It is natural that when you acquire a new online customer that you want them to create a customer account and provide information that will help you to sell to them in the future
However when potential customers abandon baskets because the first-time customer account registration process is too onerous, it is important to offer an alternative ‘guest checkout’ option so a new customer can simply focus on placing the order.
But don’t worry, there are other opportunities to persuade the customer to register and to capture their details. Here is how:
Sell the benefits and enable account set-up after checkout
A customer account is not just an advantage for the business by having customer information for sales and marketing to analyse. If your ecommerce system provides online account management and customer self-service functions then your customer can experience the benefits if you advertise them during checkout, For example:
- Access to a streamlined or ‘one-click’ type checkout process
- Stored addresses and payment details in online Address books and Wallets
- Access to online customer self service dashboard, e.g. view order, print invoices, cancel or amend orders, or print return labels
- Membership of a loyalty programme
At the order confirmation page, give customers the opportunity to create an account simply by asking them to set their password. Because much of the information required for a customer account (such as name, email address, etc) is usually provided during checkout, there is little more for customer to do to complete the account registration process.
Offer the guest customer ability to track their order online
This is a simple thing to do not only reduces queries to customer service and the invariable customer frustration, but also illustrates the type of service that the customer may get from your business – and a means for your business to sell to them..
On the Despatch Confirmation email, provide a link to your website for delivery tracking. Not only does it provide a valuable service, it also builds customer trust in your brand, brings them back to your website and provides the opportunity to explain what else they could do …. once they become a registered customer.
Enable your guest customer to convert to being a registered customer
There is a number of steps throughout the customer journey where emails about the order progress and delivery are issued to the customer. In each email, provide the customer with a clear call-to-action to create an account, that will give them access to something that will help them, for example an access additional online customers services.
Also, when capturing customer data make sure that the mandatory customer information that is being requested is kept to the minimum and is relevant. Does a customer really need to provide their date of birth?
Identify the guest customer’s parcel in the fulfilment process and WOW! them
Your fulfilment process is an opportunity to sell your customer the benefits of registering. From the special packaging, information on the despatch note or any additional advertising or inserts added to the parcel, make use of this step to effectively market to your guest customers not just your product range but also the value in becoming a registered customer.
Do you offer new customers to your site a guest checkout option? How do you persuade or incentivise guest customers to become registered customers? Let’s hear your thoughts.
If you know others who might be interested in this topic, then please feel free to share it!