Fancy a chocolate bar? Problem of the repeat customer

Joonatan Henriksson

Joonatan Henriksson

Head of Digital Business

January 31, 2017 at 10:30

Imagine, that you are visiting a store for the first time. When you are at the checkout with your shopping basket, instead of paying, you are guided to fill a form about your personal details. You don’t really want to share your personal information, but you decide to do it anyway since you have gone through the trouble of already spending so much time in the store and filling the basket with items to your liking from the vast selection.The cashier expresses gratitude on your decision and promises that next time your shopping experience will be so smooth and you can even receive benefits on being a loyal customer. What you also receive, is a secret 8-digit identification code, which you need to present each time you arrive at the checkout.

Imagine, that even after this tedious shopping experience you visit the store next week to buy a chocolate bar. At the checkout you realize that you have forgotten the secret code. You ask the cashier what to do and you are guided to fill parts of the personal information form again to receive a new code. After doing this you can proceed to buy your chocolate bar.

The whole situation seems quite absurd in the modern customer-centric service culture. How many of us would really shop a second time in this specific store? Or if visited, how many could abstain from giving the store owner feedback about alternative processes and suggesting the use loyalty cards?

I think not so many.

Unfortunately the process described above and the lousy customer experience that follows is commonplace in eCommerce and one of the biggest factors why 68% of customers never shop again in the same eStore, like the study from eCommerce platform provider Magento indicates.

The need to know your customers

Nevertheless, like we wrote in our earlier post Identity, the double-edged sword in conversion, harvesting and analyzing customer data is increasingly critical for the business. For this reason you must be able to reliably and individually identify your customers in all service channels.

There are two easy things that contribute in solving the problem of repeat customer vs. identified customer:

1. Include easy account registration as a part of the checkout process

  • Utilize social media ID’s during registration
  • Don’t ask everything at once, but collect user data progressively. Read more
  • Provide value to the customer for the given personal data

2. Provide a convenient way to login

  • Let the customer choose the most convenient way to login (for example Single Sign-On with a Social Media ID, one-time password via email, mobile app authentication, invisible behavioral authentication etc.)

By following to these instructions you can provide a smoother user experience and make sure that customer remain happy using your services. And at the same time you are able to collect customer data to develop your business.

Best way to include these steps in your services is to include them in your service design for each individual customer channel. With known business requirements, they can then be implemented for example using digital identity management tools, like a CIAM (Consumer Identity and Access Management) solution.

With these guidelines you can get the customer to return and buy a chocolate bar from your store!

Source: Magento Live Australia 2016,