Posts Tagged: ecommerce

Why Millennials Demand Social Login

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Data, Customer Experience, Personalization

Marketers: millennials are the future (and the present). Not only will these young individuals soon be the ones comprising the majority of the workforce, running companies and managing the world, but they also currently wield roughly $1.3 trillion in annual buying power already (BCG). Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 50% of the American workforce will be millennials by 2020 (Lemonstand).

Clearly, this demographic will have even more spending power by the end of the decade on top of their already significant purchasing power today. Therefore, it is vital for marketers to understand who millennials are and what can be done to better market to them. Looking at some traits of millennials, marketers can see that one way of appealing to this young audience is by integrating social login options, i.e. allowing consumers to authenticate their identities on websites and mobile applications using their existing social network credentials. Let’s look at 3 reasons why social login is essential to attracting the millennial consumer:

They Are Social Media & Mobile Connoisseurs


Millennials are comprised of young adults ranging from soon-to-be college grads to early thirty-something year olds, and they have been active social media users since the dawn of MySpace. In fact, 87% of online adults between the ages of 18 to 29 in the US use Facebook, 53% use Instagram, 37% use Twitter and 34% are on Pinterest (Pew Research Center). Furthermore, more than 85% of millennials in the US own smartphones (Nielsen) and touch these smartphones more than 45 times a day (SDL). Evidently, these folks are mobile addicts and accustomed to the real-time, “right here, right now” nature of social media. What do these stats mean for companies trying to attract these consumers?

According to a recent study, roughly 64% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 claim to use social login because they dislike spending the time to fill out registration forms (Gigya). Social login not only saves consumers’ time, but it also spares them from having to remember yet another username and password combination. Per the same survey and the same age criteria, nearly 45% of respondents said they use social login to avoid having to remember another username and password (Gigya).

What’s more, enabling social login makes it significantly easier for potential customers trying to register on a company’s website while using mobile devices, a common occurrence for the average millennial as they spend so much time on their phones. A push of a button is quick and easy while typing out multiple fields on a touch screen gets annoying very quickly.

They Like Shopping Online

Another characteristic of millennials worth noting is their collective tendency to shop online. 40% of male millennials and 33% of female millennials say that they’d love to buy everything online if they could, and almost half of all millennials spend more than an hour looking at retail sites daily (Lemonstand). Knowing that millennials enjoy shopping online, and spend a lot of time doing so, eCommerce sites should expect a lot of young consumers filling out online purchasing forms. But did you know that 60% of US and 64% of UK consumers have admitted to abandoning a purchase on a website or app because it required them to fill out a registration form (Gigya)?

With social login, instead of having to manually input their info into a purchasing form they have seen a million times, millennials can click a single button and have all their purchasing and shipping information seamlessly and securely transferred from their PayPal and/or Amazon accounts — or any other site that stores purchasing information. Again, this use of social login speeds up the registration/checkout process, eases mobile registration and eliminates the need to remember another new username and password.

They Prefer Personalization

For any brand trying to improve its appeal to the young consumer, it is important to provide personalized user experiences and relevant, targeted marketing. For instance, media publishing sites need to effectively personalize content recommendations, while travel sites must personalize itineraries and destination highlights. eCommerce sites should prioritize relevant product recommendations as well since 80% of consumers like when retailers’ emails contain recommended products based on previous purchases (InternetRetailer), and 45% of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations (Invesp).

First-party data, which is information provided directly by customers, is the key to providing this level of personalization. Marketers can gain access to this rich data quickly and easily with social login as users grant brands permission to pre-existing data stored within their existing social identities. This valuable data can then be utilized to create accurate user profiles, which is the key to building modern-day marketing strategies. For example, when users log in socially to, the brand collects users’ locations with permission, and then leverages this information to send subscribers targeted email communications to rally support for the business’s major global event in November.

Live Earth

Case in Point

Gigya’s 2015 State of Consumer Privacy & Personalization report illustrates how young consumers use social login features for the convenience it provides. The survey shows that 94% of 18-24 year olds and 95% of 25-34 year olds have logged into a website or mobile application using an existing digital identity from a social network such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Overall, there was an 11% increase since our 2014 survey and a 35% boost since our 2012 survey in US consumers, regardless of age, who had used social login to access a mobile app or website.


As millennials take over the consumer population, social login usage continues to increase. Imagine what the climate will be like in another five to ten years when millennials comprise the majority of the work force and the nation’s spending power — social login will be an absolute necessity to ensure high registration conversions.

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3 Examples of the Evolution of Identity

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Identity, Identity Data, UX

The concept of digital identity has evolved significantly over the last 15 years. Though traditional registration forms that require usernames, email addresses, and passwords are still mainstays across the Internet, we’ve also seen the proliferation of simpler, more modern methods of authentication.

