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With the rise of personalized e-commerce new security threats occur, affecting trustworthiness among consumers, and ultimately, your profitability. Knowing how to strengthen your brand and why digital identity is key has become critical.

E-commerce has grown substantially over the past years, steadily expanding its global footprint. Juniper Research predicts a significant increase, anticipating the global e-commerce turnover to surge from $14.8 trillion this year to $26.2 trillion by 2028, representing a 77.5% compounded annual growth. This is accompanied by an increased emphasis on the customer journey and experience, omnichannel, and personalization, driven by the rising customer demands and expectations. 

Simultaneously, new security threats are constantly emerging, primarily fueled by financial motives, making e-commerce businesses attractive targets. In response, integrating Identity and Access Management (IAM) into your e-commerce strategy becomes imperative to retain a trustworthy and preferred brand among consumers. Ensuring you have the insight, experience, and expertise to proactively anticipate and prevent malicious attacks is fundamental in safeguarding your e-commerce business from potential risks.

In this article, you’ll get insights about the value of prioritizing IAM to strengthen your brand's resilience and maintain a secure online environment for your customers. lLearn about the increased possibilities of digital identities and personalization in e-commerce and get advice on the governance and compliance requirements along with the potential identity security threats you must prepare for.

SS_5076525Insight: New trends like AI-driven product recommendations, personalized content, and tailored marketing campaigns continually push the boundaries of customization.

“76% of consumers are inclined to consider purchasing from companies utilizing personalization.”

- McKinsey

As we all know, personalization is the key to success in the competitive e-commerce industry. New trends like AI-driven product recommendations, personalized content, and tailored marketing campaigns continually push the boundaries of customization. These advancements all revolve around the strategic use of digital identities.  

According to McKinsey research, companies that implement personalization strategies witness a significant impact on consumer behavior. A considerable 76% of consumers are inclined to consider purchasing from companies utilizing personalization, and 78% are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend such businesses. This translates to a substantial 40% growth advantage for e-commerce businesses that prioritize and implement personalization.

“83% of breaches incorporated an external factor, with 95% of these driven by financial motives.”

- Verizon

The rising identity security threats

The fast growing e-commerce business increases both the multitude and sophistication of potential threats to identity security, and the most common risks involve: 

  • Excessive data collection and storage increases the attractiveness of businesses as targets for cyberattacks.   
  • Vulnerabilities in recommendation algorithms may compromise user privacy by allowing unauthorized access to personal information.  
  • Phishing attempts involving use of deceptive emails, messages, or websites that appear legitimate to trick customers into providing sensitive information.  
  • Social engineers may impersonate your business by mimicking your staff, or sending fake surveys or offers to access customer data.  
  • Insufficient security measures increase the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to personalized user profiles. 

Synthetic accounts and stolen credentials are further adding to the risks, which also includes the breach of the privileged accounts utilized in managing your e-commerce infrastructure. 

According to recent Verizon research, 83% of breaches incorporated an external factor, with 95% of these driven by financial motives. Fraud remains a big and increasingly growing challenge in e-commerce. While customers are typically reimbursed, the reality remains that e-commerce businesses continue to suffer annual losses amounting to billions of US dollars due to fraudulent activities. Research conducted by Juniper and Verizon underlines this concern, revealing that losses from e-commerce online payment fraud reached $41 billion in 2022, with projections exceeding $48 billion globally this year. Of these incidents, 49% involved stolen identities, and 12% were initiated through phishing attacks. 

The key priorities you should focus on   

The significance of digital identity in nurturing personalized and secure e-commerce is clear, but what should be the key priorities for your e-commerce business? Read on to find out.  

1. Prevent misuse of personal data  

Misuse of data can occur in various ways, with the most sensitive being the mishandling of personally identifiable information (PII), encompassing all data linked to individuals. This information does not only need to be visible but also available for the customer to manage. Upon website registration, personal information is shared, prompting queries about the stored data, its usage, and who holds access to these details. 

Safeguarding personal data begins even before the customer signs up. This involves refraining from requesting, collecting, or extrapolating unnecessary information, which can add complexity to governance and compliance. Strict adherence to GDPR compliance, especially the right to be forgotten, is crucial for preventing the misuse of personal data and avoiding fines or sanctions. 

2. Prioritize identity protection  

In digital channels, identity proofing and fraud detection are integral components of a solid cybersecurity strategy. They not only shield user identities but also prevent unauthorized access and serve as protection against a spectrum of fraudulent activities. Ultimately, these measures contribute significantly to nurturing a secure and trustworthy online environment.  

A thorough and holistic approach involves a comprehensive examination of both customer information and behaviors throughout the entire journey. Effectively preventing fraud is key, particularly during customer registration and identity verification. The strategic integration of digital identities serves to strengthen and streamline the user journey, creating a more cohesive, user-friendly, and automated experience. The implementation of identity and access management (IAM) plays a dual role in ensuring security and elevating the overall user experience, emphasizing the essential connection between information and the user journey in e-commerce. 

3. Consider omnichannel aspects

Effective identity and access management is fundamental for delivering a seamless user experience across both single and omnichannel environments as well as building a foundation for personalization. By addressing IAM challenges, businesses can better understand their customers and partners, create cohesive experiences within and across channels, and ultimately elevate overall satisfaction.

SS_9164781Insight: In digital channels, identity proofing and fraud detection are integral components of a solid cybersecurity strategy.

“75% of customers value being recognized and guided, whether it’s online or in brick-and-mortar stores.” 

- McKinsey 

How to succeed: 

  • Ensure a smooth customer journey, including recommendations, by adopting an omnichannel approach.  
  • Strategize on linking digital identities to digital information and physical stores, nurturing personalization, and facilitating easy recognition across all channels. 
  • Extend your consideration to include resellers handling your products, particularly if you’re in B2B. Gartner research reveals that 87% of B2B purchase decisions are influenced by millennials who favor a self-serving experience. By 2025, an anticipated 80% of all sales interactions are projected to take place in digital channels.

4. Educate and take ownership 

E-commerce businesses must take ownership of identity security and, to a greater extent, educate customers. Considering that customers often reuse their digital identities across various platforms, a single breach can have widespread repercussions, causing significant damage. Prioritizing identity security becomes a critical imperative.  

Simultaneously, striking a balance is essential in determining how much "burden" to place on customers, recognizing that convenience remains vital in a competitive market. You could easily lose customers to a competitor making it easier to shop. To succeed in e-commerce 2024, you should actively enhance identity security while concurrently raising awareness among your customer base. 

In conclusion  

Personalized e-commerce is here to stay, enriching the customer experience like never before. To prevent potential identity security threats, it’s key to incorporate identity and access management (IAM) into your e-commerce strategy. Make sure your business takes a proactive approach. 


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