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From a Cookie to a Customer

From a Cookie to a Customer

Capturing online users and converting them into paying customers is how you succeed in the digital world. With a simple Google query we can see that shopping cart abandonment rate is globally at the 70% level. The reasons may vary from site-to-site, but in most cases it's the registration requirement that makes your visitors leave the goods in the cart and shop somewhere else.

Online commerce has really not evolved in years. Nothing innovative has happened with online stores since Amazon one-click patent. Yes, the selection of goods has grown, and you can find more and more stuff online. And, if you choose to do so, you can do all your shopping online, even for groceries. Getting ahead of the competition means that online commerce sites need to turn the percentage upside down, having 70% of visitors to complete their purchases.

Today, online sites try their hardest to profile visitors based on their browser cookies. These visitors are like ghosts, or misty figures passing through the site. If the visitor has a habit of clearing their browsing history every once in a while, the cookie crumbles. Turning your visitors into real people with wallets will make the difference.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) can help in the conversion process. Using an Identity Provider with multiple supported authentication methods allows visitor to choose their preferred login method. Instead of requiring your visitors to create yet another password that they will soon forget, you can let them utilize an existing identity, such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Office365/ Microsoft Live, mobile phone, etc. You can also allow existing users to link these external methods to their account information increasing the number of returning customers.

But on top of that, the site usually needs shipping and other information bits that are not associated with the authentication itself. Again, an IAM solution can help.  Further information about the user can be requested from the authentication provider. One example is Mobile Connect. Mobile Network Operators around the world are now deploying Mobile Connect, and in most cases the mobile network operator knows the address of a subscriber. These interfaces can be used to query the additional information of the user such as address data…with the users consent naturally.

Capturing the identity of users as early on as possible when they enter the website helps online commerce sites better profile the visitor, create suitable offerings or promotions based on previous purchase history. Relying on cookies alone can create problems as the cookie might not have the permission of the user - as shown in the court case against Facebook in Belgium. The commerce site users have multiple social or "easy" identities, not just Facebook. By supporting as many of them as possible and combining them with cookie policies users have agreed upon, capturing the customer identity becomes simple and straightforward, returning customers have better user experiences as they can use something they already have The result is registrations become easier, your abandonment rate drops, and your business grows.

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