Chief Content Officer,
Techstrong Group

A global survey of 21,512 customers suggests there is a high correlation between the amount of revenue that organizations can potentially generate and how frictionless the process of logging into an online account actually is.

Conducted by the market research firm Statista on behalf of Okta, a provider of a platform for securing customer identities, the survey finds nearly 60% of respondents indicated that they would be more likely to spend money when services offered a simple, secure and frictionless login process.

Close to two-thirds of respondents (63%) said at least once a month they’re unable to log in to an account because they forgot their username or password, with just under a quarter (24%) encountering this issue at least once a week.

A full 65% report being overwhelmed with the number of usernames and passwords they need to remember and manage, with three-quarters having to manage ten or more online accounts and more than a third (35%) having ten or more.

A third (33%) report feeling frustrated by having to create a password that meets certain requirements, and a quarter (25%) are frustrated by the need to create a new password for every online service.

It’s apparent that many providers of online services need to find a different approach to managing access, says Shiv Ramji, chief product officer.

Enjoying the most support as a login methodology among survey respondents is a single sign-on (SSO) approach enabled via a credential used to access a social media site (50%), followed by some form of multi-factor authentication at 40%. Various forms of biometric authentication placed a distant third (20%).

The survey also suggests that consumers are more circumspect about how much data they are willing to share with providers of online service, with 46% restricting data and another 43% regularly deleting cookies. Another 29% regularly review or change privacy settings.

As consumers gain a greater appreciation for privacy and cybersecurity, many providers of online services will need to adapt. Rather than requiring large amounts of personal data before being engaged, many consumers prefer a less intrusive approach that requires an online services provider to gain their trust before they share a lot of personal details, notes Ramji. “There needs to be more focus on the user journey,” he adds.

The biggest challenge many online services currently have in making that transition is simple inertia, he added. Many providers of online services set up their login procedures years ago but as customers become more protective of personal data there is going to be a clear mandate for change. In addition, a raft of data privacy regulations that are being crafted around the world will inevitably require providers of online services to revisit how they manage personally identifiable information anyway. The proverbial winds of change are in the air.

Digital CxOs will, of course, be at the forefront of those efforts. The challenge is, as always, going to be bringing the rest of an organization along that, in many cases, after more than two decades of e-commerce is set in it ways.