Survey: Online Consumers Prefer 'Social' Sign-in

Consumers are much more likely to stay on an e-tailer's site if their social networking IDs let the site automatically recognize and log them in, according to a new survey from Janrain.

Three out of four consumers who use social networking sites say they would rather leave a site that requires that they register in order to access that site than comply, according to a recent survey.

What's more, 76 percent of consumers said they have purposely given inaccurate or incomplete information when required to register for a site, and 45 percent have left a website rather than reset passwords or answer security questions when they have forgotten their login information.

In addition, two-thirds of those polled want sites they visit to support "social sign-in" (SSI), using a single sign-on technology like Microsoft Live ID or Facebook to let consumers use their SSI, to automatically log them into sites.

The survey of 657 consumers who use social media was commissioned by Janrain and conducted by researcher Blue Research. The survey was conducted from Dec. 6 through Dec. 23, 2010.

The upshot is that consumers are put off by the "traditional" online registration process, and will readily shift to something else that has a system that makes the process simpler, Blue Research said.

"The findings of the survey clearly show that consumers are frustrated with the traditional online registration process and will favor brands that make it easy for them to be recognized," Paul Abel, managing partner at Blue Research, said in a statement.

"The rapid growth of social media has dramatically impacted consumers' expectations of websites, and this shift in behavior can mean measurable benefits for businesses prepared to capitalize on the trend," Abel added.

Indeed, consumers are more likely to return to a site that automatically recognizes them -- by 55 percent to 20 percent -- the survey found. Additionally, and more importantly for e-tailers, 48 percent said that they are more likely to spend money with a site that automatically recognizes them, as opposed to 25 percent who said they would not be swayed.

Speaking of the social Web, Janrain's products include a user management platform for the social web, social login, and single sign-on solutions, according to statements on the Portland, Ore. company's site.

The complete survey report is available online.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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