Social login, for example, has been widely adopted by both businesses and consumers. Allowing users to verify their identities and log in to websites and mobile applications using existing profiles from networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn not only creates a more streamlined experience for consumers, it also enables marketers to capture and leverage rich, first-party social identity data.

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Users clearly enjoy the ease and speed of social login — Facebook Login was used more than 10 billion times in 2013 alone (Facebook Newsroom). Organizations also understand the value of the identity data housed within social profiles — hundreds of thousands of websites and apps across the Internet now employ some form of social login (Datanyze).

As the evolution of digital identity continues, we’re seeing even more unique and integrated means of online verification. Let’s take a look at three interesting methods of identity authentication in use today.

Apple Pay

When Apple introduced the iPhone 5S, the company introduced a new hardware feature called Touch ID. Touch ID allows users to unlock their smartphones, tablets, and certain operating system applications using just a fingerprint. A year later, when Apple unveiled the iPhone 6, we saw the introduction of Apple Pay, a mobile payment system.

The combination of Touch ID, Apple Pay, and Apple’s native Passbook app effectively digitizes a user’s entire wallet and identity as a consumer, using biometrics and NFC technology to authenticate shoppers at the point of sale. Goods can be purchased using only a smartphone, without the need to swipe a credit card.


Twitter Digits

In late 2014, social networking company Twitter introduced Digits, a tool that allows users to sign up for mobile apps and authenticate their identities without the need to create new login credentials. Rather than creating new usernames and passwords, consumers can log in using their cell phone numbers — an identification mechanism they already use every day.

With Digits, online accounts are tied only to mobile phone numbers, eliminating password fatigue for users, and reducing the amount of spam or inactive accounts businesses have to deal with. An individual signs up using his or her phone number, receives an SMS code, enters the code into the verification field, and the process is complete.


Log In with PayPal

As eCommerce and mobile commerce continue to grow (Internet Retailer), we’re seeing more and more consumers leverage authentication solutions from payment providers. PayPal, for instance, has its own third-party identification solution for websites and apps called Log In with PayPal.

Log In with PayPal allows consumers to log in to web properties using their existing PayPal credentials. This option streamlines checkout processes and provides enhanced merchant experiences as most shipping and payment details are stored within PayPal.


Consumer identity, as well as the means to verify consumer identity, are becoming increasingly important across the Internet, and businesses need to be adequately prepared.

In order to successfully embrace and prepare for the continued evolution of digital identity, brands need a customer identity management solution in place that is capable of normalizing both structured and unstructured consumer data, as well as maintaining compliance with the ever-changing APIs of third-party identity providers.

To learn more about how concept of identity will continue to diversify, download our free eBook, “The Evolution of Consumer Identity.”

– Reeyaz Hamirani, Corporate Communications Manager

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5 Stats That Prove Businesses Must Personalize to Win Customers

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Data, Customer Experience, Personalization

Consumers today are inundated with marketing-related stimuli. From display advertising and email newsletters to push notifications and sponsored posts on social media, the average consumer sees nearly 250 marketing messages daily, and probably doesn’t notice half of them despite the exposure (Fluid Drive Media).

With so much information constantly fighting for consumer mindshare, it’s easy to see how any business’s messages could simply get lost in the shuffle. The key to breaking through the clutter is by delivering personalized and relevant communications to consumers. In fact, 90% of marketers see individualization as the future of marketing – moving beyond segmentation to true one-to-one personalization in a real-time context (Teradata).

Though achieving this level of individualized marketing may seem daunting, the immense scope of technologies available today makes it entirely possible. Marketers can use the tools at their disposal to understand consumers on a more granular level, and communicate with them as individuals rather than segments. Simply put, businesses must build their marketing programs around customer identity in order to be seen as industry innovators rather than laggards. Let’s take a look at five key statistics that prove brands must personalize their messaging to win the hearts, and wallets, of customers.

73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant (Digital Trends)

By letting consumers self-identify using either traditional registration or social authentication, businesses are able to capture valuable first-party identity data that can be used to tailor experiences both online and in-store. Cosmetics brand Lancome provides several ways for users to register with the company, and explains exactly how it will use personal information to deliver relevance and exclusive benefits.

86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions (Infosys)

Consumers are openly acknowledging the fact that businesses can influence them by delivering relevant messaging and making shopping experiences more personal. Brands that continue to send cookie-cutter marketing correspondences and treat every consumer the same are missing the opportunity to create lasting, valuable customer relationships.

45% of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations (Invesp)

As a business, if you analyze customers’ on-site browsing habits and social graph data to make tailored product recommendations, you’re creating an experience that fosters brand loyalty. Online clothing retailer ASOS, for example, has a unique “Complete the Look” feature. Once a user adds something to his or her cart, ASOS recommends other products that match with the item. A shopper who originally only wanted a shirt may end up purchasing an entire outfit.

