UK retail customers are sick of usernames and passwords, report shows

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ForgeRock, the leading provider in digital identity, today announced the release of volume two of its global report, “The New Normal – Living Life Online.” The study polled 5,000 consumers throughout the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia and Singapore to understand consumer preferences when it comes to online experiences, including how they log in and what app features they value most. The report also uncovers what is at stake for organizations that fall short on delivering digital experiences.

UK findings

The study surveyed 1,000 people in the UK, and found that the majority of Britons are sick of the traditional username and password login journey. UK respondents were, like their counterparts in other countries, critical of poor online experiences – with dissatisfaction more pronounced in younger generations than in older age groups.

Key UK findings:

  • Those surveyed aged 18-24 said they have had the best digital experiences with entertainment (62%), retail (56%) and banking (53%) apps.
  • Many Britons will uninstall or stop the registration process if it is too complicated to set up (46%) or if asked for credit card details (45%).
  • 29% say they would cancel or delete an account or app if they have login issues and 25% noted they would switch to a completely different service or app.
  • 60% of consumers preferred alternatives such as facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, or multi-factor authentication, with the percentage rising to 73% amongst those aged 18-24.

“Consumers will no longer settle for a poor user experience, choosing instead to abandon registrations and shopping carts in search of a more digital savvy customer journey. As digital increasingly becomes the default channel this provides an opportunity for companies to clearly differentiate themselves,” said Tim Barber, Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa at ForgeRock. “The majority of consumers are now clearly open to alternative authentication methods powered by technologies such as biometrics, that are easy to use, whilst remaining secure and trustworthy. The companies that can provide those experiences are set to win new customers and build lasting relationships. Putting digital identity at the heart of those digital relationships will help them to stand out from the competition.”

Global findings

On the global level, difficulties with the registration and login processes were found to be similarly frustrating across the board, with consumers likely to drop an app if there was too much friction. Getting locked out of an account was listed as a top frustration during the pandemic.

Key global findings include:

  • Almost half of consumers (46%) said they wouldn’t register for a new account if it was too difficult to sign up.
  • Consumers have a short fuse when it comes to poor digital experiences, with 35% cancelling or deleting an app if they have trouble logging in, while 32% said they would switch to a competitive service or app.
  • Getting locked out of accounts is more frustrating for nearly three-quarters (72%) of consumers than forgetting their mask at home (44%) or not finding toilet paper at the store (51%).
  • Globally, consumers are turning away from traditional passwords and usernames, preferring passwordless options like biometrics or multifactor authentication (MFA) to log in where available (57%).
  • Consumers said preventing their data from being resold to third parties is a top priority when considering app features (70%).

“With consumers continuing to spend more of their lives online for the foreseeable future, it’s imperative that organizations simplify how consumers sign up, log in and engage with their apps and digital services,” said Ben Goodman, SVP of global business and corporate development, ForgeRock. “Consumer identity is at the heart of any digital experience. By putting identity at the center of the digital relationship, organizations can provide better and more secure access for consumers.”

Based on survey findings, consumers 65+ gave the highest ratings overall for digital experiences, but those 18-24 are the most critical digital graders. Across the globe, the Gen Z age group is most likely to delete their account (37%) or change service providers (34%) if they have a difficult login experience. This shows that organizations that do not provide a seamless log in experience could hurt their brand reputation with these young buyers for years to come.

The full findings of the report can be found here, including regional insights specific to the U.S., Germany, Australia and Singapore. A handy infographic with the big picture findings can also be found here.

This report is the second instalment evaluating how consumer behaviours have changed how and what digital activities they engage with since the start of the pandemic.