Check Me Out: Consumers Are Fed Up With Passwords And Resets, Study Shows

With the holiday season racing toward a climax, ecommerce brands are grappling with a major byproduct of online shopping: The abandoned cart.  Here’s one clue that may help them: consumers are tired of the torturous password process engaged in by many firms, according to a study by Beyond Identity.  

Of the shoppers polled, 25% will abandon a cart worth $100 or more if they have to reset their password to check out.  

On the positive side, 57% are very likely to reset the password to continue, and 31% somewhat so. And they will stick with a cart if the total has reached $162.

But 58% prefer to check out as a guest if given that option, while 42% will create an account. 

Why check out as a guest? Because they say this process is: 

  • Faster — 68%
  • Already have too many online accounts — 63%
  • Easier — 60% 
  • Fatigued by creating online accounts — 47%
  • Difficulty — 23%



Here are the most annoying parts of online account registration: 

Email teams often have to clean up the resulting messes. It’s one thing to address the product or price in a triggered email follow-up, but the process? A critical part of a good customer experience is helping customers cope with these issues, whether through email, chat or phone.  

Here’s what people find most annoying about online account registration:

  • Passwords having specific requirements (length, special characters, etc.) — 23%
  • Forgetting passwords — 20%
  • Requiring account creation to check out — 18% 
  • Answering security questions — 17% 
  • Passing a CAPTCHA test to log in — 15% 
  • Multifactor authentication — 19% 
  • Other — 1% 

(In the interest of full disclosure, your reporter is flummoxed by all of these demands, and has concluded that CAPCHA is a type of digital dementia test.) 

Perhaps worst of all, 40% of consumers have stopped using a service entirely if they forgot their password, and 27% because they were unable to log in. And 13% have done so in both cases, versus 20% who say none of the above.

Yet 48% of all shoppers have often or always found themselves needing to reset passwords. It apparently hasn’t helped much that 59% have stored their passwords on their computer, perhaps saving it as a browser.  

All that said, 48% say online account creation makes sites more secure, and 47% that the level is the same. And 4% say this need makes sites less secure. 

What kind of passwords are people using? The study (full report here) found that 63% use simple ones, and 37% difficult passwords. On a separate note, 58% use the same security question across multiple shopping platforms. 

Beyond Identity surveyed 1,024 online shoppers. Of those, 56% were men, 43% women and 1% nonbinary. 

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