40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels (Monetate)

Cross-channel personalization revolves around customer identity, and is an incredibly lucrative tactic that can ultimately help businesses increase their bottom lines. Let’s say a customer is shopping online and adds an item to his or her cart. However, the customer gets distracted with something else and never actually checks out. A few hours later, the brand can send the user a mobile-optimized email reminding him or her about the saved items, and even offer a 10% discount with a link to easily complete the transaction.

80% of consumers like when retailers emails contain recommended products based on previous purchases (Listrak)

Nothing says relevance quite like an email that recommends products based on purchases that have already been made. Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy knows this customer already owns a Playstation 4. The company is leveraging the information to push additional games, accessories, and add-ons. Not only is Best Buy personalizing the messaging, the brand is also reminding the customer about products he or she is probably already interested in.

As marketing channels advance to include connected devices, new social platforms, and even branded mobile apps, it’s obvious that the battle for consumers’ top-of-mind awareness will grow even more competitive. The businesses that can successfully leverage identity data to create individualized experiences will see revenues and customer loyalty increase, while the brands that continue to employ the “spray-and-pray” method of marketing will falter. To learn more about how businesses are using customer identity to personalize experiences, check out our free joint webinar with our integration partner Demandware.

– Reeyaz Hamirani, Corporate Communications Manager

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3 Conversion Killers Stifling the Growth of Your Business

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Experience, Personalization

As the digital landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, so do the expectations of online customers. With the explosion and convenience of mobile commerce and omni-channel shopping experiences, purchase behaviors have shifted.

In order to keep up with consumer demand for quick and painless online shopping flows, businesses must change the ways in which they interact with customers on an individualized level to prevent a decrease in conversions.

Let’s explore three common pitfalls that negatively impact conversion rates, and overview strategies businesses can utilize to increase online conversions while forming authentic relationships with modern-day consumers.

Lengthy Registration Forms

Facing a tedious registration process can be quite daunting for customers, likely resulting in site drop-off from users wary of inputting an abundance of personal details. In fact, more than 80% of US and UK consumers have attested to abandoning a site after being bombarded with too many registration fields.

Allowing customers to register using their existing, pre-verified user accounts eliminates this barrier to entry. Users who prefer to shop and make purchases over mobile will rejoice at the simple, two-step registration process allowed by social login, as well as not having to create yet another username and password combination.

According to Gigya’s most recent Privacy & Personalization Survey, more than 65% of respondents say they use social login “often” or “always” when given the option, compared to just 35% of respondents in 2012.

Furthermore, filling out traditional registration forms no longer has to be an arduous undertaking for customers. By employing a registration flow which utilizes progressive profiling, businesses can gather customer data over time instead of burdening the user all at once with lengthy forms.

Lack of User-Generated Content

As forums and microblogging platforms have gained immense popularity, it comes as no surprise that 90% of users rely on product reviews from their peers when considering purchasing an item (Marketing Land). Customer reviews not only have an influence on short-term purchase decisions, but also on long-term buying habits.

By not providing an outlet for shoppers to view and contribute to product feedback, businesses risk missing the opportunity to foster brand advocacy. According to AdAge, 74% of millennials believe they impact the buying decisions of those around them. Additionally, without a ratings and reviews system in place, brands can lose out on conversions from referral traffic generated by review syndication on social networks.

Consider encouraging customers to share out product reviews post-purchase through a triggered message or personalized email. This will increase word-of-mouth marketing, as well as establish brand recognition.

eCommerce powerhouse Amazon, for example, has a dedicated “Customer Reviews” section on every product page. With ratings based on a star system, verified customer reviews, and reviewer levels based on purchase history and review frequency, Amazon has created an interactive way for customers to learn from one another.

Irrelevant Communications

Digital Trends reports that 73% of customers admit they’d rather purchase from a site that utilizes individual preferences to create customized experiences. Creating a personalized user experience extends far beyond site content to include email, banner advertisements, direct mail, and more.

Irrelevant messages are frustrating for customers, and can lead to all future communications being marked as spam. In fact, after receiving irrelevant information or products from a brand, 43% of consumers admit to ignoring future communications from the company. Businesses need to be sure they’re effectively leveraging customer data in order to deliver highly relevant messaging, boost clickthrough rates, and drive referral traffic back to the website.

In order to reap the benefits of customized messaging campaigns, consider implementing a customer identity management solution that integrates with leading marketing automation software to deliver content based on users’ behavioral and psychographic data. By measuring customers’ on-site actions and collecting permission-based identity data such as relationship statuses, occupations, and locations, organizations can segment users with laser-focus. This 1-to-1 relationship can extend to create relevance across multiple channels.

Online charity sends its donors tailored messaging revolving around current projects accepting donations based on factors such as the users’ locations and previous donation histories. This effort to ensure relevance keeps donors engaged and, most importantly, helps the community.

To learn more about how to effectively harness consumer data to increase online shopping cart conversions and customer retention, download Gigya’s free eBook, “Turning Anonymous Shoppers Into Known Customers.”

