Guest checkout has become a must-have feature for eCommerce websites. Allowing customers to checkout without an account has been shown to boost conversion rates. However, there are also missed opportunities with this setup — particularly when it comes to your digital marketing efforts. Here are some ways to encourage your guest checkout customers to sign up.
What Is Guest Checkout?
Guest checkout is a feature that allows customers to purchase from your online store or website without having to register or log in to a customer account. Customers don’t need to enter personal information beyond what is needed to fulfill the purchase order. With guest checkout, websites also cannot retain a customer’s personal information.
Guest Checkout vs Customer Account
Guest online checkout has several advantages over customer accounts, especially for first-time customers. Here are compelling reasons for having a guest checkout feature on your website.
1. Less Commitment
Guest checkout is ideal for first-time customers because there is less commitment compared to creating an account. First-time customers have yet to trust or develop loyalty to your brand. Allowing them to make a purchase without registration sends a message that your business is not merely after their personal information.
2. Higher Conversion Rates
Businesses that offer guest checkout can enjoy higher conversion rates. Asking a user to register for an account during checkout will interrupt their shopping experience. This can be enough to dissuade or deter them from making a purchase on your website. With guest checkout, you won’t have to deal with issues such as forgotten usernames and passwords so customers are more likely to complete the purchase. Thus, more sales for your business.
3. Quality Customer Experience
Since guest checkout is simple and hassle-free, customers can have a quality experience while shopping on your website. They will be more likely to return and make additional purchases in the future. Thus, guest checkout can help you develop brand trust and loyalty.
What Are the Benefits of Customer Accounts?
Though guest checkout is a valuable feature for your eCommerce website, it has some disadvantages when it comes to your digital marketing efforts. Here’s why it’s important to encourage guest checkout customers to sign up for customer accounts.
1. Send Targeted Promotional Messages
Websites can only use a guest customer’s email address to send order updates or shipping notifications. You cannot use their email to send promotional messages.
With customer accounts, you can regularly send targeted emails to promote your business. The more information you have, the better your targeting efforts.
Email is an effective digital direct marketing approach for increasing brand awareness and developing brand loyalty.
2. Better After-Sales Experience
With a customer account, businesses can track the order history of each customer. If a customer wants to reorder, exchange, or return their purchase, customer support can easily access their personal information and order history for a better after-sales experience. You can resolve a customer’s issue without having to ask too many questions.
3. Personalized Shopping Experience
Customer accounts can provide a more personalized shopping experience. When customers input personal information on their profile, it will be easier to tailor search results based on their size, preferences, or needs. Your website can also show customers items that they previously bought or viewed, as well as make recommendations based on their past purchases.
4. A More Interactive Experience
When customers sign up for an account, they also get to access more features on your website. They can leave product reviews, earn rewards, join forums, or even promote your business. These interactive experiences play a significant role in developing brand loyalty.
5. Faster, More Seamless Checkout
Customer accounts also make it easier to checkout. Registered customers have the option to save billing and shipping information so they don’t have to input it each time they make a purchase on your website.
5 Best Ways to Convert Guest Checkout Customers
Here are five of the best ways to convert guest checkout customers and have them sign up for customer accounts.
1. Offer Special Discounts, Exclusive Content
Offer first-time customers a special discount which they can access after they sign up for a customer account.
You can advertise this special discount on the front page or have a pop-up message appear after the customer lands on your website. Businesses can also send exclusive deals via email to encourage customers to sign up.
2. Have a Loyalty Program
Your website can earn points for visiting your website or every time they make a purchase. They can then exchange these points for discounts or other special offers. This will encourage customers to visit your website and make repeat purchases.
3. Easy Registration After Guest Checkout
Make it as easy as possible for customers to sign up for a customer account. At the end of a successful guest checkout, allow customers the option to sign up. Since you already have their email address and other information, they only have to input a password to create a customer account. It’s also more convenient to use their email address as the username.
4. Allow for Social Logins
With social logins, customers can make a customer account on your website by integrating their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. Your business can then their social media accounts to obtain registration data, validate email addresses, and produce targeted content.
5. Easy Password Requirements
Another way to make customer registration as easy as possible is to have lenient password requirements. Unique passwords with mixed cases and special characters are more secure but customers are also more likely to forget these passwords. Allow customers to use easy-to-remember passwords so that they can easily register and log in during their next visits.
Offering Both Guest Checkout and Customer Accounts
Guest checkout and customer accounts both have their advantages. Guest checkout allows customers to develop trust in your brand while customer accounts can help you deepen your relationship with customers. Since they target customers at different stages of the sales cycle, it’s essential to have both on your eCommerce website.