Login

Coles Delivers a Personalized Retail Experience With Auth0

Australia’s leading grocer is centralizing identity for 600K customers and counting

About

Coles is a leading Australian retailer, with over 2,500 retail outlets nationally. Coles makes life easier for Australians by delivering quality, value and service to the 21 million customers who shop with us each week.

Industry

Retail/eCommerce

Region

APAC

Over 21 million Australians shop at Coles’ 2,500+ grocery, convenience, and liquor stores each week. So when the pandemic shifted 70% of grocery purchasing to digital channels almost overnight, Coles had to act quickly to ensure their digital experience met the needs of their customers in order to survive.

Although Coles already had multiple digital channels designed to help their customers shop, today’s retail food customers expect seamless, personalized digital experiences. And Coles found their approach to identity was preventing them from providing the experience their customers expected.

“We didn't have the ability to offer omnichannel personalization because our channels handled customer profiles separately,” Assaf Warshitzky, Platform Engineering Group Manager, says. “We wanted to consolidate customer profiles and then federate across all of our channels to create the right experience.

“We didn't have the ability to offer omnichannel personalization because our channels handled customer profiles separately.”

Assaf WarshitzkyPlatform Engineering Group Manager

Multiple Channels and Tech Stacks Lead Coles to External Solutions

Offering a personalized digital experience meant Coles needed to consolidate customer identities from multiple authentication systems, each of which used a different tech stack. And since the brand is highly visible, they couldn’t afford to make a mistake solving this technical challenge.

“Every Australian knows Coles through our supermarkets, convenience stores, and liquor stores,” says Warshitzky. “So when we put something out there, it needs to be great, it needs to be secure, and it needs to scale.”

Coles considered building their own identity solution in-house. But given the work required to build and maintain such a system, Coles realized that working with an external identity specialist was a better choice.

“Building and running bespoke identity solutions requires a lot of operational effort because you have to constantly patch vulnerabilities that arise,” explains Warshitzky. “We realized it was best for us to invest in value-added activities for Coles and our customers, not creating identity systems or identity platforms.”

“We realized it was best for us to invest in value-added activities for Coles and our customers, not creating identity systems or identity platforms.”

Assaf WarshitzkyPlatform Engineering Group Manager

Coles Integrates Identity for 600K Customers

Coles evaluated several identity providers but chose Auth0 due to the developer-friendliness, the built-in security features, and the ability to customize their customers’ experience.

“The fact that we can tailor and brand each customer interaction by channel was a huge selling point,” says Warshitzky. “The ability to roll out customer security features like MFA [multi-factor authentication] or integrate with any email provider from the admin console and then customize those in order to meet our security standards was also a key differentiator as well.”

To simplify the implementation, Coles chose to work with Auth0 Professional Services. “Professional Services worked with us closely, validating our ideas or coming up with a different approach when needed,” says Warshitzky. “They were invested in our success and it felt like a partnership.”

The team began by integrating Auth0 into a brand new mobile app, which would allow them to observe how the platform behaved with a smaller subset of their customers during its soft launch. A few days after starting, they had a working authentication flow ready to go for their 600K customers soft launch.

“Auth0 allows us to customize our authentication flows in ways that other platforms often make difficult,” says Warshitzky. “In fact, a lot of the things we need to do we could do via self-serve, which helped us get something working in just a couple of days.”

“Auth0 allows us to customize our authentication flows in ways that other platforms often make difficult.”

Assaf WarshitzkyPlatform Engineering Group Manager

150K Customers Opt for a Personalized Experience in the First 3 Months

Three months into their soft launch, 25% of Coles’ target customers chose to personalize their experience. “The app was available for 600,000 customers at the start of January 2021, and we're getting close to 150,000 customers that have opted into the personalization at the end of March,” says Warshitzky.

Coles has since begun customizing their authentication flows further with built-in security features from Auth0’s platform and using Auth0’s Rules and Progressive Profiling features to improve their customers’ experience. “Progressive Profiling with Auth0 really allows us to fine-tune our customers’ experience and introduce new features quickly,” explains Warshitzky. “We’re currently looking at this for our MFA flows to send emails, reset passwords, and more.”

The Coles team is excited for what it means for their future as they begin to integrate the rest of their digital channels into the platform. “Auth0's ability to eliminate the pain and complexity of building an identity solution is a pretty great return on investment already,” says Warshitzky. “But the work we've done here really paves the way for a better user experience and return customers.”

“Auth0's ability to eliminate the pain and complexity of building an identity solution is a pretty great return on investment already. But the work we've done here really paves the way for a better user experience and return customers.”

Assaf WarshitzkyPlatform Engineering Group Manager

About Auth0

Auth0, a product unit within Okta, takes a modern approach to identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. The Auth0 Identity Platform is highly customizable, and is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit https://auth0.com.

9K+

Enterprise customers

70+

Countries with Auth0

24/7

Support coverage

Get started →

Signing up is free. Experience Auth0 for yourself and see how we help companies of all sizes make their organizations safer.