– Reeyaz Hamirani, Corporate Communications Manager

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10 Stats Driving the Future of Social Commerce

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Experience, Social Marketing

Running an ecommerce business these days is no easy feat. With such a low barrier to entry, competition can be fierce, and your goals need to expand beyond simply getting consumers to make that purchase: You also need to gain their long-term trust and nurture their loyalty with personalized, relevant shopping experiences.

To help you stay one step ahead of the pack, we’ve compiled some stats that speak to the future of ecommerce for the savvy marketer that understands the importance of preparing a strategy geared towards the future.

Building Brand Interest

68% of consumers agree that shopping today is less about brands or products themselves and more about what they are feeling and needing. (Mediapost)

A third of adult Internet users under 30 are getting their information from what their friends are posting on social networks rather than from traditional business homepages. (Pew Research)

Customer reviews are trusted 12x more than marketing descriptions. (Brick Marketing)

Key Takeaways:

Marketers have long understood that shopping is a highly emotional experience. As shopping experiences shift from the physical to the digital, customers are still strongly influenced by their feelings; and brands that successfully figure out how to recognize, elicit, and tailor the shopping experience to these emotions will thrive.

What’s more, the rise of social networking has made friend recommendations more accessible and prevalent than ever before. Consider the following scenario: You’re casually scrolling through your Facebook News feed, and suddenly you see a review your friend wrote for a new wireless speaker set he recently purchased for his home. You hadn’t even considered needing or even wanting a new set of speakers, but you’re suddenly intrigued because you know that this particular friend has great taste and a keen interest in the latest tech gadgets. Out of curiosity, you click your friend’s review, which takes you to the product page for the item, where you see hundreds of other positive customer reviews about these speakers.

Before you know it, you’re staring at your current speaker set, which suddenly appears ancient and outdated compared to the sleek, surround-sound speakers on the screen. It doesn’t take long before you’ve placed the item in your cart and completed the check-out process.

Nurturing Consumer Trust

71% of consumers state that they are very concerned about online companies selling or sharing information about them without their permission. (Consumer Reports)

77% of online shoppers would trust businesses more if they explained how they use their personal information. (Get Elastic)

Key Takeaways:

People are openly sharing their life updates, personal photographs, interests, locations, and more across their social channels — yet, in an ironic turn of events, customers are increasingly hesitant to share this intel with businesses online. In fact, the sharing of personal information has become a touchy subject for customers coming to terms with the “evil corporation” image that has been embedded in the media.

To help ease your customers’ fears about data privacy, we recommend communicating clearly to your users exactly what data points you’d like them to share with your business and how you plan to use this data to improve the buying experience. We’re willing to bet that your customers will be surprisingly open to sharing personal details if you assure them that you’ll be responsible with their intel.

Crafting Better Shopping Experiences

40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels. (Monetate)

48% of consumers use or would like to use a smartphone to shop while in-store or on the go. (Luxury Daily)

45% of in-store consumers turn to social platforms on their mobile devices to influence their buying decisions. (Social Media Today)

Key Takeaways:

When it comes to reaching your customers, personalized, cross-channel experiences are key. Going off our earlier point, it’s important to collect your users’ data so that you can, in turn, use it to tailor the shopping experience to them.

You may also want to consider ways to bridge the experience from channel to channel. This goes beyond simply having a mobile presence: It encompasses your ability to engage your customer on their desktops, mobile devices, and in your store with a consistent brand experience.

Future Markets

Connected devices are projected to total 26 billion by 2020. (Gartner)

IoT Solutions spending will reach $7.1 trillion worldwide in 2020. (eMarketer)

Key Takeaways:

It’s important for any retailer to consider how the Internet of Things will affect the way consumers will interact with their, well, things in the future. As ultra-connectedness becomes the norm, is your business situated to capitalize on, or at least remain relevant, to your customers?

General Electric, for instance, teamed with Internet of Things software provider Quirky to develop a new line of connected home goods that interact with one another and connect to your smartphone. One of its products is the Nimbus, a four-dial dashboard that displays the time, commute traffic, weather, email inbox status, calendar, social media network updates, and more. The Nimbus connects to your FitBit, phone, and other products within the GE+Quirky line.

Guiding The Future of eCommerce

eCommerce will only continue to grow in the future; and as it does, it’s increasingly critical that your business is poised to meet your customers’ expectations. This involves earning their trust, knowing them on an individual level, providing relevant, cross-channel shopping experiences, and positioning your business to remain relevant in the wake of new developments.

For some additional inspiration, we’ve compiled 50 of the best user experiences we’ve found on the web to date — check it out here.

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Webinar Recording: Customer Identities Are a Whole Different Bunch

Posted On: Filed Under: Big Data, Customer Experience, Marketing Resources

Long ago, companies recognized the importance of effectively managing employee identities, data and permissions to help streamline company processes and protect valuable business assets.

