Pros and Cons of Requiring Customers to Create an Account

April 16th, 2019
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There is some debate in the online business world about whether or not to require a login for purchase.

On one hand, studies show that roughly 20 percent of shoppers will leave a website that requires a login before buying. Customers tend to view forced online registration as annoying and invasive, so requiring them to make an account can jeopardize a potential online sale. On the other hand, not requiring registration doesn’t imbue loyalty toward the company. There’s something about doing a one-time entry of all your information before buying something that makes future purchases more appealing.

Along these lines, however, there is a third option. Online sellers can create a guest login for first-time buyers. This allows customers to skip all of the registration stuff if they’re in a hurry, and go straight for the purchase. They often view the ability to bypass the registration process as a token of goodwill which can translate into loyalty down the road.

The best-case scenario for your online business is for a customer to do the registration process right from the beginning. However, how you go about convincing them is a major factor in getting them to actually complete the process.

Making Online Registration Appealing

First and foremost, you need to help your customers understand that it is in their best interest to make an account with you. It should make more sense to create an account than to continue with a guest login. Here are some of the points that you can stress to potential customers who are considering opening an account on your site:

  • Seamless Experience: Saving information into an account creates a seamless experience in the future. Emphasize to customers that storing their information lets them track shipments, check their account history, and quickly reorder using one-click capabilities.
  • Faster Future Purchases: Let users know that entering registration information is a one-time thing that will save them a lot of time in the future. By creating an account, they won’t have to input the same information every time they want to make a purchase. It will also let them save preferences like pick-up points and preferred delivery methods.
  • Rewards: Consider offering reward points to both new and loyal customers that have online accounts. Allow them to check their accumulated points through their account. If your physical store has reward incentives, the points they accumulate online should be redeemable at your store—and vice versa.

Ensure that your online registration interface translates well into the mobile world because more people are shopping on mobile devices than on stationary ones these days. You should also consider including an option that allows the use of information from social media profiles for quick registration. Building the bridge between shoppers’ previously created social media accounts and the new account on your site will save people time and keystrokes, which they’ll appreciate.

People want to know what’s in it for them. If you can persuade shoppers that setting up an account on your site will ultimately benefit them, you’ll have a much easier time getting them to comply.


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