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Consumer Research: Can Social Login Help Solve the Engagement Gap?

By Bill Piwonka | Posted on January 24, 2013

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Today we announced highlights from our recent consumer research study on consumer perceptions of social login. While some of the data may confirm what I’d bet many of you already believe or know, there are some really key nuggets within the report that shed new light on the topic.


What struck me immediately was that almost every single consumer (98%) is still reporting that companies send them information, promotions, offers, etc. that aren’t relevant. Think about that for a moment. Despite all the progress marketers have made as a result of technology, we haven’t moved too far from the days when we weren’t sure which 50% of our marketing budget was wasted.

An explanation emerges after digging into the details…engaging with an online visitor starts with knowing who they are. In the offline world we get clues from the way they are dressed, where we are meeting them, how they speak, etc. Online we’ve tried to get our clues based on what they do on our site and by asking them to reveal information via long registration forms.

But as past research has confirmed, people don’t like registration forms and those pesky passwords. First, they can’t remember all their username/password combinations (more then half report having more then 5 unique combinations), but 92% admit having left a site rather than resetting or recovering login information.

And when consumers do oblige and complete a registration form, the data they provide is often misleading – around four in five admit to giving false or incomplete information. So who’s fault is it if you claim to be a woman when you’re not and you get annoyed when a company offers you a discount on women’s shoes?

The good news is that social login can help close this engagement gap. Not only are 87% of consumers aware of social login, more than half use it. Beyond the convenience social login offers at registration or return visits, it also can be a key component in delivering a personal and relevant experience to that user.

That’s because when social login is invoked, marketers ask permission to use a consumers’ social profile data to personalize content based on information such as location, hobbies and interests. In one of the most compelling statistics in the study, 59% of consumers find it very useful to receive targeted products and promotions based on their social login profiles. At least half also responded positively to receiving additional information on their favorite topics such as a recent news article.

Feel free to dig into the additional findings and insights by downloading the full research study here.

I also want to thank our research partner, Paul Abel, Managing Partner of Blue Research for his diligence in pursuit of insights.

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About the author

Bill Piwonka

Bill Piwonka

VP of Marketing

Even after 25 years in the trenches, Bill remains fascinated, curious and passionate about the art and science of marketing. He's convinced that most people think they know how to effectively market, but few really know how to do it. At Janrain, he finds himself at the intersection of technology, metrics, process and the art of marketing and following his bliss.

View all posts by Bill Piwonka