Over the past 5-10 years, the rise of ecommerce, social networks, mobile and connected devices has created the need for businesses to develop an external identity access management (IAM) strategy to keep up with the flood of identity data being created as consumers connect across channels. Unprepared for and unfamiliar with the challenges of external identity management, many businesses have attempted to scale internal IAM solutions for external identity management purposes.

But successfully capturing, protecting and leveraging consumer identity data requires a whole new set of tools and technologies built for the consumer identity access management (cIAM) era.

In this webinar, our guest Forrester Research’s Andras Cser provides an overview of Consumer Identity Access Management (CIAM) and explains how it provides the scale, performance, and ease of use needed to efficiently manage the entire customer registration process from start to finish while offering a complete view of the customer.

See below for the full webinar recording.

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Information for Value: 4 Ways to Make Customers Happy to Share Their Personal Info

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Experience

Consumers care about privacy, but they’re also willing to share personal information with brands – as long as they get something in return. A recent Accenture survey found that 49 percent of consumers said they would not object to having their buying behavior tracked if it would result in relevant offers from brands and suppliers.

However, “relevant offers” does not mean having the pair of shoes you looked at and rejected following you all over the internet. Providing truly relevant offers requires a careful blending and parsing of data from multiple sources.

One of the best sources for information about an individual’s interests is social media. As consumers share what they like and what they don’t, whether by clicking Facebook’s like button, retweeting or repining, that information enriches the profiles – and it’s all accessible to brands that incentivize consumers to use social login.

Incentives can range from discounts, coupons and special offers to more intangible things such as convenience. Amazon’s famous one-click shopping experience lets shoppers who log in complete a purchase with just that one click, instead of having to enter the shipping address, credit card number, etc.

Loyalty programs, where members can earn bonus points to spend, are another great way to generate site registrations.

When we surveyed thousands of businesses that implemented social login, we found that including a clear message describing the benefits of logging in socially more than doubled the number of customers who did so: 45% used social login following a benefits message, compared to 21.6% of customers who didn’t explain its benefits.

Here are some best practices for communicating to your customers what they’ll get in return for registering or logging in via a social network:

1. Demonstrate how social login is more convenient

Retailer PacSun provides a simple, straightforward incentive for customers to choose social login — the ease of not having to remember another username and password.

2. Offer incentives

In a push to get its users registered socially to play its March Madness Bracket Challenge, NCAA displays a simple, clear message: “Because Brackets are more fun with friends.”

Participating on the site is another kind of incentive. ModCloth’s Be the Buyer program lets shoppers select which designs should go into production, as well as comment and share their comments – but only after they register.

Providing social status within a community is another tactic for encouraging registrations; it’s one that has long been used by video game companies. Leaderboards let everyone see who the highest-ranked player is. Yelp, for instance, rewards its top reviewers in each area by making them part of the Yelp Elite, featuring their photos and reviews, while describing them as its “exclusive, in-the-know crew.”

3. Place incentives close to the point of purchase

There’s a natural pathway as customers move through an e-commerce site, from browsing to searching to comparing products to making a purchase decision. While it’s good to mention incentives or rewards programs on the home page of your site, including them at the point of purchase can help your customer decide to hit the checkout button. This is especially important for loyalty/rewards programs. After all, how can someone know if he wants to join your club before he’s seen what you have to offer? Take a look at how Sephora waits until someone is ready to check out and then offers the opportunity to sign up for its rewards program.

4. Lay out the value proposition

You may think it’s obvious why customers should register with you and create an account — but why not make it clear? Do customers who register get a first look at new products? The ability to show off their smarts by writing reviews? Discounts on shipping? Remind them. A little copywriting love never hurts. Sephora says it plainly. but with style: “The more you shop, the better the rewards.”

Keep your customers close

Consumers want their relationship with you to be easy and rewarding. Encourage deeper brand engagement by making it easy for them to log in socially and offering incentives at just the right time. To learn more about how social login benefits your entire user engagement strategy, download the free Social Login 101 ebook here.

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5 Stats Every Ecommerce Business Should Know

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Experience, Marketing Resources

As summer comes to an end, most retailers are gearing up for the busiest (and most lucrative) part of the year – the holidays.

Earning your customers’ business means having a strong grasp on the ever-changing eCommerce landscape. To point your business in the right direction, below are some stats to keep in mind, along with key takeaways and recommended courses of action.

32% of online purchases are made over mobile.

As smartphone and tablet activations continue to increase, mobile purchases will inevitably increase as well. One way to take advantage of this trend is by creating a user experience optimized for mobile that can transfer logged in states and user data seamlessly across multiple channels.

Consider what Amazon has done by offering “1-Click Ordering” on its native mobile application. A user can establish payment and shipping credentials once over web, and then use that information to make purchases over mobile with a single tap (Business Insider).

89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.

