Here’s why customers DON’T like creating accounts
Creating an account often proves a negative reaction from many online shoppers.
Most times they tend to drop off and abandon their carts. Research shows that sites that make account creation optional see a 10-30% increase in conversions.
There are three major reasons why customers don’t like creating accounts on eCommerce stores:
- Longer checkouts: When shoppers have to pause their shopping experience to create an account, there’s a preconceived notion that they have to spend valuable time filling out long forms. Instead, they’d just postpone the shopping experience.
- Reluctance to sign up for another eCommerce account: The thing is, they’ve probably registered on a couple of other eCommerce sites. Whether the experience was favorable or not, they might not be willing to commit fully to another store.
- They don’t want to receive marketing emails: Let’s face it, emails can be overwhelming to read through and they aren’t ready to subscribe to another series of marketing emails. So, when you ask them to enter their email address in your sign-up form, they automatically assume you’d send them emails.
Enabling a guest checkout might not be the best move especially if you’re looking to improve the subsequent purchase experience and increase your retention rates.
Why enabling guest checkouts does NOT help your store
While guest checkouts are one way to ensure that your first-time customers don’t abandon their transaction, the question is - do they help? Unfortunately, guest checkouts hurt your sales in the long term, and here’s why:
1. No customer information
The most obvious issue of guest checkout is that you have no source to get customer information.
There’s no name, email, phone number, or even postcode to help streamline future marketing or segmentation. While the guest checkout option might have this information due to the account your customers have with them, they aren’t stored in your database.
This means that you don’t know who your customers are. If you’re asked to segment your customers based on certain characteristics, you wouldn’t be able to. Since the majority of your actual-paying customers use the guest checkout option, chances are - the data you get might be incorrect.
2. No access to abandoned carts
Looking for best-selling items or what a prospective client wanted to purchase on your site? Well, with guest checkouts, there’s no way of finding out. Since you don’t know their information, you have no clue what they left behind in their carts - which can dampen your abandoned cart email strategy.
3. Low engagements in loyalty programs
Loyalty programs are a way to retain your users through incentives, discounts, and other special promos. However, if more and more users are opting to purchase anonymously, it reduces the number of people who would interact with your loyalty programs.
This is because, if only a few people create an account with you, the percentage of those who sign up for your loyalty program will continue to dwindle. Sadly, the chances of getting loyal customers might be slim if they can’t find an incentive to stick with your business.
4. No order history or analysis
Since you don’t get customer information and their abandoned carts, it also means that there’s no way for you to track customer order history. While it’s possible to track your stock inventory to know what items are running low, you cannot track if a particular customer purchased one item or ten.
So even if you know that someone recently placed a bulk order, if they did that with the guest checkout, there’s no way to identify them in the future. It’s also the same way you cannot analyse their preferences or shopping behaviour.
5. Can’t tell whether a customer will return
Let’s assume you got an interesting purchase from a guest shopper. There’s no way you can track their satisfaction. While signed in customers can leave a review or rate a product, and guest shoppers will always return like it’s the first time. From a review, you can deduce whether this customer is satisfied enough to return or quite appalled to the point where they wouldn’t do business with you.
With a guest checkout, you’d simply hope that they return. And even if they do, there’s no way to know that they did.
6. No ability to personalise future visits
Usually, when you return to an eCommerce store for the second visit, you see hints of personalisation across your user experience. For example, you can see your browsing history, items you recently viewed/purchased, and more importantly recommendations. These recommendations could be based on what other customers similar to you are buying or simply based on your previous purchase.
Unfortunately with guest checkouts, every returning customer is still treated like a first-time customer. This means they get to repeat the same shopping frictions or experiences they had.
7. Fewer opportunities for marketing
If you cannot offer tailored recommendations to your guest shoppers, it means that there’s a very small segment of users you can market to. While ordinarily, you’d be able to cross-sell and up-sell to your shoppers based on their purchase/behavioural history, now it’s limited to a segment.
There’s also the option of email marketing, in-app notifications, or push along with other promotional strategies. You cannot get your guest shoppers to purchase during discounts, or holiday sales because there would be no way to reach them.
8. Fewer opportunities for long-term engagement
Quite similar to not being able to market further, you also cannot engage your entire audience segment if they purchase your stock anonymously. Because they don’t leave any contact information behind, there’s no way to engage them. You cannot send an SMS for example because there’s no phone number. And so, the people you can engage in the long-term are your signed-in customers.
While there are still engagement opportunities through pop-ups and banners, it’s for a very limited time. Because, once the guest shoppers drop off, everything else comes to a halt - which means they’ve automatically disengaged.
9. No ability to improve the overall customer experience
Unfortunately, since you cannot ask guest shoppers about their experience on your website, it means there’s limited to no room for user experience improvement. No reviews, no ratings, no email address for follow-up conversations. You can only work with assumptions and the data of those who have created an account.
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