passwordless ecommerce

Passwordless E-Commerce: Make the Checkout Experience Enjoyable

Categories: CIAM

If “enjoyable” doesn’t describe the shopping experience on an e-commerce application, that business will lose revenue. Browsing is easy but a successful checkout completion can be surprisingly hard given the number of hurdles that stand in a customer’s way. How can you make it easy for shoppers to spend their hard-earned money? A passwordless e-commerce experience.

The industry is already well aware of the friction within the buying process, which is why guest checkouts exist. Our research found that one in eight shoppers abandon their carts when asked to create an account when purchasing an item. So most e-commerce websites feel like they have to offer guest checkouts because the registration experience for users is so poor.

But letting your customers bypass account creation hurts you. You lose the opportunity to remarket should they have a change of heart or provide personalized recommendations based on their purchase history. 

Friction during the traditional checkout experience

Traditional registration security solutions like passwords or password-based multi-factor authentication (MFA), which utilize one-time passcodes (OTP), SMS text messages, and emails, literally take your customers out of the checkout process and push them to pick up a second device, copy a code, or jump to their email provider. While this might not hurt conversion rates among the most determined shoppers, those “fence-sitters'' or “impulsive buyers” likely won’t have the patience to create an account.

Our research also found that issues surrounding passwords and the checkout experience affect whether or not a customer completes a purchase. Two-thirds of respondents said password requirements stopped them from creating an account, even as eight in ten said they’re more likely to purchase with an online vendor with which they already have an account.

That suggests that while many shoppers view creating an account as a hassle, they do create accounts with vendors they trust. But pitfalls remain even after account creation.

Due to passwords, the e-commerce industry is leaving quite a bit of money on the table. Four in ten shoppers say they either almost always or always abandon their carts due to forgotten passwords and account recovery issues. Three quarters report they’ve abandoned carts due to a password reset issue.

The password is a relic of a bygone era. So how do you remove friction from the user experience and make checking out less of a chore while at the same time dramatically improving your business's overall security posture? 

Passwordless authentication is the answer.

Passwordless authentication offers seamless e-commerce transactions

While eliminating the password has obvious security benefits, the dramatic positive change in the user experience is often overlooked. Your customers already have to remember too many passwords, which need to be longer and more “c0mpLic@ted” to supposedly keep hackers at bay (spoiler alert: it doesn’t). Poor password habits, such as reusing a password across multiple sites, are behavior that come about because of this annoying friction.

Passwords can also be frustrating because it’s the first step of multiple actions needed to log in. Most e-commerce sites now employ MFA or other security measures to strengthen their defenses, so there’s a cumbersome code to enter from a second device or a magic link to click from an email they have to open. 

Passwordless authentication makes friction-filled MFA unnecessary. With a passwordless solution that leverages device-bound public-private keys, MFA is baked into the process. You’re protected since the credential is tied to the user and device, so you know who and what is logging in.

Instead of OTPs or SMS text messages, your customer is authenticated with local device biometrics and cryptographic keys in the background, which are unphishable and invisible eliminating the friction that causes many online shoppers opt for a guest checkout. Your customers will enjoy the fast and seamless checkout process, and conversion rates will skyrocket, which impacts your bottom line.

Modern technology makes using the password as a form of authentication obsolete. With password-based attacks increasing, it’s a race against cybercriminals to ensure you and your customers are well-protected. 

With Beyond Identity, the password does not exist for sign-up, login, or recovery. Given that what doesn’t exist can’t be stolen, you can safeguard your customers from all credential-based attacks. 

Beyond Identity’s Secure Customers

Beyond Identity can help you remove the pain points from the traditional checkout experience. You can quickly launch passwordless authentication across native and web applications with our SDK, often with just a few lines of code. 

With so much competition in the industry, your seamless account creation and checkout process gives you an edge. And you’ll convert far more fence-sitters who might buy from someone else because the checkout process was too painful.

While we’ve focused heavily on the user experience, the security benefits of using Secure Customers to authenticate your customers are significant, too. Eliminating the password also eliminates any password-based attack and protects you from some of the unfortunately all-to-common poor password practices that result in breaches and hacks.

Beyond Identity is on a mission to eliminate passwords in e-commerce. We’d love to show you how Secure Customers can make the checkout experience enjoyable and your online business far more secure. See a demo today.