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S Group: Streamlining user experience with Ubisecure

How the giant retailing group embraced digital identity across a complex group of companies and services.

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Who are S Group?

S Group is a Finnish retailer group that owns a number of supermarkets, hypermarkets, restaurants, hotels, gas stations, financial, and insurance services and brands. The group is the Finnish & Baltic equivalent to UK based Tesco or US based Walmart in its relative breadth and reach to consumers in their respective home countries. Its revenue exceeds €11b and employs over 39,000 people. S Group services are present just about everywhere in Finland, and are also present in Russia and the Baltic countries. Uniquely, S Group is a cooperative with two million co-op members (client owners) and, in 2017, distributed over €300m in bonus payments its client owners. S Group operates a loyalty program for client-owners who are issued with shares and a client-owner loyalty card called an S-Card.

Challenge

S Group has a wide range of both internal and external services operating under different brands, infrastructure and teams making it very difficult for customers to see and use all of the services easily. With each S Group company often operating several brands each with their own online services, customers were unable to move easily between services and websites and S Group was unable to effectively engage its customers with all available services. Many S Group services also offer online product sales and promo discounts to loyalty members and the group needed a way to easily apply discounts to encourage offer uptake. Other S Group digital services included digital receipt and warranty management, management of the two million client-owner loyalty program members and annual bonus payments.

Digitalisation Objectives

Rethinking how digital identity can transform the customer experience.
  • Connect all applications and services to a single consumer identity
  • Meet user experience demands with a simplified customer journey, including personalisation of content and automatic product discounts based on profile
  • Embrace social identities and step-up strong (verified) identities to reduce friction during registration and engagement
  • Embrace multi-factor authentication (including Mobile ID / Mobile PKI) when the situation demands stronger identity assurance
  • Ensure privacy and security for identity credentials
  • Support for desktop, mobile and across S Group devices (such as POS)

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Solution

Unlocking the power and convenience of a single digital identity.

S Group uses the Ubisecure Identity Platform to achieve a wide range of Customer IAM functionality designed around providing customers with a single identity for all S Group company applications and services:

  • Registration and login using social, business and S Group’s accepted strong identities
  • Provide workflows for situational multi-factor authentication (step-up auth) and authorisation based on profile
  • Provide single-sign on (SSO) across all group applications and services
  • Offer personalised customer journeys based on single identities
  • Provide customers with 24/7 self-service identity data management

S Group IAM

The Identity Platform is used to link different web sites and online stores together and enable the use of external identities with a wide range of identity provider support to authenticate and sign into S Group portal, allowing a modern bring-your-own-identity approach:

  • Strong verified identities – S-Bank ID, Mobile ID / Mobile PKI
  • Social identities – Facebook, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn
  • And of course – username password

S Group CIAM Ubisecure

For example, the Identity Platform’s SSO capabilities allow a customer to sign into S Group’s portal using username/password to switch between services and offers, check loyalty points, review bonuses, purchase history and product receipt/warranty details. But at the point when the situation needs stronger identity assurance, such as self-managing identity credentials in the registry system, customers will be prompted to use S Group’s accepted strong IDs such as a BankID or a national digital ID – a process known as step-up authentication. Such workflows can be configured with high flexibility to support the specific situational identity assurance needs across all services, sites, resources, or just about anything.

Benefits

The benefits of the Ubisecure Identity Platform to S Group are deep:

For Customers

Happier and more loyal customers thanks to the use of a single identity: SSO across many different services; faster registration, login, engagement and checkout; personalised content and product promotions based on profile; easy access to receipts, warranties and bonus information; self-managing identity data and functions 24/7.

For S Group

Use of the Ubisecure Identity Platform to achieve Customer IAM benefits was a core component of S Group’s digitalisation initiatives leading to improved customer journey and engagement; lower support costs; enriched customer identity data, attributes and profiles; improved security and privacy controls around identity data.

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S Group stats:

  • Retail revenue exceeded €11.3b in 2017
  • More than 1,600 outlets in Finland
  • Employs over 39,000 people
  • Cooperative with 2 million members (client owners)