Today’s online shoppers demand swift, tailored experiences that flow effortlessly across all platforms they engage with. Low Friction Authentication is crucial in delivering this seamless journey. Should a brand fail to meet these expectations, shoppers quickly abandon their carts or switch to competitors. For ecommerce success, investment in creating an exceptional user experience is a must.

However, personalized user experiences aren’t without challenges; they come at the heightened risk of security threats and fraud. While end-users are often the target, security breaches can tarnish a brand’s reputation, undermining customer loyalty and impacting the bottom line.

The pressing question is: can brands balance superior user experience with robust security?

Before we look into how these two elements can be combined, let’s look at the different security threats that customers may face online.




Security threats

Cybercrime has surged with the rise of online commerce, especially during the pandemic. Phishing scams leading to identity theft are common strategies for fraudsters. Imperva’s 2023 Bad Bot Report reveals that 47.4 % of all last year’s internet traffic was bots, and 30.2 % of that were bad bots. 1 Additional cyber threats include internet scams, data breaches, and malicious malware.

Account hijacking, too, has become a widespread concern. Sift’s Q3 2023 Digital Trust & Safety index ebook tells that account takeover attacks increased 354 % over Sift’s global network compared to the previous year. 2

Different age groups are susceptible to distinct types of fraud, mirroring their specific online behaviors. For instance, older generations often encounter healthcare-related scams, millennials face phishing threats, and Gen Z commonly interacts with deceptive social media chatbots.


Low Friction Authentication

With all the above mentioned threats, how do you maintain a good user experience while providing a secure ecommerce platform?

Low Friction Authentication describes the easiest possible way to authenticate or log in while still taking security into account. The more complex and multi-step the user authentication is, the more friction the customer will experience during the process. In turn, the fewer steps the customer requires, the smoother the process.

Low Friction Authentication methods include, for instance, SSO (Single Sign-On), where a user can log in to multiple sites with a single login. Several alternatives already on the market can replace the traditional password in a more accessible and user-friendly way. For example, biometric authentication is a method of authentication using fingerprint or facial recognition to replace the standard password.


Intelligent friction

Intelligent friction describes allowing appropriate users to access their own data while preventing intruders from gaining access. This is achieved by deliberately creating what is known as “friction” as users attempt to access their own data.

The key is that the friction created is tailored. Its magnitude and type depend on how trustworthy each user is judged to be. The assessment determines how much authentication effort the user requires to move forward.

This method, therefore, requires some authentication effort from the customer but also increases the site’s security. Setting the amount of friction in a considered and tailored way can also prevent customer frustration and a deterioration of the user experience. Businesses that take this approach have a better chance of avoiding security breaches and their consequences, as well as retaining the trust of their customers.


How or where should friction be increased?

There is no single model or guideline for adding friction, but it should always be considered on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, online merchants should consider which verification measures are relevant in which cases. It is also important to look at the customer’s perspective and consider in which cases customers know to expect and understand the need for verification.

Factors that will influence the setting of the appropriate level of friction include the sensitivity of account credentials, the type of threat that may be encountered in each case, and the right means to avoid that particular threat. In every instance, the user experience should be considered.


How Vaimo can help

The balance between security and user experience is delicate.

Security and data protection are ultimately also what customers want, and by considering where to use intelligent friction and where to smoothen customer experience with Low Friction Authentication, a balance can be maintained between good security and user experience.

At Vaimo, we understand the intricacies of harmonizing user experience with robust security. By leveraging our expertise, businesses can confidently navigate the ecommerce landscape, assuring their customers of a seamless, secure shopping journey.

Protect your business, your data, and your customers. With Vaimo, you’re in good hands. Visit our tried-and-tested Ecommerce Security page.

Talk to us today about your ecommerce journey.



1 –  2023 Imperva Bad Bot Report –
2 – Q3 2023 Digital Trust & Safety Index ebook –