BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 11: In this photo illustration a laptop displays the shopping basket on the eBay website on August 11, 2014 in Bristol, United Kingdom. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale. Since that sale - a copy of an album by the artist Sting - online retailing has grown to such an extent that it is now claimed that 95 percent of the UK population has shopped online and close to one in four deciding to shop online each week. (Photo Illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

New research has suggested that the way e-commerce sites allow customers to log in could have a significant impact on the number of customers that complete their purchase.

FIDO Alliance completed a survey of 1,000 consumers in a year when online retail has seen a spike around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent restrictions on bricks-and-mortar retailers.

With e-commerce more important and universal than ever, FIDO warns that some businesses may be unwittingly deterring customers by introducing “friction” into the purchase process.

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The traditional username and password method of login takes too long for some consumers, FIDO revealed.

Alternatives such as on-device biometrics like fingerprint and FaceID have shown that logging in can be faster and simpler.

68% of consumers believe these methods are quicker than using traditional two-factor authentication requiring both a password and a one-time password.

FIDO reported that 58% of respondents claim to have abandoned a purchase due to password difficulties.

Having to enter billing and personal information was also a concern for customers, as was the way that companies stored their personal information.

Andrew Shikiar, executive director at the FIDO Alliance, commented: “Many common online retail practices, like setting up new passwords and accounts, are being rejected by consumers and consequently are hurting retailers’ bottom lines.

“These outdated processes introduce friction into an experience that people rightfully expect to be as smooth as possible.

“While historically there has been little that merchants can do other than to be frustrated at password-related losses, that is no longer the case – and retailers need to look for new solutions to removing needless friction from online transactions, or run the risk of losing customers to the competition.”

He added: “2020 has found more and more people fulfilling many of their needs by making a bulk of their purchases online.

“Merchants especially need to make the buying experience simpler for consumers without sacrificing security.

The good news is that most consumer devices today ship equipped with the technology to provide these simpler, stronger authentication methods – it is now incumbent upon retailers to take advantage of these capabilities.”