As more Australians conduct business online, they have become increasingly aware about their individual privacy. If a business is committed to keeping personal data secure, it can give them a competitive edge. A recent report from PCI Pal and Natterbox revealed that three out of four Australian consumers claim their confidence in a brand’s data security influences how they spend money with that brand.

In today’s connected world, customers are engaging with online retailers through a range of mobile apps, desktops, product reviews, social media, online advertisements and more. Customer expectations far outpace the digital capabilities that many retailers can provide with current technology. However, online retailers can leverage the insights gleaned from consumers’ digital identities to keep pace, tailor the end-user experience and boost their competitive retail offerings.

Removing friction from the shopping experience

Retailers have never been in a better position to develop personalised experiences for customers based on their individual preferences… Customer identity and access management (CIAM) tools provide retailers with the ability to leverage digital identity by helping them to identify, protect and respect the preferences of each customer regardless of the devices, app or service they are using. By appealing to customer preferences, brands are able to demonstrate how they are tuning into their needs and establish trust. With these insights, they can reduce friction along the buying process.

Take for example the phenomenon of cart abandonment. The SAP Consumer Propensity Report Asia Pacific found that Australian consumers have a high tendency to abandon shopping carts, with 57 per cent discarding their carts sometimes or all the time. Digital identity enables retailers to combine customer data about buying habits and history across channels, brands and business units all while securing the appropriate levels of consent. Possessing enriched customer profiles allows online retailers to reduce friction in the buying process, therefore making the most of each customer interaction.

Shopping gets personal 

More broadly, CIAM tools can also be harnessed by retailers to create a single view of each customer and pinpoint how to deliver a consistent brand experience at each touchpoint. The applications range from accelerating registration conversions, verifying user identity across devices, enhancing log-in experiences through technologies like single-sign on (SSO), touch and face ID  authentication. With time being more precious to customers than ever before, it’s crucial for retailers to streamline how long it takes to complete a transaction whilst providing a seamless, secure shopping experience along the way.

Amazon is the poster-child when it comes to delivering superior customer experiences. It leverages what it knows about its customers to enable its ‘1-Click Ordering’ feature to significantly reduce the time it takes to complete a transaction. However, depending on the item, Amazon also triggers additional authentication steps to reduce suspicious purchases based on the customer’s previous behaviour and buying patterns. Convenience isn’t compromised for security.

Digital trust is a prerequisite for doing business. Fostering a climate of trust with shoppers’ digital data will see retailers l attract and retain customers. The insights from these digital identity preferences will also help retailers keep pace with digital demands and allow them to tailor the end-user experience.

Ben Goodman is Senior Vice President of Global Business and Corporate Development at ForgeRock