Single sign-on Industry Analysis

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Single sign-on Industry Analysis

There does not appear to be any publicly-collected statistics on how often individuals log in to mobile apps using SSO, though it appears most companies with both web and mobile apps utilize the feature. Since each company utilizes their own SSO, it's not likely that statistics like these would be counted by any company other than a primary research company (to be included in a paid report). They do so because SSO is expected by mobile customers in today’s market, and the usage of SSO allows for unified customer profiles, which increase engagement rates by giving a better focus for marketing efforts. Utilizing SSO also reduces internal company costs and increases safety of consumer data and accounts. Notably, social sign-on (another form of SSO) is gaining in popularity.

SSO is Expected by Mobile Customers & Allows for Unified Customer Profiles

  • Many customers for B2C companies use both the web application and the mobile application (where both are offered), since the mobile single sign-on allows them to from to the other, or between two mobile applications (if there is more than one offered). For many customers of B2C companies, “customer-facing features of SSO are now considered to be a minimum standard of customer convenience.”
  • Companies that don’t offer SSO will get noticed by customers, but not in a good way. Companies that offer SSO are seen as modern and efficient by today’s consumer base.
  • Offering SSO provides a way around the typical roadblocks that might deter customers from using a web or mobile application. One company, UK’s Virgin, requires two separate sign-ins from customers one for the cable TV services and one for home broadband services. These logins also have different rules, like for strong passwords. These double sign-in requirements are significant deterrents for many customers and reduce engagement rates.
  • SSO reduces “password fatigue” of customers, as well, which helps keep them on the company’s site longer (or gets them there more often). One survey showed that almost three-quarters (70%) of individuals have more than 10 online accounts that are password-protected, with many reporting significantly more than 10; this can certainly lead to high password fatigue.
  • Experts state that nearly 19% of customers will abandon their cart in an ecommerce site if they’ve forgotten their passwords, which is a huge loss of income for these companies. In fact, Blue Research shows that a full 92% of customers “will leave a site instead of resetting or recovering login info.”
  • SSO also streamlines each customer’s experience on the site (or sites, if switching from web to mobile, for example). In this way, customers can enjoy a truly “modern digital experience,” and the company will see increases in both customer loyalty and conversion rates.
  • Unified customer profiles provide companies with a huge amount of data from which to base their offerings to individual customers, and SSOs offer all the information in one place for companies to use easily. These data-rich profiles are used by all departments (like “marketing, sales, customer support, content planning, product development, customer security, and more”) and having them combined by one system is most efficient.
  • With Blue Research showing that 100% of those they polled “reported receiving irrelevant information and promotions,” having a unified customer profile can go a long way in helping to curb this unwanted behavior and toward helping ensure that offers sent to customers are based on accurate and full information, rather than just partial or incorrect/incomplete information (which tends to happen with multiple sign-ons).

SSO Reduces Company Costs & Increases Safety

  • SSOs offer lower maintenance costs; by combining the logins into one place (SSO), companies only have to maintain one login for one system rather than multiple systems, which all require separate maintenance and running costs. According to LoginRadius, “An effective enterprise SSO solution saves money in the long term and short term by making it easier than ever to collect customer data and user credentials in one secure spot.”
  • Additionally, company costs are reduced by decreasing the need for greater IT staffing, and by increasing productivity in both general employees, and especially IT personnel. SSO helps by reducing support calls, making user experience easier and less troublesome, and helps to “mitigate security risks.”
  • This also applies to companies using SSO internally, not just to B2C companies. Gartner reports that about half of all internal-IT calls to help desks are for resetting passwords. Using SSOs significantly reduces these, thereby saving the company a lot of money. In larger companies, Forrester’s research showed that password fixes can cost about $70 each to address, so for these companies, the savings can be exponential.
  • A common misconception about SSO is that it is less secure; this is based on the premise that if the master password is comprised, then all accounts therein can be fraudulently accessed. However, experts in SSO state that customers are more likely to create stronger passwords which are harder to guess for SSO accounts, thereby automatically increasing safety. SSO provides a much-harder time for hackers to gain entrance into the customer’s accounts.
  • When SSO is combined with MFA (multi-factor authentication) and RBA (risk-based authentication), the entire set-up is significantly more secure. RBA allows for a stronger back-end analysis of how the customer logs in, so unusual behaviors or strange log-ins can be tracked, and possibly halted if they appear to be fraudulent. This combination of sign-in factors is a “power combination [that] can prevent cybercriminals from stealing data, damaging your site, or draining IT resources.”

NOTABLE FINDING: More & More Apps Are Now Using Social Sign-On

  • In efforts to make signing in to mobile apps even easier, some apps have taken to utilizing another type of SSO (social sign-ons), wherein customers can use their social media logins (like Google or Facebook) to access the new app. Studies have found that this boosts conversion rates while encouraging users to engage more with both sites (the new app and the social media channel).
  • CXL Institute has collected statistics on how using social sign-on has improved things for companies. They begin by noting research that says a whopping 86% of internet and mobile users are “bothered by having to create new accounts on websites,” with over half (54%) reporting that they would abandon a website and go to another that offered the service (Soc SO) over completing a new registration form.
  • Research shows that the younger the user, the more likely they are to support social sign-in, although not every user reports thinking this is a good plan. One company, MailChimp, “recorded a 66% drop in failed logins after introducing social login.” Another company, Easytobook, noted a 68% uptick in user engagement after employing social sign-on.