Only 30 of the top 500 online retailers, or just 6 percent, have added the option of logging in with Facebook to their account-creation process, and of those 30, 30 percent are shooting themselves in the foot by requiring users to create separate password for their sites, according to the results of a new study from Sociable Labs.
The study said of login with Facebook:
This remains an untapped opportunity area for most of the IR 500, which have yet to take advantage of the many benefits that login with Facebook affords: simplified account creation, elimination of required site-specific passwords, increased onsite personalization, richer CRM (customer relationship management) data, and increased referral traffic from Facebook. Sociable Labs believes that the major factors hindering adoption include technical barriers to implementation, perceived security concerns, and level of effort required for implementation. Many of these barriers will be removed over time, which should spur continued adoption of Log in with Facebook by the IR 500.
- Technical barriers: Many of the top online retailers operate on ecommerce software platforms that do not easily support login with Facebook as an authentication mechanism for users. This creates a large technical barrier to implementation and drives the costs of implementation prohibitively high for many retailers.
- Security concerns: Some online retailers believe that login with Facebook integration can increase their exposure to security risk. While Sociable Labs believes that these perceptions are invalid, it remains a big concern for IT teams at online retailers, thereby hindering adoption.
- Effort required: Even for sites where technical barriers or security concerns are not an issue, the changes required represent a rather significant undertaking to cover all the user flows and use cases. This includes changing security protections throughout the site. For online retailers that have limited IT resources, login with Facebook has not been a prioritized initiative as a result.
The 30 companies out of the top 500 online retailers that have implemented login with Facebook are:
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Barneys New York
- Beau-Coup Favors
- Beyond the Rack
- Charming Shoppes
- David’s Bridal
- Hallmark Cards
- Lamps Plus
- One Kings Lane
- Skechers USA
However, there are missed opportunities even among these 30 companies, as Sociable Labs found that 30 percent of them require users to set up site-specific passwords, rather than seamlessly logging in with Facebook, and 50 percent do not offer login with Facebook during the checkout process. In addition, not a single retailer is taking advantage of the social network’s persistent login feature, which automatically logs users in when they return to the retailers’ sites.
Sociable Labs also found that only 17 percent of the IR 500 that have implemented social login technology have done so via third-party vendors, “which is why Sociable Labs believes Facebook will remain the primary, and only, social login option offered by most online retailers.”
The report from Sociable Labs concluded:
The largest online retailers have been slower to adopt social technology, and login with Facebook in particular, than the broader Web community. Today, according to Facebook, more than 1 million websites have integrated login with Facebook. There remains a huge untapped opportunity for the IR 500 to take advantage of login with Facebook and its many benefits. New entrants to the IR 500, such as Fab.com, have proven some of these value propositions. As of this writing, Fab.com has nearly 380,000 monthly active users of login with Facebook, and on any given day, 25 percent of the visits to Fab.com are coming from Facebook.
For the IR 500 to more rapidly adopt social technology, it will require the IR 500 early adopters to provide compelling proof points and examples of superior user experiences to the broader ecommerce community. This, combined with the removal of technical barriers and more robust software offerings from third-party vendors, will reduce the current barriers to adoption.
Today, there are only a few good examples of login with Facebook among the IR 500, and even fewer that have advanced beyond login with Facebook to provide truly transformative personalized, social experiences for their users. A personalized, social shopping experience is the future of online retail, and Sociable Labs looks forward to working with more of the IR 500 to make this future a reality today.