Over the past two years, the retail industry has changed to such an extent that it is no longer recognizable. This is primarily because a major portion of the revenue that retail businesses are bringing in happens through online sales. This dependency on online platforms can be a problem for retailers, especially when it comes to access management. Fortunately, there’s a solution—Consumer Identity and Access Management (CIAM).
CIAM is generally deployed on a platform in two ways, either as a service or embedded into applications or websites through APIs, so it carries out identity and access management for users. Typically, CIAM authentication involves identity management tools like logins, authentication, and compliance.
The modern retail industry has several challenges that can be solved by deploying a CIAM solution. These problems include a need for:
- Fluid platform experience
Customers always expect a seamless experience on an e-commerce platform. This experience is facilitated by the fact that the online store should have more or less the same products as that of the offline store. The other aspect involves the wish to have an easily accessible customer profile by integrating the customer data collected from all integration points, both online as well as offline.
- Multichannel purchasing
One of the more challenging aspects that enterprises face when extending their business online is visiting both online and offline stores. This means that both stores have to deliver the customer’s needs and engage them irrespective of which channel they plan on making the purchase.
- Presence of data silos
Marketing in the modern retail industry occurs on various platforms. It can take place through SMS, email, social media, and more. Therefore, there is a chance that data silos will appear because the marketing efforts are spread out across so many channels.
- Underdeveloped marketing procedures
It has been established that an effective marketing strategy involves the use of technology for data collection and analysis. However, the challenge that enterprises face is finding a solution that can manage such vast volumes of customer information and create a cohesive picture.
- Need for customer loyalty
Another challenging aspect that online platforms face is the problem of personalization. Personalization, if executed properly, can urge the customer to make several purchases at a time and keep them coming back for more. In other words, it can improve the loyalty of the customer. However, this requires the platform to get to know the customer and their wants and needs, which is difficult.
If an enterprise is on the fence about the ability to create a digital identity for B2C users, it can help to consider its benefits. These include:
- Storage of customer data
Customer data can be a very useful resource while devising a marketing strategy and making sales. Top CIAM providers make it possible to collect certain information about the customer while also protecting it from hackers. The data that this software can collect extends beyond just the login registration form that they fill. It can also collect information from third-party social media sites regarding their preferences.
- Secure authentication
One major aspect of CIAM solutions is the multi-factor authentication feature that it provides. By having more than one requirement to gain access to a profile, customers can receive an extra level of protection. This feature can significantly improve the existing business customer identity as users can utilize social media logins for a more streamlined process.
Also Download: Identity Management Architectures for Ecommerce Products
- Password reset ease
In case customers forget their passwords, the CIAM software solution offers customers the option to reset their passwords on their own. The new password is sent directly to the user’s email or SMS. Therefore, there is no need for intervention from an IT professional to reset it.
CIAM solutions are a requirement for every user’s profile, whether several hundred or millions visit the platform. Therefore, the software must be capable of managing multiple identities at a time while also not interfering with the seamless running of the platform.
- Streamlined experience
CIAM also helps to improve the overall intuitiveness of the platform. Research shows that the more convenient a user experience is on an e-commerce platform, the higher the sales skyrocket.
Therefore, CIAM solutions are an integral aspect of the online shopping experience. It goes beyond just streamlining the platform to make it more intuitive, and can also help to boost the marketing and sales efforts of a business in the retail industry.
The CIAM industry is rapidly evolving to meet the growing demands of the retail sector. As retailers continue to face challenges in access management and customer engagement, CIAM solutions are poised to play an increasingly vital role. Here's a look at what the future holds for CIAM in the retail industry:
CIAM solutions will delve deeper into customer data, allowing retailers to create highly personalized shopping experiences. By understanding customer preferences and behavior across various touchpoints, retailers can tailor promotions and product recommendations, fostering greater customer loyalty.
With cyber threats on the rise, CIAM solutions will continue to prioritize robust security features. Multi-factor authentication, biometric verification, and adaptive access controls will become standard, ensuring customer data remains secure and protected from breaches.
The retail landscape is embracing innovations such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). CIAM solutions will integrate seamlessly with these technologies, enabling retailers to gather real-time insights and deliver more context-aware customer experiences.
As customers expect a unified experience across online and offline channels, CIAM will facilitate seamless omni-channel journeys. Customers will enjoy consistent interactions, whether browsing a website, visiting a physical store, or engaging through social media platforms.
CIAM solutions will be designed to scale effortlessly, accommodating the ever-growing user base of retail platforms. Whether a retailer serves hundreds or millions of customers, CIAM will ensure smooth operations without compromising performance.
In conclusion, the retail industry faces a multitude of challenges in the digital age, from data silos to the need for enhanced customer loyalty. However, CIAM solutions offer a promising way forward, providing various benefits that can transform how retailers engage with their customers.
By leveraging CIAM, retailers can streamline access management, secure customer data, and deliver personalized experiences that drive sales and loyalty. As the CIAM market continues to expand and innovate, retail businesses have an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Incorporating CIAM solutions into e-commerce platforms is not just a trend; it's becoming a necessity for success. As the retail industry evolves, CIAM will remain a critical tool for enhancing the overall customer experience, boosting marketing efforts, and navigating the challenges of the modern retail landscape.
1. What problem does CIAM solve?
CIAM solves challenges in access management, unifying customer data, and enhancing customer loyalty through personalized experiences.
2. What are the best practices of CIAM?
Best practices include multi-factor authentication, centralized data management, seamless omni-channel integration, and scalability for growing user bases.
3. What are the 3 most critical issues in retailing and why?
The critical issues in retailing are fluid platform experience for seamless customer journeys, integration of online and offline channels for omni-channel purchasing, and the challenge of data silos hindering marketing efforts.
4. What are the challenges of retail marketing?
Retail marketing faces challenges such as reaching customers across multiple platforms, managing data silos, and the need for personalized strategies to enhance customer loyalty.