This ties in directly with the statistic mentioned above. If your online and mobile registration and checkout processes are clunky and frustrating, don’t be surprised if consumers begin looking elsewhere for a smoother user experience. One of the most effective ways to reduce friction in the registration process is to offer consumers a way to authenticate with your site using their existing social identities. This option benefits the customer because he or she won’t have yet another username and password to remember.

PacSun, for example, allows users to register quickly and easily using a variety of popular social networks (Salt Branding).

91% of eCommerce retailers saw a lift in their SEO rank thanks to social referrals.

If you’re not providing your online customers with a way to share and review their favorite products using their real online identities, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to increase your company’s online footprint. Rather than allocating more of your marketing budget towards SEO, give your users a way to generate content onsite.

Em-Cosmetics, for example, is utilizing a customized Share bar and ratings/reviews platform that allows customers to voice their opinions about any product on the website. Not only does the Share bar let users publish to multiple social networks, but it also looks consistent with Em-Cosmetics’ branding (Shop Socially).

73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant.

Online shoppers are actively seeking out customized experiences. If you responsibly use first-party user data to learn about your customers, you’ll earn their trust, and they’ll continue to purchase from you. One way to acquire this first-party data is by incentivizing users to connect with your brand by offering exclusive deals and other personalized rewards.

Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium created the Ultimate Fan Challenge, an online competition rewarding users for participating in on-site games that encouraged the exploration and sharing of site content throughout the Olympic Games. By incentivizing the sharing of site content, the organization drove an average of 3.87 referral clicks per share throughout the Games.

eMarketer predicts that worldwide B2C eCommerce sales will increase by 20.1% this year, reaching a grand total of $1.5 trillion.

Online shopping clearly continues to grow as consumers look for convenience and personalization. As ecommerce continues to grow, you want to make sure that your ecommerce platform and CRM system are capable of handling jumps in traffic while offering the security and protection you need to protect sensitive user data and consolidate all your user records (eMarketer).

What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?

It’s more important now than ever before to fully understand and effectively navigate the eCommerce landscape in order to win the hearts of online shoppers. To learn more about how retailers and brands are engaging their customers to increase online sales, check out the free ebook, Turning Anonymous Shoppers Into Known Customers.

– Reeyaz Hamirani, Corporate Communications Manager

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Customer Spotlight: Natura Grows A Network of 100 Million Consumers and 14k Consultants with Gigya

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Showcase

Natura is the largest cosmetics and personal care company in Brazil. With a passion for connecting consumers through the power of wellness and beauty, Natura’s network of products and consultants now touches nearly 60% of Brazilian homes each year. Its new social commerce site,, is currently available to consumers in the state of São Paulo.

Challenge: Scaling the Sales Process to Accelerate Customer and Revenue Growth

As a high-growth company with its sights set on expansion, Natura wanted to find a way to scale and enhance its direct-selling model. By partnering with Gigya, Natura was able to create an ecommerce experience with consumer identity and community engagement at its core, helping grow its network to over 100 million consumers and 14k consultants.

Solution: Building a Digital Storefront Powered by Personal Shopping Experiences

Gigya helped Natura transform its direct-selling model by powering a comprehensive ecommerce experience where consumers can login socially to browse Natura products and connect with consultants directly. Socially logged-in consumers are able to search and select consultants based on a number of criteria, including whether or not they are part of their existing Facebook networks, their areas of expertise, gamification achievements and star ratings.

Creating Personal User Experiences

Social login also gives shoppers the ability to interact with the Natura community and take a range of valuable social actions, including leaving reviews and sharing products with their social networks. Capturing users’ social identities enables Natura to tie shoppers’ social profile data to their on-site behaviors to create individual user profiles and foster more personal user experiences.

“Gigya’s partnership has enabled us to digitize and scale our direct-selling model while simultaneously maintaining the quality and closeness of consumer and consultant relationships. Allowing consumers to interact directly with one another, their consultants and Natura products has led to consistent growth in transaction volume and value. Associating consumers’ on-site activity with verified user identities using Gigya’s Social Login and Identity Storage is helping us grow a collection of first-party, permission-based data, which provides us with a deeper understanding of our customer base and the insight to reach them with an increasing level of relevance in future campaigns.”
Marcio Orlandi, Digital Presence Governance @ Natura

You can download the full Natura case study here to learn more.

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How to Optimize Your Email Marketing Strategy with Data

Posted On: Filed Under: Big Data, Omni-Channel

This blog post was co-authored with Kate Lowry, Channel & Customer Marketing Manager at Listrak. Listrak provides retailers access to shopper insights that enable them to power dynamic, omni-channel campaigns.

Trying to reach your customers through email can often times feel like shouting into a deep, dark well. Your message is loud and clear, yet it’s impossible to guess who’s at the receiving end or if anyone is even listening to begin with.

To add insult to injury, the odds are stacked against you: 61% of people report that disinterest is their most common reason for not opening an email, followed by email overload (45%).

