As the number of logins people need to remember increases, extra authentication measures create friction that discourages customers and becomes a barrier to adoption. Busy B2B customers don’t want to waste time going through yet another registration process when buying through an e-commerce platform for the first time. If you’re not offering secure and straightforward access, there’s a high chance your customers will go to Amazon or another platform for which they already have an account.
Busy B2B customers don’t want to waste time going through yet another registration process...
These days people typically have to remember dozens of different sets of login credentials. Unfortunately, this challenge encourages people to reuse the same passwords across multiple accounts. Moreover, trivial inconveniences, such as forgetting the login credentials, can affect your internal team and your customers. Current solutions often require additional help from the internal IT team to handle user password resets. Together, these complications increase the chances of someone gaining unauthorized access to customer accounts, placing a severe burden on your account management, security, and compliance teams.
When it comes to user authentication, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Existing solutions like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Okta can easily be integrated into any modern e-commerce platform, such as Nuve. Your platform should recognize the account and associate it with the corresponding customer in your SAP or ERP system. That way, users can log in using an account that they already have with a supported platform. Many B2C marketplaces have been doing this for quite some time, albeit usually via Facebook or Google logins.
The single sign-on (SSO) approach provides two significant benefits – convenience and security. As far as convenience is concerned, providing seamless access without any barriers creates a positive first impression. Customers can connect an existing account instead of filling in a registration form and remembering another set of login credentials. It would be best to offer authentication using the popular SSO providers to allow customers to access your platform right away.
SSO also benefits your internal team. Your team can use their own Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 accounts to access the tools and data they need to do their jobs. The IT team can also benefit from the extra convenience on the customer’s end. They would no longer have to handle any password reset issues. The reduced likelihood of unsafe password practices means having a more secure business all around.
Shifting the responsibility to a third party like Google or Microsoft is truly a situation where all parties win. The major SSO providers typically offer multi-factor authentication and have some of the most robust security policies and controls in place of any organization in the world. Few e-commerce enterprises can expect to compete with the aforementioned industry-leading giants in information security. If you’re a mid-market enterprise, developing an in-house authentication mechanism can lead to security gaps in your identity and access management (IAM) solutions. Few things do more damage to a brand’s reputation than customer accounts and compromised data by hackers. The risk is even more significant in the case of B2B transactions. Such issues can affect entire supply chains and often involve the movement of large sums of money.
Integrated third-party authentication measures remove those unnecessary access barriers to encourage customer retention and offer a better customer experience all around. This ease of access applies regardless of whether they’re authenticating into your e-commerce platform via a mobile app, website, or other connected sales channel.
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Originally published September 23, 2021, updated September 26, 2021
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