Why your website should incorporate social login

Social media is integrated into just about every medium around these days, offering benefits to both webmasters and website visitors.

Okta Platform social login page
Credit: Okta

Security is a top concern for any business that stores customer data on its servers. Account passwords are the best way to keep people from gaining access to the account information of others, but they also create an additional obstacle. As user experience becomes more integral to turning website visitors into customers, businesses are realizing that requiring passwords could be a detriment.

Unfortunately, doing away with passwords isn’t an option. Even for sites that let customers complete purchases as a guest, saving past orders or checking on the status of existing orders requires a username and password. In those cases, a password is tied to customer convenience. One of the best answers to this is to give customers the option of logging in using their credentials from a social media site. But before you choose social login for your website, it’s important to gather all the facts.

The password problem

Forgotten passwords can be extremely frustrating. In fact, many customers already have so many passwords to remember, they often resist adding a new one. Not only are 75 percent of customers frustrated with passwords, but 50 percent will choose not to register with a site if a password is required. This is especially true of the many customers accessing websites using mobile devices, which may not remember their passwords the way their desktop browsers do.

The vast majority of customers to an ecommerce site drop off during the first step of the checkout process. Instead of asking them to register or login, well-designed sites merely let them check out. However, this doesn’t resolve the issue of remembering their purchases for those sites that are most likely to see customers reorder items. In this instance, giving customers the option of signing in via their favorite social media site could be the best option.

Social media and usability

When customers visit your website, they’re likely already logged into at least one popular social media site on that device. By offering social login as an option, those users gain the security they need without having to create a separate account and password. One survey revealed that 77 percent of respondents feel that social login is a great alternative to creating a new account. While older users may shy away from granting access between your site and their social media accounts, younger generations have grown to accept this as standard online practice.

Social login is especially useful for the growing number of customers who surf the internet using a mobile device. If a customer is purchasing an item on a smartphone while on the go, for instance, that customer is likely to pass your site by for a competitor who makes buying easy. You may not even realize your registration requirements are behind your high abandonment rates until you implement social login and notice a difference.

Social media and security

The biggest concern for businesses adding social login as an option is security. A data breach can hurt a business’s reputation and lead to costly penalties. In the worst-case scenario, it can completely destroy a growing business. Yet social media integration can bring uncertainty, especially for businesses that always maintain tight control over their websites and databases.

For that reason, it’s essential that a business work with qualified website designers and app developers to make sure access is as secure as possible. You should also be aware of the data each of these sites collects on your customers and their activities, since their privacy is at stake. Be aware of what each customer will be expected to sacrifice when they connect using their social media accounts before choosing which ones to include. Facebook gives your customers more control, allowing them to adjust preferences for each connected app, but you may find some of your customers prefer Google or Twitter. By eliminating one of the major sites, you may lose a portion of your potential customers.

The easier businesses can make things for their customers, the more likely they are to make a good impression. This is especially true for their online presence, which will usually determine whether a customer will continue to learn more or quickly click away. By integrating social login, your website may have a chance of converting visitors from casual researchers to buyers.

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