Monday 21 April, 2014
Your customers are enjoying your site. They’re finding the products they need at the prices they want. Their virtual shopping cart is full of virtual goodies and they’re ready to head to checkout, but then something happens – the shopping cart gets abandoned in the virtual aisles of your ecommerce store.
Why does this happen? Probably because you’re making your customers login (or create an account if it’s their first time) and this is slowing down the process.
A good ecommerce store is smooth. The customer glides straight down like a kid going down a slide at the playground. When you make them sign up or login, you put a bump in the road and that’s enough to make many customers turn back.
Why Log in?
Many ecommerce sites make customers log in and this is for security reasons. It’s one way to make the transaction more secure. While this gives customers more peace of mind, it often backfires and results in abandoned carts.
Another reason for the account and login is that it helps you, the ecommerce store, learn more personal information about your customers. You can see their account information, which allows you to better understand their buying habits and tailor your offerings to them. Just think of Amazon and the way it offers you something it thinks you’ll like.
Ways Around the Login
There are many ways you can still provide this security and build this relationship with your customer without forcing them to login. One is to offer an optional account creation after the sale is made. They’ve made the purchase and they’re feeling that high you get when you’ve just gotten a good deal online. Right at this moment, let them know that you offer special deals to loyal customers and give them an easy form for creating their account.
A simpler method is to ask them to join your email list. All they need to do is give you their name and email address. You can offer a freebie, coupon or special deal to entice them to give it up. This is even easier for them and you can build your email list. Email marketing is still very powerful.
Another way around the account creation is to offer a Facebook login. Instead of creating a totally new account with you, they can use the Facebook account they already have. Facebook has a gazillion users worldwide (just an estimate, but in the ballpark), so there’s a good chance your customer already has an account there.
One advantage of Facebook login is that your customer can share what they just bought. When they do this, tell everyone in their network about the cool deals you offer. This provides a bonus for you in terms of exposure.
The best way to find out what works, of course, is to test. But it’s pretty universally accepted in the ecommerce world that requiring an account before purchase is a deal killer. Your customers may feel that they can buy the product more easily somewhere else.