows the publisher to know which customers have engaged with specific content, the idea being that they can then market to them more effectively.

But whilst credit must be given for forward thinking, and an attempt to avoid stagnation, it must also be acknowledged that in this scenario, data insights can only be drawn from those who actively engage with a particular advertisement. The proportion of the readership from whom a business using this method can glean actionable data is limited to those who are interested in an advertisement that is already being pushed to them. This leaves publishers having to be reactive rather than proactive in how they target individuals.


Personalisation is the new norm


The ubiquity of social media has brought with it an unparalleled wealth of user data that businesses are now starting to tap into. Huge swathes of people now get their news updates direct through their newsfeed, as opposed to the traditional news channels.

It should come as no surprise that social media holds the key to true personalisation for publishers and media distribution outlets. Access to this data means that key insights such as an individual’s upcoming life events, hobbies, likes and interests can be drawn almost instantly. The potential benefits of this are astronomical. Publications can tailor their content to an individual’s tastes, and even personality traits, making informed decisions on which headlines, advertisements, images or even full articles are most likely to appeal to someone. This transition from reactive to proactive marketing and content editing empowers businesses to personalise their products and the customer experience before their target audience has engaged with their brand. And in an age of limited attention spans, newsfeeds and quick-fire content, precious seconds of customer engagement with your brand cannot afford to be wasted.

Hello Soda is empowering businesses with this data. Our PROFILE analytics engine is unparalleled, providing the most comprehensive and in depth report of individual consumer likes, interests, hobbies, life events, date of pay and much more. Want to learn more about how we can help? Get in touch to book a demo today.


How to Maximise Fan Engagement and Boost Merchandise Sales

Sports supporters are known to be the most dedicated of any fan-base, but – unlike with many industries – it’s notoriously difficult to gain new customers (once a Man Utd fan always a Man Utd fan right?) When this is the case, it’s more important than ever to know how to engage your existing fan base, boost merchandise sales and maximise the lifetime value of each customer.

But how?” You ask. Well, just carry on reading to find out (I won’t keep you long.)

The goldmine that is digital data

Understanding the behavior of your fans can be an extremely valuable way to build long-lasting relationships with them. A consumer’s digital footprint is like a goldmine waiting to be tapped and now that a huge amount of social interaction is played out digitally, it is important to leverage this data to understand the needs, wants, behaviour and interests of your supporters.

Get to know their match (or game) day routine 

One way to better engage your fans and supporters is to get to know what they do and where they go on a typical match day. Do they mostly tend to go for lunch at a nearby chain pub or do they grab a coffee and check in with a picture? Understanding their routine can help you build relationships with establishments that play a key role in your customers’ behaviour and leverage this with exclusive offers to help reinforce this routine as enjoyable, affordable and convenient enough to be their go-to Saturday (or whichever day.)


Identify their favourite players

You clearly know their favourite team but who in particular makes them want to go to a match that much more? Who’s signature would they want on their merchandise? Armed with this knowledge you can accurately personalise marketing for tickets and merchandise rather than base it on assumptions derived from who ‘most people’ like or which player has the most followers on Twitter.

Increase merchandise sales

All of the above can certainly help to increase merchandise sales but there is a way to go even further by identifying key events and occasions in people lives that may act as an opportunity to buy. Are there any upcoming birthdays? A new family member? A stag do? Understand their spending behaviour with predicted date-of-pay, positive life events and location can help you to target more specifically to those fans that have a higher likelihood of conversion at the optimum time. And it isn’t just merchandise sales that this can help with – knowing if a supporter is travelling to Barcelona for a stag do or a group holiday at the same time as his team are playing over there acts as a clear opportunity to encourage them to go.

It isn’t enough to rely on the enthusiasm and loyalty of your fans anymore, in a day and age where there are so may options of what to do on a Saturday, or when watching a game is easier than ever with the internet at your fingertips, converting occasional attenders into season ticket holders, and maximising merchandise sales is essential to remain profitable. Find out how you can do this with Hello Soda’s big data analytics solution PROFILE or get in touch to book a demo.


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