January 10, 2012, 1:48 PM

Consumers are likely to pass on entering passwords on web sites

88% in a survey say they have provided false information when forced to register.

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Consumers active in online social networks are not happy about selecting new passwords in order to register at web sites, and would rather use their passwords from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, according to a survey released today. The survey was conducted by Blue Research on behalf of Janrain, which provides technology that enables retailers and other web site operators to offer log-in with social network credentials and use information from consumers’ social profiles for targeted marketing.

The survey, conducted in October, found 86% of respondents are annoyed when asked to create new accounts on web sites, up 10 percentage points from the same survey last year. Of those, 14% complete the registration, but 54% say they may leave the site or not return, 26% will go to a different site and 6% say they leave and/or avoid the site.

88% says they have provided incorrect information or left forms incomplete when creating a new web account, up from 76% a year earlier. And 90% say they have left a web site if they forgot their password, rather than resetting it or answering security questions, double the 45% who said so in the same survey last year.

Online retailers apparently are getting the message that consumers do not want to be forced to register. Only 11% of 100 major web retailers required registration when making a purchase in the annual Mystery Shopping Survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011 by research firm The E-tailing Group, down from 20% in Q4 2010.

“Customers don’t want to be forced to do anything,” says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group. “Optional is the operative word when it comes to registration.”

Janrain argues that consumers want to be able to use their social network credentials to sign in at other sites. In the October 2011 survey, 77% of respondents said web site should let them log in with their social network user names and passwords, up from 66% in the 2010 survey. The E-tailing Group survey shows 3% of the 100 large e-commerce sites offered social log-in during the recent holiday season; the firm did not include that feature in its 2010 study.

The Janrain survey data include responses from 616 consumers, all of whom are active in online social networks. The survey found that 78% of the respondents who like the idea of social log-in have posted a comment or message on social networks about a product or service. The survey organizers says this shows that consumers interested in social log-in are more likely to influence other consumers and be influenced by friends on social networks.

“The findings of the survey show that social log-in continues to dramatically increase in favor among consumers as they realize the benefits of using an existing identity in order to bypass the traditional online registration process,” says Paul Abel, managing partner of Blue Research. ”Failing to offer social log-in is a missed opportunity for businesses to improve ROI of online properties, as fans of the service are more likely to register on the site, influence their friends through social networks and more likely to return to a site that offers them a personalized experience.” 

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