So how do you get your message across to the overwhelmed, indifferent masses? The answer lies in first party consumer data and email personalization.

What’s First Party Data Got to do with Anything?

Data on your customers provide tons of insight into users’ backgrounds and habits, which serve as the building blocks for personalized email marketing campaigns. In other words, first party data lets you speak to your users on an individual level so you can deliver the messages that matter most to them.

First Party Data vs. Cookie Data

Back in the former, dark days of marketing, businesses relied on cookie data to inform their marketing campaigns, which essentially requires marketers to draw inferences based on browsing history. Every consumer has probably experienced the downfalls of cookie data to some degree: You know how it feels when your spouse uses your desktop to shop for new shoes, only to receive an onslaught of banner ads for women’s evening heels for the next week. Not only does the browsing experience become totally irrelevant — and frankly, a bit irritating — to the user, but it’s also a waste of money and resources for the business.

First party data, on the other hand, consists of data points that the user provides voluntarily and knowingly about himself when he fills in his social media profiles. For instance, when you update your location on Facebook, the social network saves this information and it becomes a first party data point. Businesses looking to access and leverage this first party data should look into investing in a suite of technologies that can collect and manage large volumes of these user identities in a responsible, easy to access way.

Capturing First Party Data

To start collecting first party data, you’ll want to implement a social login dialog that lets users authenticate their social identities when they enter your site or mobile app in a secure, permission-based manner. When requesting user data, be sure to communicate clearly to your users what data points you’ll be collecting and explain how you plan to use their information. This builds a sense of trust between your business and your customers while communicating your commitment to responsible data handling practices.

To increase the chances of your users logging in socially, you may also want to consider providing some incentives for doing so, like Lancôme does below.

Beauty company Lancôme offers deluxe samples and early access to new products for users that register for its site.

Segmenting and Leveraging First Party Insights

Once you access your users’ information, it’s important to have a strategy in place to actually use this data to provide relevant experiences for your customers. To see this process through, you’ll want to invest in a platform that lets you visualize and sort your data in a user-friendly way.

Segmenting your audience is the first step when creating a tailored email campaign, as it essentially lets you group your readers according to specific criteria, such as interests, site actions, and backgrounds. By dividing your audience into groups, you set the stage to begin sending tailored emails that your readers will actually care about.

Did You Know?

Online shoppers are open to receiving more emails if they feature personalized products and help make shopping easier (Listrak).

Optimizing Your Email Campaigns

With email marketing, trial and error is a necessary first step when fine-tuning your email campaigns. To find which messages resonate the most with your audiences, consider writing multiple messages with the same call-to-action and A/B testing your emails. To streamline the email customization process, you’ll want to use an email client that makes it easy to test your email performance and generate new content for each of your subscribers.

An Email Strategy Founded on Data

Accurate, comprehensive data lies at the foundation of every cohesive marketing strategy. While first party data contains insights to power your marketing campaigns, performance data instructs you how to better optimize your campaigns for conversions. As you tweak and measure your email strategy, consider how data plays a role each step of the way — your customers will respond to it in positive ways.

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Beyond The Purchase Funnel: How to Foster Customer Retention

Posted On: Filed Under: Customer Experience, Social Marketing

Retaining a large, loyal customer base is essentially the equivalent of achieving jedi master status in the ecommerce world. The businesses that actually have it right are far, few, and notorious for their dominance in the space — Amazon,, and Apple might be some companies that come to mind for most.

To help businesses gain a better understanding of what goes into an effective marketing strategy that breeds loyalty, we’ll go over some ways to craft those customized, relevant user experiences breed customer retention and increase revenue.

Shopping Just Got Personal

eMarketer predicts that worldwide B2C ecommerce sales will increase by 20.1% this year, reaching a grand total of $1.5 trillion. As the ecommerce market becomes increasingly saturated, it’s important for businesses to set themselves apart from the competition.

To start, you should consider ways to offer a personalized user experience that grabs consumers’ attention while enabling you to capture the behavioral and social insights you need to better engage these customers in the future. Social login enables this process, allowing you to seamlessly and securely collect and authenticate social identities across devices and providing you access to your customers’ first party data.

After your users register and log in socially, you can personalize the user experience in several ways. To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve provided some ideas below.

Personalized Product Recommendations

Companies like do an effective job of recommending products based on a user’s shopping history and shopping cart data. Take product recommendations to another level by incorporating first party data, such as a user’s interests and hobbies, into the recommendations you serve them.

Event-Triggered Discounts

To encourage customers to log back on and complete their purchases, you can email tailored discounts based on the product pages your customers have viewed.

Location Data

Businesses with brick and mortar stores can use geolocation data to inform customers which items are in stock at their physical storefronts and available for in-person pick-up.

