February 22, 2023

What is CIAM? How do you achieve great engagement with your customers?

In the increasingly connected world we live in, companies need a strong digital presence that connects them to their customers while promoting continuous engagement. One of the key technologies that can help achieve this is Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM). In this article, we will tell you how brands can leverage CIAM to create successful digital experiences that support business growth.

What are CIAM solutions?

In the context of business and cybersecurity, the management of IDs and employee, customer and partner authorisation works to improve the security of the company and all its IT systems, while also improving productivity for all users. And not only that. The amount of work and dedication required by IT developers and departments for user identification and authentication security can be optimised, reducing both costs and redundant tasks. These are the main benefits of the IAM/CIAM access and identity management solutions:
⦁ Automatic provision of user accounts ⦁ Management of workflows and self-service ⦁ Password management ⦁ Single sign-on (SSO)
⦁ Role-based access control (RBAC) / Access governance ⦁ Auditing and compliance


Acquire new users with excellent access experiences

Smart brands know that first impressions count. This is especially true when even the smallest inconvenience can make new customers choose to withdraw. For this reason, some of the initial contact points, including registration, account creation and authentication, will have a direct impact on the customer experience (CX) and the customer retention ratio.

A modern CIAM solution can help create a seamless access experience, so you don't miss out on customers due to issues with ease of use. Below, we will show you some ways in which a CIAM will contribute to this:

⦁ Design attractive, highly customised and branded registration pages to differentiate your brand from the competition.
⦁ Facilitate account creation from any device or place (mobiles, smart TVs...)
⦁ Build a simple yet effective registration process that only requires user to submit the necessary information, so they do not become frustrated or discouraged with unnecessary or extensive requests.
⦁ Provide authentication with social networks to simplify the registration experience, and eliminate the need to create additional accounts.
⦁ Etc.

Overall, a solid CIAM solution ensures that access experiences are simple and pleasant, minimising abandonment and maximising new customer acquisitions. This is something we have seen at Albertsons: The retailer supports the registration and authentication of users from start to finish, and works with 30 million customers per week via Okta

Convert customers with a personalised approach

Once new users have been acquired, a CIAM solution can help you make the most of your customer knowledge to create more relevant digital experiences leading to higher conversion. The right CIAM solution allows for a complete, 360 degree view of customer profiles and preferences by consolidating and centralising the user data from various sources, including internal and third-party systems. This unified vision therefore enables a better understanding of who your customers are and what they want, so that you can adapt your marketing campaigns and strategies to ensure they are as effective as possible.

Crate and Barrel is a good practical example of this. The large home furniture retailer partnered with Okta to improve and simplify the customer access experience, allowing buyers to use a single set of credentials across several sites and applications. With a better understanding of each customer and the ability to view their client journey in a unified way, the retailer was able to deliver personalised content to increase participation. The initiative was successful, with an increase of 10-16% in the number of customers who logged in and created accounts during the purchasing process (compared to logging in as a "guest"), generating significant revenue opportunities for the business.

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Securing your environment with multi-cloud identity and access management

Guarantee the security of your company's information with authentication mechanisms.

Retain customers with a consistent and reliable service

Having acquired and converted your customers, it is essential to keep them loyal. Achieving this depends on offering consistent and seamless experiences at each point of contact with the brand regardless of the channel, whether it's via the website, mobile app, smart TV, call centre or a physical store. It also means guaranteeing that the customer's data is safe and protected at every step of the way.

When customers are happy, loyalty, additional purchases and recommendations to other customers, essential to boosting growth, follow. CIAM helps with this by allowing you to:
⦁ Create experiences which consist of multiple channels, subsidiaries, properties and brands.
⦁ Provide self-service capabilities, such as easy password reset, as this is a common cause of abandoned accounts.
⦁ Provide high-quality support to customers by maintaining the synchronisation of the customer's identity data in the target systems.
In addition to optimised experiences, customers are also increasingly concerned about privacy and how brands store and use their data. A feeling of confidence in company's ability to protect sensitive information is a major driver of customer confidence and retention.

This is something we have seen at Major League Baseball (MLB). When using Okta, MLB can comply with the privacy regulations and data requirements of its customers, while also offering a seamless digital experience across a variety of channels.


These are just some examples of how the right CIAM solution can help drive business growth. Generally, CIAM is a powerful technology that can allow your company to create excellent digital experiences that promote customer acquisition, conversion and retention.

Discover how CIAM can support initiatives that generate revenue for your business, or get in touch for more information on how Okta can support your organisation.