July 9, 2013, 12:42 PM

More shoppers use their Facebook credentials to sign into retail sites than other established log-ins

Google+ takes second place in a Janrain study.

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For six straight quarters the percentage of consumers signing into retail web sites with their Facebook credentials has increased among consumers who use an established log-in on retailer sites, according to a new report from Janrain, a provider of social media log-in technology. Janrain lets consumers sign into e-retailer sites using their already established log-ins with such sites as Twitter, Facebook and Google Inc.’s social network Google+.

In the second quarter of this year, 59% of consumers logging into Janrain’s retail clients’ sites did so through Facebook, compared with 57% in the first quarter and 48% in the second quarter of  2012, it says. Janrain declined to share the percentage of visits to web sites that include consumers logging in with credentials from other sites.

Janrain has clients in retail, media, entertainment, consumer brands, technology, nonprofits and education. The company declines to say exactly how many of its clients are in retail, but says the retail-specific findings come from a sample of several dozen web sites.

Many Janrain retail clients encourage shoppers to sign into their sites via Facebook by displaying a more prominent Facebook log-in button above ones for Yahoo, Google, AOL, LinkedIn and Twitter, says Michael Olson, product marketing manager at Janrain. Facebook, he says, gives merchants the richest tools to personalize their sites to the consumers’ preferences. That’s because many consumers share more detailed personal information in their Facebook profiles, such as their Likes and interests, than they share on other social networks, he says. So, when a consumer signs into a retail site via Facebook and chooses to share those details, the retailer can customize the products it shows them better than it could with, for example, only demographic information. For example, when a shopper who Likes running on Facebook uses his Facebook credentials to sign into a sporting goods retailer’s site the merchant can use Facebook data to present that consumer running shoes, as well as show that consumer his friends that Like the retailer’s Facebook page.

“Retailers want to facilitate a social shopping experience, and encouraging shoppers to use their Facebook log-in enables them to offer that,” Olson says.

Trailing Facebook was Google+. 25% of consumers in Q2 who logged into retailers’ web sites did so with their Google+ identities, 8% with Yahoo Inc., 2% with Twitter Inc., 1% with AOL Inc., 1% with Microsoft Corp. and 4% with other credentials, such as from LinkedIn Corp., Janrain says.

While Facebook log-in continues to gain ground among retailers, its market share isn’t as large when looking across all of Janrain’s clients. 46% of consumers who signed into Janrain clients’ sites using an established log-in in Q2 used their Facebook accounts, 34% with Google+, 7% with Yahoo, 6% with Twitter, 1% with Microsoft and 6% with other credentials.

While Facebook has been the log-in leader since 2011, it has never dominated. “The preferences are fractured, which shows that consumers want options,” Olson says.


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