Information Security

Trustworthy Authentication Tools That Increase The Conversion Rate In Retail

When consumers create accounts to shop online, retailers can use their purchase history to offer a more personalized shopping experience. It increases the retail conversion rate to 15%. However, retailers have a hard time convincing people to sign up. Sometimes customers refuse to place an order just because they were asked to create an account.

Auth0 surveyed more than 8,000 consumers in six global markets (UK, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, and Japan) to research how they prefer to log in. They found widespread frustration with standard login methods with username/password (UP) and businesses that do not meet their expectations for ease of login.

Below are four authentication tools that can increase the conversion rate in retail by creating a more simplified and secure login that satisfies users.

1. Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA requires users to verify their identity in more than one way, which helps reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access to their data. For example, a user can enter a password and then confirm their additional account or device using a link sent to their email address or phone.

Consumers want to know that companies are protecting their data. They want to be sure that companies they are dealing with have reliable security practices.
MFA helps retailers provide consumers with greater confidence that their data is protected as it blocks 99.9% of attacks.

Auth0 Survey:
While 49% of surveyed consumers noted that they are more likely to sign up for an online account if a business offers an MFA, only 28% of the surveyed companies currently offer it as part of the login process. This discrepancy arises from the notion that a few steps in an MFA mean extra hassle for both users and the business.

However, MFA is easy to implement; many companies quickly adopted it when COVID-19 forced them to switch to a remote workforce in 2020.

A business use case:
ecobee, the smart device retailer, wanted to protect consumers by using ecobee home monitoring products, so they outsourced the implementation of MFA. The team was thrilled that they were able to bring MFA to customers without starting from scratch. 

2. Biometrics
Measurable human traits, characteristics, or behaviors are used in biometrics to confirm user identity.
Fingerprint scanning and facial recognition are the two most common forms of biometrics. However, the list of biometric parameters is growing. You can also recognize the voice, gait, iris, and even DNA.

Biometric characteristics are harder for hackers to fake in comparison with usernames and passwords. These are more reliable authentication methods from a security point of view. Consumers also like it because it is faster than username/password authentication. Moreover, they do not have to struggle with remembering login credentials.

While 46% of the surveyed consumers said they would be more likely to log in if they could use biometrics, only 21% of the surveyed businesses currently offer it. Implementing biometrics will lead to improved customer service and higher retail conversion rates.

Nevertheless, it can be difficult for a business to develop biometric authentication within a company. To prevent the company's resources from being diverted, some companies prefer to outsource the implementation to third-party vendors. Many providers specialize in identity management and already have experience with biometrics.

A business use case:
Consumers' use of Microsoft's Windows Hello biometric authentication tool, which allows users to log in by scanning their face, iris, or fingerprints instead of a password, jumped from 69.4% to 84.7% in 2019 alone.
Disney began experimenting with a facial recognition system at Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom theme Park and used fingerprint scanning to prevent ticket fraud before COVID-19 appeared.

3. Social Logins
Social media login uses existing login information from a social media provider. It allows consumers to access a third-party website account without having to create another one. While the number of social providers continues to grow, the main networks are Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

Consumers prefer social accounts to traditional UP authentication, as they usually allow them to create accounts and log in with a single click. As a result, social logins increase the conversion rate to 20%, although some companies report that it reaches 40%. Social logins also provide access to extensive user data, allowing you to use more personalized, targeted marketing with individual consumers.

Our survey found there was not an immense gap between consumers and companies using social logins: 37% of consumers said they were more likely to subscribe to it, and 31% of companies currently offer it.

Social logins are usually connected to larger companies with established data privacy measures, but security can be compromised if users reuse passwords. Consumers using social logins need to change their passwords on different platforms. You can improve the security of social logins by combining them with MFA.

A business use case:
WishPond: after the social network login option became more visible than UP authentication, the company increased conversions by 8.5%.

4. Passwordless
Authentication without a password is a confirmation of the consumer identity by something other than a password. In addition to biometrics, typical password-free options include magic links (the user is sent a link to login after submitting an email), one-time passcodes, and push notifications.

Since an average consumer has about 100 passwords, passwordless authentication reduces the potential frustration of users logging in. The lack of traditional UP authentication also means increased data security. Verizon notes in its 2021 data breach investigation report that stolen login credentials are the primary way organizations are hacked.

Auth0: Despite this, passwordless authentication ranked last in our survey both in terms of the probability of consumer registration (34%) and in terms of business use (20%). Traditionally, the IT infrastructure in large companies has been configured for authentication, so for businesses, implementing passwordless technologies on a large scale can be a complex process.

A business use case:
GrandVision, an optical retail chain, made "the checkout process as convenient as possible for customers” by providing a third-party vendor with the ability to authenticate without a password - accounts are created with a simple click of a button. As a result, GrandVision increased the conversion rate to 54%.

Authentication Technologies Improve User Experience
By using one of the above authentication tools to provide consumers with an easy and secure way to log in, you can satisfy users and continue to strengthen their connections with your brand through personalized marketing, while increasing the retail conversion rate.

The whole article was originally written by Diego Poza and can be found here, with all the reference links to statistic numbers. This article was rewritten and abridged to be published here.
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