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Identity Management

Passwordless authentication: the solution to online sales?

How do you reconcile security and seamless user experience in the e-commerce sector? Authentication is a key stage in online sales, and password-less authentication could well eliminate the event of shopping cart being cancelled.

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The e-commerce industry is facing a major and growing challenge: cart abandonment rates, often caused by authentication issues. To solve this problem, especially during major discount periods, innovative solutions, passwordless authentication being one of them, are emerging to simplify this key step in the digital customer journey. The latest advancements in authentication and password management now offer the ability to balance security with a seamless user experience.

Password: an obstacle to online sales?

Authentication usually occurs when paying for the online shopping cart. Where most customers remember their login, which is usually their email address, it is quite common for them to forget their password. While passwordless authentication saves users the trouble, if they forget their passwords, conventional authentication is a bit of an epic.

The reset procedure then involves entering their email address again, then going to check their email inbox to click on the reset link, then trying, often several times, to change the password while respecting all the security criteria established by the seller. After all these laborious steps, which easily lead to the abandonment of the purchase, the customer finally manages to change his password, but when returned to his cart, it may have been emptied due to the shopping cart’s retention period being exceeded.

This worst-case scenario is unfortunately common in the e-commerce sector. According to an OpinionWay* study, 1 out of 3 online sales are abandoned due to forgotten passwords, and 3 cunstomers out of 4 are willing to give up on a purchase if the authentication and/or reset procedure takes too long.

Simplified authentication solutions to improve conversion rates

Fortunately, there are several solutions that allow sellers’ platforms to authenticate their customers and give them direct access to their cart, without having to struggle to reset their password. It is possible to simplify the process by using a passwordless authentication, like for example providing clients with a “magiclink” via email. The user can then log in directly from the link in that email. The user can access his shopping cart by clicking on a simple link via a communication channel already registered with the seller. 

Another passwordless authentication method is to use an SMS to authenticate the user by sending them a one-time code to type into the authentication interface, allowing them to automatically log in to their customer account. Passwordless authentication through the user’s social media can also be a great method to increase login success rates.  

These examples of passwordless authentication demonstrate that a powerful identity solution can simplify customers’ lives and allow them to finalize their buying journey. By making authentication faster and smoother, businesses can maximize their conversion rates. 

The use of a passkey is an innovative solution to simplify and secure authentication

An emerging solution called a passkey could revolutionize the way users authenticate online. It works as follows: when visiting a website and entering their e-mail address, the customer’s mobile phone will directly offer to choose from the identities stored in the passkey to authenticate themselves. The “passkey” will then validate the authentication with the site without requiring the username and password to be entered.

The loss of the phone is also managed because the “passkeys” are stored in Apple’s iCloud Keychain security cloud or Google Password Manager and are therefore available on all synced devices. To connect from a computer, a QR code will then be displayed on the screen. By scanning it with your phone and using, for example, the facial recognition function, it will be possible to access the desired website. 

The “passkey” solution natively has an elevated level of security. It is based on the FIDO 2 standard and does not require you to enter the username / password pair. This system is based on cryptographic keys generated when associated with the user’s account and whose private key is stored securely on the mobile. Thus, its use is much more secure than the traditional password and protects against the loss of accounts or theft of credentials. 

Authentication is a major challenge for retail and e-commerce companies, as it directly influences the user experience and the key moment of conversion. It is therefore essential to monitor and improve the success rates of connections on merchant sites, regardless of the channel. To do this, passwordless authentication solutions, from the most basic to the most modern, exist, and can be adapted to the needs of users, thus increasing conversion rates. 

*B2C report, ReachFive survey, Netmedia, OpinionWay: The brakes and levers of customer data collection, March 2019.

Want to implement a passwordless authentication solution? Contact us to present us your project.

22 May 2024