Last updated: Is it easy for consumers to buy from you? How customer identity management can help

Is it easy for consumers to buy from you? How customer identity management can help


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As more brands continue to invest in digital transformation and customer experience initiatives, they face a new challenge: How to recognize customers across channels and devices to assure customers retain control of the data they share. Enter customer identity management, also called customer identity and access management or CIAM. CIAM and CDP are a not-so-secret weapon in the battle to convert and retain customers.

Why does customer identity management matter and how does it help retain customers?

Streamlined customer identity management protects and enhances customer experience. Without a customer identity management plan the laborious requirements of customers can reduce conversions, and push customers toward competitors with easier authentication processes. 

CIAM and CDP do not require customers to log in each time they visit an e-commerce site or interact with your brand. Instead, customers are welcomed back and given a seamless experience.

Clear, customer identity management with easy-to-use data control tools matters for CX, too. A Cisco study found that 32% of consumers had switched to a competitor because they were unhappy with a brand’s data-use policies. 90% of the consumers in this group said the way a brand handles their data indicates how the brand will treat them as customers. When a CIAM and CDP are in place, customers experience scant uncertainty or risk.

The new approach: Centralized customer identity management

There’s now a new way companies can improve both customer authentication and data consent. The centralized customer identity and consent model through CDP lets customers sign on once and be recognized across their interactions with the brand – either with an account, they create with the brand or using existing credentials for Google, Facebook, or another social network.

With the CIAM and CDP model, customers can easily view and change the type of data they share. The customer’s data is then stored centrally, so it can be provided as needed across different applications, products, and services, similar to the microservices architecture model for software applications. The beauty of CIAM is that as more opportunity is created to satisfy your customers, the risk to their personal information is made smaller. There are several benefits to this approach, including:

  1. Frictionless, omnichannel customer experience
  2. Transparency builds customer trust
  3. Compliance
  4. Streamlined operations
  5. Improved security

Centralized customer identity for a unified omnichannel experience

Customer identity management frees customers from needing to constantly sign-on, manage passwords, or deal with remembering or resetting their login credentials. It also helps buyers get through the checkout process quickly, access content, or engage with the brand in other ways.

The biggest impact that users notice with this customer identity management model is how easy it is to engage with brands that have access enabled via social and third-party credentials. The truth behind the omnichannel customer experience is that once you experience it, anything less is unacceptable.

For example, an electronics brand might offer a single-click registration and sign-on to establish customers’ identity on their mobile app or e-commerce platform by leveraging a social platform. If the customer buys an infotainment system or a device like a smart speaker, they can use the same identity to access their new purchases and have a personalized experience based on the brand’s knowledge of their preferences and habits thanks to CIAM.

As the customer benefits from easier registration and logins, brands can identify customer behavior better across multiple channels and services with a profile enriched by their social profile. That can help drive an end-to-end personalized experience with tailored content, so the customer feels truly known, with a more consistent experience across devices, channels, and solutions.

Customer identity management: Giving customers control

By giving the customer control of their data upfront, brands can create a feeling of confidence and trust. The customer knows exactly what they’re sharing, and they know that they can always go back and either change or withdraw their data permissions all the while enjoying an omnichannel customer experience.

If they do make changes, they can be automatically applied across all channels, applications, and services through CIAM and CDP. Transparency and control of data are also part of the customer experience, and centralization can improve this, too. When customers sign into their account or profile, the brand can ask them what data they’ll let the brand collect from their social accounts, what data the customer will let them share, and how they want the brand to use their data. This allows customers to be a part of CIAM and, as a result, aware of the ways in which you have worked to simplify and streamline their experience.

Benefits of customer identity management: Better compliance, operations, and security

A single solution for customers to control their data permissions can also help companies maintain and demonstrate compliance with a growing number of data privacy laws. Understanding consumer-protection regulations like GDPR in the EU and following the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), as well as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Even in markets that don’t have privacy laws yet, forward-thinking companies are planning for potential laws and adopting best practices for customer data control and disclosure. By centralizing CIAM permissions now, brands are in a better position to adjust to any future regulations while also preserving omnichannel customer experience.

Centralized customer identity management benefits also include:

  1. Frees brands and customers from new permissions requests for each new channel, app, device, and experience they roll out
  2. Reduction in customer friction
  3. Streamlining of operations for the brand
  4. Instead of having to manage consent and compliance for each application, customer data is managed from one central source, according to the practices that brands set for their applications to automatically follow

Another benefit for brands using CIAM and CDP is better security for customer accounts.

When their centralized identification uses third parties like Facebook and Apple ID, the brand doesn’t store the passwords. When a brand is registered with the login credentials and passwords that customers provided, they are stored in a central location and not in each of the brand’s applications.

At a time when account takeover fraud is the most common type of digital fraud, centralizing or eliminating credential storage can protect brands from breaches, financial losses, and a loss of customer trust.

Keep up with changing rules & customer needs using customer identity management

Centralizing customer identity and consent require planning, expertise, and the right technology. Brands that make this investment now can deliver a better customer authentication experience, offer more personalized experiences, and protect customer credentials while lowering the cost of compliance and operations.

By centralizing these processes now, brands will also be prepared to keep delivering a seamless experience when they roll out new apps and products if new privacy rules take effect and as customer experience keeps evolving.

Customer identity, consent, and authentication – simplified.
The future starts HERE.

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