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Require customers to create account or let them check out as a guest to make a purchase?

Curious what others have seen or think about about requiring customers to create an account in order to complete purchases vs. giving the option to checkout as guests? What have you seen be the real con of requiring account creation especially if you make it easy with google/FB et c. What are the pros/cons of each and which would others recommend using?

16 Replies

Roger Wu
1
0
Roger Wu Entrepreneur
co-founder at cooperatize, native advertising platform
Remember the horrible experience of mobile.... I am logged into the Facebook app on my phone, but I enter your site via Safari (or Chrome) and am forced to create an account to checkout, so I click on "Login with Facebook" and it brings me to Safari with a blank username and password screaming in my face. "Oh forget it."
Brian McConnell
2
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Brian McConnell Entrepreneur
Head of Localization at Medium.com
Any extra step you force on your user causes some of them to abandon. I would recommend using Google or Facebook authentication to identify the user (which to support depends on the type of app). Then signing in is a
Shyla Klinder
1
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Shyla Klinder Advisor
Head of Product
You need to give the consumer the best experience and not force them to create account. The whole idea is to draw them in and keep them coming. As the others have suggested best is to use FB/Google authentication as a first step.
John W. Griffin
6
0
John W. Griffin Entrepreneur
Co-Founder at Spiral Scout, Founder at Cutcaster, Co-Founder at Instigate Labs (Maker of Moment)
Allow the user to checkout as a guest and collect only the info you need to make the sale and ship the product. On the successful checkout page give them the option to create an account for easier checkout next time, view their order history or offer them a discount the next time for creating an account. You can always collect more info later on your customers. I have a ton of experience creating these checkout experiences and have seen the conversion rates go up if you allow guest checkout. Less steps and less info is always better for the customer even if you want all that info.
Lucas Jaz
0
0
Lucas Jaz Entrepreneur
Cofounder at Westeros
Thanks for the thoughts - definitely planning on having "one-click" account creation ala Google/FB etc. - no brainer. What I'm interested in is conversion rates on guest vs. non guest and comparing that to repeat purchase %.
1
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X
Entrepreneur
Agree with John. Don't require anything upfront, just give the option. Any friction will lead to a drop-off, so don't introduce it if you don't really need it. If you do need it, introduce it as late in the game as possible and, control-test to find out if the loss of business justifies the benefit of having the account.
Amy Lightholder
2
0
Amy Lightholder Advisor
Scrum Master, Coach, and Amplifier of Human Potential
As a rule of thumb, you want to remove any and all obstacles to a customer giving you money.
John W. Griffin
0
0
John W. Griffin Entrepreneur
Co-Founder at Spiral Scout, Founder at Cutcaster, Co-Founder at Instigate Labs (Maker of Moment)
You can use something like optimizely to test your pages and how they convert. Optimizely will let you test different checkout layouts with different users (how many steps, how much info you are collecting etc) and see how they convert. You may have heard of split test a/b or multi-variant testing. Good to think about these as you design and begin to test. There are a ton of things you can test and only a lack of imagination will keep you from doing it or not working with someone experienced in the field. Kick some butt and get those customers through the checkout process.
Nicolas Scafuro
3
0
Nicolas Scafuro Advisor
Managing Director, Latin America
In my experience, using FB/Google more harm than help improving signups. Keep it simple and optional.
Michael Greer
0
0
Michael Greer Advisor
CTO & Co-Founder at TAPP TV
Aligning with all of these voices, only offer (much less require) a signup if it offers the customer something of value. For instance, ask them to leave their email for updates on shipping, sales, etc. You can hit them up later to complete this account (with password) for some further gain for them: special access, etc.

Part of the investigation: why do you want an account for them? If it is important, consider it part of marketing, not something to potentially damage the sales funnel.
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