Online Retail Registration Restricts Response

According to the recent Social Identity study by Janrain, and conducted by Blue Research, 75% of consumers take issue with being asked to register on a website and will change their behavior as a result. The study was conducted during the height of the 2010 holiday shopping season among a nationwide cross section of consumers.

The majority of respondents said they are likely to leave a website or give false information when required to register. However, 66% of consumers surveyed say social sign-in, the ability to sign-in to a website using an existing online identity from providers like Facebook, Google and Twitter, is an attractive solution to the problem.

 The study to understand consumer perceptions and attitudes about using social identities across the Web shows that consumers interested in using social sign-in:

  • Are more valuable to companies themselves
  • Are more likely to return to sites offering social sign-in
  • Spend larger dollar amounts on the site
  • Have more favorable views about the brand

 Paul Abel, Ph.D., Managing Partner, Blue Research, finds that "... consumers are frustrated with the traditional online registration process and will favor brands that make it easy for them to be recognized... the rapid growth of social media has dramatically impacted consumers' expectations of websites... "

Detailed findings include observations in significant online shopping situations.

 Resistance to Traditional Registration Processes

  • 75% of people are bothered by registering on a website and will change their behavior as a result
  • 76% admit to having given incorrect information or left forms incomplete when creating a new account at a website
  • 54% may leave the site or not return
  • 17% go to a different site, if possible
  •  45% admit they have left a website if they forgot their password or log-in info, instead of answering security questions or re-setting their password

 Considering consumer perceptions of social sign-in, 66% believe social sign-in is a good solution that should be offered, and among that population:

  • 42% feel companies that offer social sign-in are more up-to-date, innovative and leave a more positive impression
  • 55% say they are more likely to return to a site that automatically recognizes them
  •  48% are more likely to make a purchase on a site that automatically recognizes them
  • 41% prefer using social sign-in compared to 35% who prefer using a guest account, or 24% who prefer creating a new account

Social Sign-in (SSI) Fans and Critics Spending (% of Category Compared to Previous Year)


SSI Fans

SSI Critics

Spending more during Holiday Season 2010



Spending > $500 during Holiday Season 2010



Source: Janrain/blue research, February 2011

For retailers in particular, consumers interested in the ability to log-in with an existing identity are a valuable target as they tend to spend more money, buy online more often, and are more influenced by social networks as compared with people who prefer traditional registration methods:

  • 25% say they use social networks to make purchase decisions or influence others
  • 35% say social network posts encouraged them to buy a product
  • 55% who prefer social network sign-in are "more" likely to return to a site that automatically recognizes them, and 48% are more likely to buy

The report concludes that the study results demonstrate that:

  • Requiring consumers to create new accounts may lead to providing misinformation and leaving the site
  • A wide majority of respondents want social sign-in to be offered by websites and more will use social sign-in than use guest or new accounts
  • Consumers interested in social sign-in tend to spend more money, buy online more often and both influence and are more influenced by social networks
  • Consumers say offering social sign-in reflects positively on the company's brand

For additional information and a full copy of the research, please visit Janrain here.



3 comments about "Online Retail Registration Restricts Response ".
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  1. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, February 8, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.

    I am from the third lot. I refuse to sign in via social except very limited situations. And I gladly will register. And only give some proper information depends on what is relative aside from email.

  2. Dave Kohl from First In Promotions, February 8, 2011 at 4:57 p.m.

    It's interesting that in order to download the full report I would have to sign up and give information first!

    Actually, retailers seeking information is not just an online concern for consumers. That goes back to the days of Radio Shack asking you 20 questions even though you stopped in to get some batteries. Certain retailers ask for a phone number or some crap when you are at the register. I can't even get a haircut without being asked for a name and phone number. To me, it's even worse to have to do that online. Even though I'm in marketing, I understand people inventing answers, since it's nobody's business.

  3. Ash Rashvand from none, February 9, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.

    Whether we like it or not. People who lose their hair over privacy issues seldom understand that if marketers want information about them they can get it. We live in an age of nano clicks and self induced ADD. It’s easy to see why a platform such as Facebook Connect is convenient for people and companies. The upside is the data tends to be more accurate. The downside is identity theft can erupt a flow of outcries if corporations don’t take measures to fully secure their clients’ identities.

    Facebook is treading lightly to condition everyday sites including e-commerce ones to integrate its service. One of the biggest shocks to me was eHow’s decision to delete everyone’s profile and only allow them to transition with Facebook Connect. Either a taste of things to come or a case study to avoid. Only time will tell.

    In my opinion we should embrace these mediums because there are enough research companies posting results, which are not fully reflective of consumer identities. Since more than 75% admit to creating misleading accounts on new web sites or are bothered by registering with companies. Well, this tells us we need a middle person to introduce us to each other. The reason not as many people are ticked about using Facebook Connect is because Facebook is seen as the intermediary friend who will introduce you to someone, i.e. the brand. It has taken years for some company such as Facebook to cultivate the basic principal of cognitive association in order for consumers to be less hostile to a third party.

    Granted there are plenty of people who forge their identities on Facebook for the sake of privacy. I’m interested to see a survey about how many people put accurate information about themselves on Facebook. Be on the lookout for Facebook Connect to be a key ingredient in retail department stores wanting to engage consumers on every level. Some brand have already started this with e-commerce pages embedded within Facebook and Facebook Connect on their own pages.

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