Like any brick & mortar, your online customers ought to be able to checkout as a guest. In my opinion as the industry matures this is something shoppers have come to expect. Just imagine for a moment being required to sign up for one of those Red Cards at Target just to move through the checkout line. That wouldn’t go over too well would it? I bet they would lose a lot of business (mine for starters). So why should it be any different online?
By this point in time most of us have far too many user names and passwords to keep proper track of them all. I probably have hundreds of them, most of which I’ve only used once or twice and then forgotten. Though it’s true many customers who visit your retail website will (hopefully) come back again and place future orders, forcing these first time shoppers to register during the checkout process can make an alarming number of them abandon their carts before they ever complete their order.
Why is this?
In my experience they will abandon for 3 main reasons:
- They don’t feel that they have time to sit through all this right now.
- They don’t have any immediate need or desire to return.
- *sigh* It’s just one more log in and password to keep track of.
The reasons above are why I highly recommend enabling guest checkouts. If for some reason your shopping carts software doesn’t allow for this method then either have it programmed or move to a new cart. I also suggest giving your customers a bulleted list of the benefits of registering assuming there are benefits on your website for doing so (managing addresses, tracking packages, submitting returns, etc). But keep in mind it’s important to ultimately leave the choice up to them. If you don’t, you’ll be losing out on a lot of sales and those customers you lost will be placing their first and subsequent orders elsewhere.Abandon Rates, Carts, Checkout, Conversion Rates, Ecommerce, Guest Checkout, Retail