— A lot of money goes unspent in the online world for
a simple reason: Shoppers can’t remember their
average person is registered to 90 online accounts
requiring passwords, and the number keeps growing. Few
people remember so many passwords.
a third of online purchases are abandoned at checkout
because consumers cannot remember their passwords,"
a study conducted jointly by MasterCard and the
University of Oxford says this week.
in electronic commerce say major online vendors stand to
lose a lot of shoppers if they don’t take corrective
most sites, it would be a multimillion-dollar loss, if
not higher," said Christian Holst, a co-founder of
Baymard Institute, an independent research entity in
Frederiksberg, Denmark that conducts large-scale tests
on usability of e-commerce sites.
are only part of the problem, but a major one. Consumers
just can’t remember them all, and most online vendors,
banks, airlines and others require them. So 51 percent
of people use similar passwords over and over, the study
are variations of passwords they’ve used for many
years. They keep changing the number (at the end) of the
password from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4, or move through
different special characters," said Ryan Wilk, vice
president of customer success at NuData Security, a
Vancouver firm that helps companies identify online
users based on passive biometrics and behavioral
often, people will use the same variation of a similar
password across the board and will modify that password’s
strength based on the requirements of a site," Wilk
percent of users forget passwords after 2 weeks, and 25
percent forget one password at least once a day,"
the study found.
online shoppers get into the digital checkout funnel of
an e-commerce site but then give up because of a
roadblock, it is called "cart abandonment."
doesn’t take much for users to walk away from their
e-shopping carts. Online sites routinely have different
requirements for passwords. Some demand that they be a
certain length. Others require alphanumeric
combinations. Still others ask for a symbol to be
is all in the name of security. Online businesses don’t
want to deal with fraudsters. And consumers don’t want
their credit card data stolen from businesses by
users come up with coping strategies. Some shoppers
simply hit password reset. But that can bring other
users will start to get impatient after just one or two
minutes," Holst said. "Users are extremely
some sites, those who reset passwords must wait to
receive an email, and sometimes they have to reply to
another confirmation email.
we’re asking them to do is to stare at the screen for
several minutes. One or two minutes will feel like five
minutes," he said.
says it sees an 18.75 percent abandonment rate due to
reset email issues.
customers, even after committing to buy something
online, are in what e-commerce developer Nirav Sheth
calls "a fragile state."
little excuse can cause them to abandon. They are
questioning: Do I really want this? Do I really need
this?" said Sheth, owner of Anatta Design, an
e-commerce design and development agency in Los Angeles.
that streamline the checkout process, and offer
forgetful users a "guest checkout" option if
they’ve forgotten their passwords tend to succeed
more, he said.
focus on having a customer "think less and do
less" and are "constantly showing them success
messages, things like ‘Hey, you did it right!’ It’s
almost like treating them a little bit like a baby,
guiding them," Sheth said.
issues that can cause shoppers to jump out of the
checkout line, experts say, is lack of information about
shipping costs and failure to streamline the
"clicks" needed to finish a purchase.
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is famous for their one click, where they can recognize
that it is you. You’re able to transact with all your
stored information. They know all the history of what
you’ve looked at," Wilk said.
if you’re a new customer, it’s a different story.
almost in Amazon’s learning phase. They’re learning
who you are. They are learning if they trust you. It’s
almost that you have to teach Amazon for a while when
you’re a new customer or a non-repeat customer,"
websites, particularly those of financial institutions,
are leaning more on passive authentication of users,
taking sensor data from smartphones or desktop computers
of those visiting their websites. But e-commerce sites
are also experimenting.
seeing a lot of adoption right now," Wilk said.
have as many as 10 different sensors in them measuring
motion, location, angle of the phone, pressure on the
screen, ambient light and other attributes. Some
websites can extract that data, at least partially, to
help identify and profile a user.
can look at many different data points within the
device, everything that the device is making publicly
available, so things like pressure on the screen when
you’re typing, how you swipe, and different angles of
how you hold your phone. Do you appear to be
right-handed or left-handed?" Wilk said.
passive biometric data, when compiled by analytic
software, can help retailers, bankers and other
institutions be assured of the identity of their
doesn’t exactly say it is you. But if you see that the
person who’s trying to authenticate is right-handed,
and all of a sudden you see the device in a left-handed
configuration, you can very easily see that it’s a
different human interacting," Wilk said.