As we know, brand loyalty went out the window during the pandemic as consumers turned to digital commerce for every need, and whichever site or e-store had what they were looking for at a decent price was fine—as long as their online purchase method was seamless and secure, they delivered quickly for free, were available anytime for support, and had expansive return policies with no questions asked. Thus the emergence of the customer experience as a critical measure of brand success. And that hasn’t changed—in fact, those expectations have only escalated.
In the meantime, customer loyalty started to become an attainable goal again, as long as brand experiences checked every box mentioned above, which became more complicated as many of the service-side tasks were delegated to chatbots. And of course, quality and price are a given. As CX expanded to physical stores when they reopened, the digital elements split off into what’s now DX, and new research from digital experience firm Ping Identity has pegged DX as the factor that determines whether your online customers remain loyal.
The firm’s annual survey and resulting report, Brand Loyalty In the Age of the Digital Economy, evaluates global consumer sentiment around the online brands they engage with—revealing a need for easier and more secure capabilities that address concerns around identity theft and simplified access.
Expanding on trends from last year’s report, consumers are emphasizing their need for convenience online, but continue to place value on effective security strategies. According to the latest findings, 81 percent say that ease of use is important to their digital experiences, 65 percent would switch to a comparable brand if it offered passwordless authentication, and 63 percent are most concerned about identity theft, ahead of financial loss, when it comes to having their information online.
“In today’s world, consumers hold all of the power. Not only is there more competition among brands to see who can deliver the best digital experience, but consumers are more informed than ever. They know what they want from an organization to create a positive digital experience—and they’re willing to leave a brand that isn’t meeting their needs,” said Peter Barker, chief product officer at Ping Identity, in a news release. “To stay ahead of competition, businesses need to create easy and personalized experiences that alleviate security concerns without collecting too much personal data.”
Key global findings underline the importance of ease of use:
- 60 percent have stopped using an account or online service because they became frustrated with the login process; a steady increase since 2022 (59 percent) and 2021 (56 percent).
- 59 percent are still storing passwords by memory alone, with 54 percent admitting they have too many to keep track of.
- 43 percent of consumers would leave an online service to switch to a competitor if the competitor’s login process was significantly easier.
While consumers want simple digital experiences, they also want to know their data is secure, especially given the recent proliferation of AI:
- 54 percent are concerned about the possible use of AI technology to create fake impersonations.
- 50 percent say that the use of MFA makes them feel better about the service because it suggests that the business cares about protecting their data.
- Only 10 percent of consumers have full trust in the organizations that manage their identity data, with the most trust in banks (61 percent) and healthcare services (51 percent).
The findings detailed in this report are based on responses collected from two surveys. The first survey gathered responses from 9,519 consumers across 14 regions, and the second survey gathered responses from 3,400 consumers in five select markets: the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia, to learn more about consumer attitudes around their digital experiences, from engaging with brands to their security preferences.