Thales Blog

Retailers, rely on CIAM to convert seasonal visitors into regular shoppers

October 31, 2023

Maarten Stuljens Maarten Stultjens | VP Global Enablement IAM More About This Author >

The biggest shopping season of the year is upon us. For retailers, the opportunities to be seized cannot be missed. Right now is where they can bring joy and ease for stressed holiday shoppers. It is the make-or-break season to lock in new customers, establish trust and build long-term loyalty.

Those who prevent fraud and provide a safe, personalized and hassle-free customer journey from a-z will become the preferred retailer going forward. CIAM (Customer Identity & Access Management) is the key building block to achieve exactly that.

In this post, we’ll explore how retail brands can become future-proof, using CIAM to ensure customers can enjoy a frictionless, safe, and high-engagement experience.

4 keys to becoming the preferred retail brand now – and ahead

1. Privacy-protected and compliant shopping experiences

The exchange of personal data is unavoidable in online shopping. Every transaction is linked to a digital identity. Whereas customers accept this, they deeply care about their data and how it gets used. Failing to respect their preferences can result in severe loss of conversions. In fact, nearly, 90% of consumers will not do business with a company if there is a lack of data trust.

Retailers who embed user consent in their customer journey, on the other hand, will empower customers to take control of their own data. With this approach, retailers can enforce transparency and lay the foundational building blocks that forms customer trust.  

In addition, strict data protection regulations like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are put in place to protect consumers. By seamlessly weaving in CIAM solutions into the customer journey, retailers’ can provide protected experiences while remaining compliant and avoiding hefty fines.

2. Simplified, tailored and safe customer journeys

Sales conversions hinges on convenience and minimal effort for the user. Gartner already picked up on this theory a few years ago. The more effort required from a shopper, the bigger chance of an abandoned shopping cart. Customer transactions must be as frictionless and simple as possible. But that’s not enough. They must be highly secured, too.

While one may suggest that user-convenience and security are two opposite goals. They go hand in hand.  

For instance, consumers often use the same email-password combination to set up an account. This already imposes significant security risks. Yet, creating different passwords for every account fragments the user experience. The moral of the story is that passwords creates gaps in the customer journey and its’ security. At the same time, legislations like GDPR shields customer data against marketing.

So how can retailers triumph over user experience, security and GDPR compliance challenges?  

With user journey orchestration, retailers can turn data into strong marketing insights while proactively simplifying key moments in the customer journey. Whether that’s allowing customers to easily revoke/add consent on certain attributes, or enabling easy shopping on multiple websites using a single log in. Retailers can do so while blending in security and compliance into every interaction. The outcome is a seamless, trusted experience that keeps customers returning.  

Passwords are the Problem infographic

3. Consistent omnichannel experiences

Today’s customers have little tolerance for inconsistent shopping experiences. Offers delivered in one channel, must be mirrored across the board. 

A robust CIAM solution help retailers tackle this renowned challenge. For instance, the  OneWelcome Identity Platform enforces a seamless, multi-channel shopping experience by collecting data from each touchpoint and storing it a single platform. This, in turn, enable retailers to rely on a single source of truth.  

Better data management help retailers grant customers’ wish for ease and personalization, but it also helps retailers understand and standardize customer experiences by breaking down persistent silos that would otherwise create channel and brand inconsistencies.

4. Offering the highest level of security

To be successful, retailers must do their utmost to protect customers and themselves against account takeovers and cyber-attacks. CIAM solutions provide the tightest lock against cyber security risks. Extra layers in, for example, the authentication process (i.e. multi-factor authentication) serves well in this arena.

Plus, by offering passwordless authentication retailers can eliminate the weakest link in their cyber security chain, namely passwords, where 80% of hacking-related breaches originate from.  

Besides, as mentioned earlier, passwordless log-in simplifies the user experience, relieving customers from having to remember yet another password. 

This is essential. Thales's Digital Trust Index found 22% of consumers give up on a brand interaction within a minute if they're having a frustrating online experience -– with the likes of password resets and having to re-enter personal information topping the list of frustrations.

In summary

Customers trust retailers to provide a privacy-protected, simple, safe, and seamless shopping experience. A combined CIAM suite that balances user-friendliness, compliance and security will help retail brands deliver this.  

Need help establishing trust and reducing user friction while managing digital identities? You may want to check out these related resources:

You can also consult with our IAM specialists to see our platform in action, get help putting together a business case, and begin tailoring an IAM solution to your needs.