Reminders to Cart Abandoners

Want to lower those shopping cart abandonment rates? Help a customer who’s abandoned his cart along the path to purchase by emailing a personal reminder with a link to complete his purchase. You may even consider including a unique discount code off his purchase to help seal the deal.

Competitive Shopping

To incentivize valuable actions, tap into customers’ competitive natures by gamifying your shopping experience. Consider encouraging your customers to perform valuable actions — logging in socially, sharing permission-based data, and more — by rewarding them with virtual or real world prizes such as discounts, access to exclusive in-store events, and more.

Omni-Channel Experiences

A study by Cisco reveals that 54% of consumers would like to use a smartphone to shop while in-store or on the go. To create those cross-channel experiences that your customers crave, send exclusive offers to mobile app users to redeem in store, or let your mobile shoppers pick up purchased items in store.

Holding the Keys to Success

In a nutshell, the keys to successful customer retention lie in customized user experiences, opportunities for engagement and immersive cross-channel experiences. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that marketers focus on crafting those 1:1 interactions that utilize the customer’s identity to inform the experiences that will stick and nurture loyalty.

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3 Trends Shaping eCommerce – A Summary of eMarketer’s Social Commerce Roundup

Posted On: Filed Under: Marketing Resources

Earlier this month, eMarketer released a summary of the current state of social commerce, titled the “eMarketer Social Commerce Roundup.” The report provides valuable insight into social commerce today and offers suggestions for marketers looking to stay ahead of the pack.

According to eMarketer, over half of U.S. residents will use social networks regularly this year. Americans will spend 830 billion collective minutes on Facebook alone. The question of whether commerce will become social is no longer up for debate. Instead, marketers have begun asking how best to use social media to their advantage.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss a few key takeaways from the report in greater depth, providing actionable suggestions along the way.

1. Social Networks Are Not Storefronts, but They Are Still Vitally Important Spaces

As Facebook’s reach has increased exponentially in recent years, marketers have, for the most part, kept up: virtually every major and mid-sized retailer has at least some Facebook presence. So although the data on Facebook’s rise isn’t new, the ways in which brands are putting it to use certainly are.

According to the report, only 15% of retailers with Facebook apps had product browsing available in 2013, down more than 75% from the 62% that had it in 2012. Marketers have begun to realize that the true value of social networks lies not in creating social media storefronts, but in connecting consumers across the purchase funnel.

Instead, social networks, are being used to drive consumers from discovery, to conversion, to advocacy by giving them a means to interact with brands, products and fellow shoppers. 94% of retailers surveyed in 2013 had installed social sharing buttons on their webpages, and more and more consumers are turning to social feedback to inform purchase decisions.

Tip: Give customers opportunities to connect socially with your brand and fellow consumers from within your site or app, such as providing the option to share to their networks directly from your platforms or leave reviews. Engage them on more personal and relevant levels by allowing them to sign-in using their existing social network identities and gaining first-party, permission-based access to their rich social profile data in return.

2. Cross-Channel Commerce is on the Rise

Just as important to the report, and to the market as a whole, is the role of mobile devices in e-commerce. Consumers today rely heavily on digital devices as resources for local shopping: more than half of Hispanics surveyed use a tablet every day to shop for local products and services, and almost 40% of non-Hispanics use a smartphone to do the same.

Consumers use their devices to shop and buy directly, but, more importantly, they use them to do research and get recommendations from friends and family on social networks before buying online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Consumers are increasingly looking for ways to interact with brands on their terms, which means they’re less inclined to respond to email marketing and more likely to seek out brands where and when they want to.

Leading brands like Nordstrom are making an increased effort to bridge the gap between these multi-channel user experiences by providing consumers with a seamless and engaging shopping journey from social network to point of sale.

Tip: Giving shoppers the option to easily verify their identities using social login makes it easy to tie cross-channel consumer behaviors to a single user profile. This enables you to create more cohesive shopping experiences across devices so that when, for example, a user abandons cart from her phone, you’re able to remind her that it’s waiting for her when she returns via desktop.

3. Top Retailers’ Marketing Strategies are Changing to Fit Consumer Preferences

eMarketer interviewed executives from top retailers such as Wanelo, LivingSocial, and Karmaloop, and found that successful marketers understand social’s changing role in commerce today. From the interviews, we learn how marketers are becoming more aware of specific social preferences, the best ways to use social networks like Snapchat and Vine, and ways to bridge the gap between online and in-store.

For Example…

Dick’s Sporting Goods is one example of a brand using social connectivity to drive new and repeat shopping cart conversions. Using Gigya’s Social Login, Dick’s Sporting Goods created a highly relevant shopping experience by letting consumers log into and manage their own personal “Gift Lockers” from any device. Consumers can add their favorite items to their lockers by browsing online, taking mobile photos of items in store, or scanning catalogue QR codes, then share these lockers directly with their social networks.

To learn more about social commerce and what your brand needs to do to satisfy consumers, download eMarketer’s Social Commerce Roundup here.

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