January 9, 2014, 1:08 PM

Facebook holds a big lead in social logins on retail sites

This marks the eighth straight quarter that the percentage of consumers signing into retail web sites with their Facebook credentials has increased among consumers who use an established login on retailer sites, according to Janrain.

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62% of shoppers who use an established login to sign into one of Janrain’s retail clients’ web sites in the fourth quarter entered in their Facebook credentials, according to a new report from Janrain, a provider of social media login technology.

Janrain’s technology lets consumers sign into e-retailer sites using the user name and password combinations they have already established at such sites as Twitter, Facebook and Google Inc.’s social network Google Plus.

The 62% of those consumers who used any existing credentials to log into Janrain’s retail clients’ sites through Facebook was up from 61% in the third quarter and 55% in the fourth quarter of 2012, Janrain says. The vendor does not disclose the percentage of consumers who use established credentials to sign into its clients’ web sites.

This marks the eighth straight quarter that the percentage of consumers signing into retail web sites with their Facebook credentials has increased among consumers who use an established login on Janrain’s retail client sites. Facebook has had the highest percentage since Janrain began tracking social logins in 2010.

Trailing Facebook was Google Plus. 23% of consumers in Q4 who logged into retailers’ web sites using existing credentials used their Google Plus accounts, 7% Yahoo Inc., 2% Twitter Inc., 1% AOL Inc., 1% Microsoft Corp. and 4% with other credentials, such as from LinkedIn Corp., Janrain says.

Janrain has clients in retail, media, entertainment, consumer brands, technology, nonprofits and education. The company says it has “hundreds” of retail clients and the retail-specific findings come from a sample of several dozen web sites.

While Facebook credentials’ market share on retail sites continues to rise, Facebook doesn’t command as large a share when looking across all of Janrain’s clients, including companies that are not retailers. 45% of consumers who signed into all of Janrain clients’ sites using an established login in Q4 used their Facebook accounts, 35% Google Plus, 6% Yahoo, 6% Twitter, 2% Microsoft, 2% LinkedIn and 4% other credentials.

The biggest story of the quarter is that Google Plus continues to gain market share across all of Janrain’s clients, says Michael Olson, product marketing manager at Janrain. The 35% of consumers who used existing credentials to log into Janrain’s clients’ sites through Google Plus was up compared with 33% in the third quarter and 31% in Q4 2012, Janrain says. However, among Janrain’s retailer clients, Google Plus was flat compared to the third quarter.

“With the continued emergence of Google Plus and the company’s push to unify each of its services [such as Gmail, Google Plus, YouTube] under a single Google identity, we’re not surprised to see consumers placing more affinity in their Google identities, with social login preferences following suit,” he says.

Social logins aren't important because they're "social" but because they offer a consumer a universal login that increases the liklihood he will sign into an e-commerce site, says Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at The Altimeter Group. "There's less of a barrier to entry to an e-commerce site, or other password-protected property, when it can be accessed with existing credentials rather than compelling a consumer to go through the rather high bar of establishing a new registration and setting a new password," she says. However, when a consumer uses a social media account it does enable that shopper to more easily share on that social network.

Internet Retailer’s new Social Media 500 ranks online merchants on the percentage of site traffic they receive from social networks and includes a range of social-related data points. Read analysis of the Social Media 500 data here, or purchase a digital or database subscription here


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