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05/23/2022

CSA Exclusive: Specialty jeweler combats digital ad fraud

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Gorjana is protecting the integrity of its ad tracking efforts.

Gorjana is automatically detecting and preventing fraudulent engagements with its digital ad campaigns.

Based in Laguna Beach, Calif., and operating 30 retail stores across the U.S. as well as an e-commerce business, specialty jewelry retailer Gorjana found that click fraud was having a detrimental effect on its online performance marketing efforts. The company also had difficulty assessing the scope of the problem and its impact with the information provided by the technology platforms hosting its digital ads.

To address its issues with fraudulent clicks on its digital ads, Gorjana decided to implement the Edgemesh Server solution. Edgemesh Server is designed to identify and protect retailers against ad fraud and click fraud at the infrastructure level, with the goal of reducing retailers’ advertising budget losses due to ad fraud.

“Efficiency is paramount for our performance marketing, and Edgemesh offered a pain-free solution with zero lift from our end,” explained Kyle Brucculeri, VP of e-commerce, Gorjana, in an exclusive interview with Chain Store Age. “I wouldn’t call the implementation a process. We simply opted in to the new product and it was activated immediately.”

Leveraging the Edgemesh solution, which recently received a major feature upgrade called Ad Protect, Gorjana approaches fighting ad fraud by combining real-time bot detection and Internet protocol (IP) reputation with machine learning to detect fraudulent clicks and then tag those visitors for real-time exclusion from ad campaigns.

Edgemesh Ad Protect works at the infrastructure level to examine user activity and requests to determine the legitimacy of the interaction with the brand’s website. Ad Protect monitors every request, header, SSL certificates, the speed with which the visitor moves from page to page, and the browser “fingerprint,” to help detect malicious activity and prevent ad fraud.

By analyzing the network used (VPN, datacenter, etc.), combined with the history of users actions, Gorjana utilizes the Ad Protect feature to automatically detect bots and fraudulent users that continually click on ads but do not generate conversions.

The retailer keeps track of the ad-click rate per visitor, and once crossing a threshold, will automatically tag that user and IP address with theEdgemesh Server solution. Gorjana can then integrate this tag with its ad platform to automatically exclude bots and fraudulent users from future advertising campaigns.

The company can extend this protection across any platform that it wants to use to support retargeting, including Google Adwords, Facebook, Criteo, Bing, and TikTok.

“It’s too early to tell from a macro perspective, but in the mirco perspective, we finally have visibility as what the actual volume of fraud is,” stated Brucculeri. “There are no specific future plans for fraud prevention I can discuss. But digital fraud is a space we continue to monitor closely and will make adjustments as needed.”

Online ad fraud includes ‘hijacking’
In another example of digital ad fraud mitigation, a leading retailer of personalized gifts is preventing its online customers from being lured away to competitors’ sites. Things Remembered has seen a 5.15% increase in conversion rates since implementing Namogoo's Customer Journey Hijacking Prevention software.

The machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution is designed to optimize customer journeys by blocking unauthorized, injected ads from being displayed on a retailer's website, using technology. Prior to implementation, almost 21% of visitors to the Things Remembered site were affected by injected ads.

According to Things Remembered, it was able to recover significant revenue almost immediately after implementing the Namogoo solution.