January 11, 2013, 12:07 PM

More shoppers log in to retail sites with Facebook credentials

Facebook accounts for 55% of all social log-ins in Q4, up from 50% in Q3.

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The majority of shoppers, 55%, who signed in to retail sites with social network or e-mail credentials used their Facebook names and passwords, according to a new report from  Janrain, a provider of social media log-in technology for more than 365,000 web sites. That’s up from 50% of shoppers who signed into retail sites using Facebook credentials in the third quarter, and from 41% a year earlier. Janrain says that, given the option, 50-80% of consumers generally opt for social log-ins.

Facebook has been the most popular social log-in option for eight consecutive quarters, the entire time Janrain has been tracking social log-ins with data gathered from its hundreds of retailer clients, the company says. 

Google log-ins accounted for 31% of shoppers’ social log-ins in the fourth quarter, an increase from 25% in the third quarter, but only a slight uptick from 30% who did so a year earlier.

The percentage of shoppers who logged into retail sites using their identities on other social networks and web portals in Q4 2012, Q3 2012 and Q4 2011, according to Janrain, were:

  • Yahoo, 10%, 11%, 14%;
  • Twitter, 12%, 11%, 6%;
  • AOL, 1%, 1%, 3%;
  • Other, 4%, 4%, 17%.

Facebook’s dominant position in social log-ins comes as the social network has dramatically increased its user base, says Michael Olson, product marketing manager at Janrain. Facebook announced it reached 1 billion users in October, an 18% jump from 845 million in December 2011.

The growth in the number of consumers using Facebook to log into retailer sites is a sign that consumers trust the social network, Olson says. “They’re using their Facebook persona as a sort of online ID,” he says. That’s enabling retailers to leverage the information consumers share on the social network to better personalize the items and offers they present. For instance, Sears Holdings Corp. tailors search results for shoppers logged in through Facebook based on what they Like on the social network. Sears is No. 8 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide

Even though Facebook has been the leader since Janrain began tracking social log-ins, the fact that it only makes up 55% of the total share is a sign shoppers want choices, he says. “While social log-ins are a way to streamline the checkout process and make it easier for a shopper to complete a purchase, not everyone wants to give a retailer access to their Facebook account,” he says. “It’s good to offer options.”

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