Accelerate Digital Investments in Retail with Scalable Digital Identity


"A happy customer is a loyal customer" is considered the quintessential adage of retail. Give customers what they want, when they want it, and how they want it, and you're set to achieve the ultimate prize: omnichannel success. But in today's highly competitive retail landscape, it's not that simple.

A well-oiled digital transformation program that delivers seamless experiences across web and mobile engagement channels is no longer enough. Retailers are turning to novel ways of accelerating digital investments to keep pace with the competition. The increasing adoption of headless and composable ecommerce can help retailers outperform their competitors by 80%, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Headless ecommerce decouples back-end functions from front-end functions, offering greater flexibility in how retailers deliver the customer experience. Composable ecommerce, a term coined by Gartner, refers to a modular approach comprising technology building blocks from various vendors, which provides businesses with the ability to make shifts in their architecture to enable agility. So, what's the relationship between these trends and scalability and how can digital identity accelerate digital investments?

Scalability as the New Competitive Frontier

You've delivered a great experience to a particular customer cohort, or a targeted group, and have improved conversion and retention rates. You've tapped into deep consumer insights to deliver a highly personalized outbound campaign. Congratulations — but so have your competitors. What can make you stand out? Is it the unique quality of your product or offering? Maybe. Is it your new mobile app user interface? That always helps. How do you sustain these successes into the future and really set your business apart from the competition? There are other factors to consider.

Research from Amazon shows that every 100 milliseconds of latency results in 1% in sales loss. Customers are no longer willing to tolerate disjointed and slow experiences. Delivering seamless, secure, and scalable user journeys is more critical than ever before for driving customer lifetime value. Being able to scale within and across brands can not only help you meet peak demand, but can also assist you in delivering real-time personalization, security-driven trust, and improved roadmap agility. Let's find out how.

The Way Forward: Identity-Enabled Headless Ecommerce

Headless ecommerce is progressively transforming digital investments in retail. The idea is simple: decouple the back-end systems and applications critical to running the retail ecosystem from the front-end, customer-facing systems to unleash agility. While a positive step forward, headless ecommerce alone does not give retailers the ability to accelerate scalability. What's missing? Look no further than modern digital identity. Although the answer is simple, this requires a deeper explanation:

  • Meeting Peak Demand: Whether it's meeting Black Friday peak demand, supporting high-profile product launches, or delivering high-volume targeted campaigns, retailers must ensure that customers are able to access, research, and purchase products with no service degradation. An enterprise-grade customer identity and access management (CIAM) solution should be able to handle tens of thousands of transactions per second for millions of identities across all on-premises or any cloud deployments.
  • Understanding Customer Needs: Connecting multiple customer relationship management (CRM) systems and identity stores used to manage customer interactions across online (web, mobile) and offline (in-store kiosk, support center, and others) to build a real-time view of customer needs is critical to delivering personalization. It’s also essential for maximizing customer lifetime value. Modern identity and access management (IAM) helps retailers easily integrate user, application, device, services, and application programming interfaces (APIs) to reduce latency and enhance interoperability across the rapidly evolving ecosystem.
  • Accelerating Agility: Designing, developing, testing, and iterating access journeys has been historically dependent on specialized IAM resources, inhibiting retailers' ability to move at pace. Low-code/no-code orchestration tools give organizations access to drag-and-drop interfaces, along with a wide range of out-of-the-box third-party complementary capabilities. These allow organizations to focus on accelerating their feature deployment, while enabling them to use feedback signals to continuously iterate access journeys, thus enhancing agility.
  • Protecting Customers: Securing personal data and giving customers the ability to manage their own privacy settings is increasingly critical to securing customer brand loyalty. The rapid expansion of the retail ecosystem has created an ever-expanding attack surface, stoking the increase in account takeover attacks and unauthorized access. Scalability is as much about growth as embedding breach prevention capabilities at the core of the retail technology stack.

Increase ROI on Digital Investments

Accelerating digital investments in retail is fast becoming a function of the ability to deliver seamless, secure, and scalable user journeys across a rapidly growing retail ecosystem. Purpose-built digital identity holds the key to unleashing identity-enabled headless ecommerce and maximizing ROI on digital investments. Standing still is no longer a choice. To learn how ForgeRock can help you scale to success in retail, download our latest white paper today.