Based on the claims made by a recent Internet Retailer survey that examined how companies tackle security and user experience, retailers should take consumer identity and data management seriously this holiday season.

The holiday season with Black Friday approaching will see massive numbers of online transactions, making customers and brands more vulnerable to identity data breaches, theft, and credential stuffing attacks. The prominent episodes of security breaches like   Target in 2013, Equifax in 2017, Marriott in 2018 have damaged consumer trust and increased the general anxiety in the industry about future breaches.

In the past, retailers were forced to choose between sufficient security and seamless user experience, as increasing one often meant compromising the other. Thankfully, the scenario has changed today. A right identity solution allows retailers to increase privacy and security while maintaining an enjoyable user experience as a boon to consumers and vendors alike. Although the need for a smooth shopping experience is intensified during a busy shopping season, online retailers want to be assured that they can shop without the risk of a stolen or lost identity. Retailers need to protect consumers’ identities with a secure data management platform and a trusted vendor to assist them in managing it securely.

Auth0 researched with Internet Retailer revealing the way companies are tackling the dual challenge of providing an excellent experience while locking down identity protection. The research highlighted the best strategies to do so:

Protecting User Data

At the moment, up to 80% of a given web site’s traffic is attributed to “credential stuffing,” a kind of user account threat where hackers utilize bots to systematically trying different sets of common passwords and usernames until one works. Although not a widespread attack such as launching ransomware, credential stuffing allows hackers to make off small amounts of money, ultimately adding up to billions of dollars in illegal e-commerce a year.

To combat this, retailers have started taking steps, such as Multifactor Authentication (MFA). The use of MFA can eradicate the majority of credential stuffing attacks, making it nearly impossible for automated bots to breakthrough. As it ends, more than 72% of respondents in the survey stated MFA as the top strategy to combat an attack. MFA protects users by detecting “impossible travel,” which means the time between two logins in different locations is physically impossible or strange IP addresses via a captcha are exposed. The report found that stronger identity management prevents a more significant percentage of fraudulent activity.

Amplifying Access Awareness

Managing employees’ identities having access to vast amounts of customer data, must be appropriately managed during role changes to ensure that the data stays secure.

Tackling Social Login Securely

Social login is a convenient alternative to remembering multiple passwords and usernames for consumers and has gathered a lot of attention. The authentication option for retailers is that Apple mandated that all iOS apps incorporate Sign in with Apple almost immediately.

Apple Sign In signifies a shift for retailers and consumers alike. Among retailers surveyed in the Internet Retailer report, 50% provided customers the option to log in with social media credentials, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. So, tackling social login securely should be a priority.

Embracing Digital Transformation

Modern consumers expect a high level of both service and personalization from retailers. Developers can achieve this through strategic identity management; one size does not fit all. Retailers must know and understand their customers’ habits — and with identity management, retailers can provide personalized customer content that both satisfies the consumer and drives revenue.

The demand for services requires retailers to be agile, adaptable, and able to handle a tremendous load of customers racing to their sites for holiday deals. If retailers’ systems aren’t up-to-date with the newest technologies, they are missing out on a large revenue opportunity, now as well as in the long-run.

Ultimately, nothing is more valuable than customers. If digital marketers take the protection and management of customer data seriously, retailers have the power to influence incredible growth in brand loyalty.