Guest checkout is convenient, fast, easy, this… that…
Most marketing articles talk about the benefits of the guest checkout feature for online stores.
But do you know how much harm the guest checkout could be doing to your Shopify store in the long run?
Wait! What? Really?
While guest checkout is great to ‘quickly’ convert visitors into customers – that fact definitely still holds true, let’s look at the disadvantages of offering guest checkout for both the customers and for your Shopify store.
- From the shoppers’ perspective – You (shopper) bought something from an online store during last year’s BFCM sale via guest checkout. Do you remember the store’s name? Oops… no.You probably had even created a BFCM wishlist to buy some items this year – but now you don’t know where to go looking for it.
- From a Shopify store’s perspective – During last year’s holiday season, you (Shopify store) allowed hundreds of shoppers to buy from your site through guest checkout. What do you know about those customers? Were you able to bring them back? Nada!
That’s the problem with guest checkout – you don’t even know who your customers are, and your customers don’t know how to find their way back to you.
Let’s understand some more drawbacks that no one ever talks about.
- The email addresses shared by customers during guest checkout can only be used to send order updates; not for promotional campaigns. It’s better to get permission from customers if you want to send them promotional emails. If you send emails without permission, your emails might hit the spam folder So, when you allow shoppers to check out as guests, you don’t really have an opportunity to collect their email addresses for sharing promotional updates.
- You can’t request customers for reviews or feedback of products or your store experience after their purchases. As mentioned above, the email addresses that shoppers share when they choose guest checkout are only for sharing order updates with them. You cannot send them emails for other purposes, such as to request for reviews or feedback.Did you know, 87% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase? And having social proof can increase the possibility of sales on your Shopify store? But alas! If you can’t gather social proof from shoppers that use guest checkout.
- It makes it difficult for customers to review, modify, or track their orders. When customers buy through guest checkout, the process of reviewing, modifying, and tracking orders becomes difficult as customers might not know the process.They’ll have to get in touch with the customer support via email or phone, which might take a long time. Conversely, a customer account page would have made it much easier for them to modify and track their orders.
- Customers cannot reorder a product easily. Unlike the ‘reorder’ feature in a customer account page, the guest checkout option doesn’t have any easy way to reorder. To reorder, the customer has to go back to the product page and repeat the entire process. This long process might discourage customers from reordering. They’d rather visit any other store and buy the same product.
- It makes customer service difficult. Since the details of the customer’s order are not found in one place, your Shopify store’s customer service personnel might find it difficult to address the customer’s issues. 84% of people said customer service is a key factor in their purchase decisions.This means, it’s possible that your store might lose customers if you don’t provide good customer service. By not having a customer account page, you’re most likely going to struggle with customer service.
- You miss out on order history and other important data that can help you increase sales on your Shopify store. As an online store, you will never know what a particular customer or a segment of customer bought, browsed, liked, etc. – information that can give you important insights that can be used for future promotions and engagement.
A customer account page with the ability to login using social media accounts.
You can make it easier and more beneficial for customers by asking them to register for a customer account page.
For those who aren’t aware, a Shopify customer account page is the page that holds all important information about your clients – their personal details, order history, browsing history, wish lists, reward points, exchange & returns, delivery addresses, payment details, and more.
Now where does a social login come in?
For an online shopper to really sign up for a customer account page, it needs to feel as easy as guest checkout. If your sign up process is all about filling long forms – you’re probably better off with guest checkout alone.
Here’s why a social login option is better.
Most shoppers are hesitant to register with a brand that’s new to them. People don’t want to disclose their personal information to every brand they come across.
Besides, they might not want to register just to make a one-time purchase during the BFCM sale.
But you can encourage more shoppers to sign up by making it simpler for them with a social login option. Allow them to sign up with their social media accounts. It has many benefits:
- Makes registration quick and easy
- Reduces cart abandonment
- Customers don’t need to remember more passwords
- Reduces the number of login failures
- Increases mobile conversions
Now imagine the benefits of making sign-ups quicker and easier during a time like BFCM sale.
Let’s jump in…
- Holiday sales and BFCM are times when everything’s fast. Brands announce deals every hour or even every minute. Customers are in a hurry to buy so that they don’t miss out on good discounts. Allowing social sign-ups makes the process much faster compared to normal sign-ups.
- If customers want to make more purchases during the sale or after the sale is over, they can login in a jiffy. Quick login, easy checkout. Voila! Speedy sales for your Shopify store.
- Customers can track their orders easily. In case they have questions or want to review their orders, change their delivery address, they can do so quickly, before their orders get dispatched.
A wishlist, in a customer account page, allows customers to save products that they like and might want to buy during the BFCM and holiday sale. Customers can also add out-of-stock products or yet-to-launch items to their wishlists. This makes it easy for customers to make purchases. For brands, it helps boost sales by making the process of buying easier for the shoppers.
BFCM and holiday sales are hectic, aren’t they? With new products and fresh deals being added by the hour, shoppers tend to go into a frenzy. There are so many products to look at and such less time to buy them. And that’s where a section like ‘recently viewed products’ helps. The products that shoppers view, automatically get added to this section in the customer account page. They can explore the same products any time and buy them.
Customers buy a lot during BFCM and holiday season sales. Having information about all their orders in one place makes it easy for them to track the orders. Moreover, they can also view their order history. This way, customers can be sure they’ve ordered everything they wanted to.
If your store offers customer loyalty and reward points, the sale period can be extremely beneficial to customers. They can earn a lot of points because they’ll mostly spend a lot. By having a customer account page, they can keep a track on their reward points in real-time and utilize them or increase the points by shopping more, if needed, in order to reach a milestone. For brands, offering loyalty programs is an excellent way to build customer loyalty to make sure these customers can be retained year-after-year.
By having a customer account page, you have all the details about the customers – their browsing history, their wishlist, reward points, recently viewed products, etc. from when they visited your site during BFCM and holiday season sales. You can use this information to engage customers even after the sale season. That way, you can build a strong relationship with your customers through targeted marketing initiatives. This opportunity would be completely missing if customers choose the Shopify guest checkout option.
There are a lot of items that customers order regularly. To make it easy for customers to reorder their most-liked products, you can rely on the customer account page. Here are ways in which you can do it:
- You can either provide a ‘reorder’ button next to the product in the order history section.
- Or customers could click on the product in the past-purchases and go to the product page to place an order.
Either way, it’s a win-win for the customer and for your store.
Once a shopper signs up and creates a customer account page, you have an easy way to get in touch with them. You can engage them even after the sale season and build a long-lasting relationship with them. Now imagine, if you allow customers to checkout as guests on your Shopify store, you would lose the lucrative opportunity to turn them into your long-term loyal customers.
All these benefits of the customer account page do not mean you should completely delete the guest checkout feature from your Shopify site.
The trick is to keep both the options and encourage them to sign up for your customer account page. To do so, you can offer them an extra discount on their purchase from the sale.