It takes only 2 more fields for people to create an account: Password, Confirm Password (at least in Magento).
Does anyone require account creation on the 1st order?
This is the #1 conversion killer. Never require registration unless you have some very specific product that requires a more complex buying/delivery cycle.
Sorry, but I don't buy that at all. Even arguably the #1 ecommerce site in the world (amazon) requires you to create an account before you can purchase anything. The trick is to not require it until checkout and to make it as unobtrusive as possible.
Jus use a trick with quick guest check out. It gives impression that you can checkout faster. Also this depends on the market and products. If market is very competitive you need to do more pleasing.
My checkout process doesn't require them to choose if they want to checkout as a guest or register. They just go to the checkout page. If I enable the password fields, they are registered; if no password fields are enabled then they checkout as guests.
I guess it is worth a test to see how big the impact is
there are hardly few online stores do not ask you to creat a new account when you are going to make a purchase. I just prefer there will be some sites that require registration only when I finally confirm my order and go to pay.
NO, why don't let out customers choose themselves? fast and easy to buy is important!
I agree it's definitely a good idea to test both methods and see which one has a greater impact. If you want your customers to register, then there needs to be a benefit, (faster checkouts, saved searches, preferences, etc.). I personally prefer online shopping on a site that has my information stored this way purchases can be made quick and easy.
This is something I've really struggled with with our stores. Enabling guest checkout will "supposedly" increase conversion rates and decrease abandonment rates, but I'm not sure if I've ever seen any hard data to this end.
From a Magento owner's standpoint, after-the-sale order management is much harder when the customer checks out as a guest! Problems include:
- Inability for the customer to log-in and check their own order status
- Inability to track a customer's order history over time
- More difficult changing/editing/canceling a customer's order (in Magento at least)
- Slower checkout time in the future if they decide to re-purchase
Planning on testing this in the future to see the effect on conversion Hopefully, it won't cause a significant decrease and we can disable guest checkout forever!
Hey Dave I'm going to have to disagree with your disagreement. I get a bit frustrated with the WWAD (what would amazon do) approach to what an optimised experience should look like. The reason is that Amazon have a different playing field to 95% of us and that's all to do with branding.
They already have awareness, trust, validation, history -- all the things that lower customers leaps of faith.
This means the balancing act between friction and business requirements is on a different scale - and a different planet. Essentially they can do things that ask a user for more, because they're Amazon.
Same goes for Apple... they can launch a campaign that simply says ' this changes everything' and people will listen. If I did that, people would say' what the hell are you talking about'.
So looking specifically at account logins you need to make a call.
Your benefits are to be able to both create a more seamless checkout experience the second time round for the customer, and give you remarking opportunities.
You cost, is your going to lose some first purchases sales because of the additional friction.
If in your case (like Amazon) the benefit you get outweighs the cost then go for it. If it doesn't then you might want to go without.
Some will test it, others will go on gut feel.
Unless it is a members-only website, you're crazy to force a customer to checkout. I know I wouldn't buy from you and I know I have read it over and over again on many SEO forums that requiring an account is devastating for conversions. I wish I had more time to research this but it is late. Common sense should tell you that the more of a PITA you make it to checkout, the more people are going to leave and not buy anything. Here are a few articles basically saying the same thing in one form or another:
Just having an area to create an account along with a guest checkout area is enough to drive some people away (apparently they see the create account/login section first and bolt before even noticing the guest checkout section). Too many of your competitors don't require an account, I assure you. Let them create an account for ease of future purchases or check out as a guest. You want to let this be their choice, much like better e commerce platforms allow customers to sort products by price, best selling, etc. The person with the credit card in his hand is more important than you are at this crucial stage.
You have to be wrong about Magento. I haven't seen a shopping cart in at least three years that didn't allow customers to check their orders by supplying an order number and either their name or e-mail address, regardless of whether they created an account or not. I've never required it and, in fact, don't even offer the option to create an account anymore. I lost sales when I tried it - even from existing customers who purchase every other week from me. I got quite a few e-mails about it, too, and I wasn't even requiring an account. People read what they want to read, though. I can look up any customer's order by name, e-mail address or order number without them having an account. You can't? Really? I can punch in any customer's name and get their full order history without them ever having created an account. If you can't do these things in Magento without forcing a customer to create an account, I'd move away from Magento in a heartbeat!