There has long been a debate as to whether you should get customers to register with a website before letting them make a purchase.
Lots of research has been done into this and the conclusions are very clear, yet lots of companies are still ignoring this.
Basically, you shouldn’t force people to register on your site before they buy something. Here’s why…
People Hate Lengthy Forms
If someone is asked to fill in a very long form online, they are likely to be put off by your website. It’s really boring filling in forms and so it can be all too easy to drive people away.
After all, if you have a choice between buying something from a website with a long mandatory registration form and one that simply lets you make the purchase, you’re clearly going to go for the latter.
As mentioned above, there’s been various research conducted into this issue and it has been found that on the whole, customers much prefer eCommerce checkouts where they do not have to register to checkouts where they are required to register.
You can even read the results for yourself. For example, see this Get Elastic Spilt Checkout Test, this report from Forrester Research and these tips for reducing the chances of people abandoning their shopping.
Worries About Privacy
When we buy something online, we expect that we are going to have to put some details on the website, such as our address and payment details. We expect it, and so we don’t mind.
However, what we don’t expect is for a website to start asking us questions that are irrelevant to the purchase we are trying to make, such as backup email addresses, ‘memorable information’ and shopping habits. When sites ask us for this sort of detail, we wonder what they’re planning to do with it – and more often than not, we conclude that they want to bombard us with sales information we never asked for.
If you don’t need to ask a customer a question in order to complete their purchase, don’t ask them that question at all.
Delaying The Process
Interrupting someone’s purchase on your website simply makes it take longer – and if someone thinks it’s taking too long, it’s all too easy for them to go and take their business somewhere else.
Your aim should always be to make the process of sales as simple as possible, not making things harder for both your customers and your business by adding interruptions and complications to the process. Make sure you have a smooth process from initial site browsing through to sales completion.
Long forms are bad for sales conversions.
You Don’t Need To Do It
Basically, when we sum all of this up, what we have to conclude is that there is simply no reason to make customers register before they make a purchase.
When they check out, they’ll have completed most of the information they’d need to enter to create an account anyway. Therefore, you don’t need to present them with a long additional form. If you want to encourage them to sign up for your site, you could simply offer them the chance to create a login password at the end of the process.
You can then use the details they’ve already entered to create their account without needing to ask them for more. This will help you to get the right balance on your site – but still many sites don’t adopt simple measures such as this. It’s time to make a change.