If you want to drive repeat customers on your Shopify store, read this.
“Log in to purchase” or “Guest checkout” – most shoppers go for the latter.
It’s proven. Conversion rates increase by 45% if you offer guest checkout.
And so, it’s obvious why marketers and conversion articles are pro guest checkout as a tactic. You don’t want to put off shoppers by forcing them to sign up.
But think long term – will the customers who use guest checkout as an option have a reason to come back to your Shopify store? Will they return to your site to buy more?
They may or may not. And there’s no way you can entice them to.
Now, we’re not arguing against guest checkout. But, we’ll dare to share a different and unpopular perspective.
We’re saying, nudge shoppers to sign up on your Shopify customer account page. Do it without being pushy; because that’s the only way you can get to know them better.
Driving repeat sales – Guest checkout or Shopify customer account page?
What is ‘guest checkout’?
Guest checkout is the process where a shopper can make a purchase from an online store without registering and logging into an account or saving personal information such as username, password, address, etc.
Brands prefer this method because most online shoppers choose to opt for it. It allows a faster checkout as shoppers don’t have to go through a long sign-up process. And on the flip side, it makes them more likely to convert as they get less time to think over a purchase.
Here’s how most brands offer guest checkout on their Shopify store:
While guest checkout definitely has its advantages for both the customer and the business, it has a few downsides. The biggest one tipping on the business side, wherein you know much less about your newly acquired customers.
And in times, where more than 80% of consumers expect brands to personalize their shopping experience, that’s a big loss.
This is where a customer account page comes in.
What is a Shopify customer account page?
A customer account page is a page that holds all the information about a customer. From personal details such as name, contact details, and address, to order history, rewards and loyalty points, etc. It is the go-to page for customers to keep a record of all their transactions with a brand.
You have mostly experienced, seen or even used one customer account page regularly – Amazon. Here’s what it looks like:
Now, we’re not saying Amazon doesn’t offer guest checkout as an option. They do!
But since a customer account page makes it so much easier to make purchases and keep track of them, most of us have signed up for one.
If you’re still not convinced, let us tell you a few cons of offering only guest checkout or not nudging a buyer to sign up.
The disadvantages of offering guest checkout (and not nudging a sign up)
Let’s understand a little about the cons of guest checkout and why you should ask shoppers to register on your Shopify store.
1. You don’t get to know your customers well enough
If you don’t ask customers to register, you’ll be missing out on valuable data. Encouraging registrations is an easy way to collect data. If collecting data is a key requirement of your marketing campaigns, a guest checkout could mean you’re losing data like social profiles, customer location, product interest, and more.
2. Lesser reasons for customer engagement
After customers make purchases as guests, they leave your store, and you wouldn’t have any information about them. If they’ve shared their email address and phone number, you’ll be able to use them only for order notification purposes and not for sharing any promotional or marketing emails unless you have their consent.
On the flip side, when you have a customer account page to offer, this very buyer would visit your store for one reason or another. Be it to track an existing order or browse through their wishlist, or maybe even make a repeat purchase. Give them endless reasons for them to engage with you.
3. Slows down customer service
Not all customer journeys end with sales. Some customers might have complaints and want to return or exchange items. In these situations, a guest checkout process might slow down the resolution process as they do not have a ‘safe haven’ to come back to where they can find all the information they need.
With a customer account page, you can integrate your policy pages for easy viewability. You can also enable the customer to file for returns, refunds and exchanges from within the account, improving your customer service and their experience.
4. Asking for reviews becomes an independent activity
For eCommerce brands, having social proof in the form of customer reviews can lead to improved sales. However, if you don’t urge customer sign-ups, you might have difficulty in requesting customers for reviews. Or you might have to reach out to them separately, requesting them to come back to share how they feel about a purchase.
If you have a customer account page, the buyer has many other reasons to log back in or visit your store. This gives you an opportunity to request reviews, ratings and testimonials, and even tie your loyalty program to it.
5. Makes it difficult for customers to reorder items
You know how easy it is to order your favorite sub with your choice of ingredients online. All you have to do is click the ‘repeat order’ tab. But what if a guest customer wants to repeat an order?
They’ll have to go through the tedious process of finding the item, adding it to the cart, going to checkout and filling all the delivery and payment details – all over again! There’s a high chance they don’t do any of it.
6. You can’t link customers’ order history
When customers purchase items through guest checkout, you do not have any record of all the purchases they made from your site in one central place. You’ll have to go through past records in case you wanted to dig into their order history.
And if they come around with a WISMO query, it becomes a hassle for both you and them to find information on a product!
Surprising, isn’t it? This is why your Shopify store needs to have a customer account page.
Why should you have a Shopify customer account page?
1. You get to know your customers better
Even the most basic details of customers on their customer account page, such as name, gender, date of birth, and address or location, can be used to create personalized marketing campaigns. For example, gender and age can help you determine and segment your customers for targeted campaigns. Customers’ birth dates can be used to make them feel special by offering a discount coupon.
The possibilities are innumerable. All you have to do is get a little creative with how you’d want to use this information about your customers. To gather more information, you can even customize the customer account page of your Shopify store.
2. It makes it easy to view the order history
Order history is an essential part of every customer account page. It allows customers to see their purchase history, items they bought, track items, reorder, raise complaints, write reviews, and rate products, among other things.
Through this section, they can perform many post-purchase actions, easily. The more comprehensive and easy-to-use the orders section, the better will be the customers’ experience.
For brands, it becomes much easier to address customer requests as well as track and analyze their purchase behavior if they have a comprehensive customer account page.
The order history page must contain:
- Order number
- Order status
- Product details
- Product thumbnail
- Refund & exchange
- Dispute & feedback
- Payment & cards
- Shipment status
- Cost breakup
- Quantity of items
Let’s also look at an example of Aliexpress’s Orders page. Apart from the basic tabs, it even has an ‘Unread order messages’ tab, search options within this page, and a ‘Deleted orders’ tab in case customers want to view really old orders from the past.
The key takeaway from this example: Create your customer account page for customer convenience.
3. Allows shoppers to create wishlists
Did you know – some shoppers spend more than 40 hours a month browsing eCommerce sites? They may not end up buying things the first time around when they come across something they like.
At times, shoppers might not have the money to buy something but wish to buy it later. That’s where wishlists come in handy.
Wishlists are sections that allow shoppers to save their desired products to their user account. This allows them to revisit the saved products in the future and purchase them easily.
This feature can benefit brands in many ways:
- Reduce the number of shoppers that get lost in a sea of products while browsing by allowing them to save items they’re interested in.
- It can help you increase your customer base. Wondering how? If the wishlist is made shareable by the shopper, they could let their friends and family know their preferred gifts for birthdays, weddings, etc. That way you get new customers.
- You can use information from the wishlist to create personalized experiences – think discounts, low-stock warnings, reviews of the saved products by other customers, or upsell by displaying similar items.
- You can anticipate your stock levels and know in-demand items.
Have a look at this wishlist example within a customer account page; it also lets the customer easily add the product to cart to make the purchase when they’re ready:
4. Display recently-viewed products
The recently-viewed section helps your customers find products that they saw recently. When browsing an online store, shoppers can get lost as one product may lead to another. They might suddenly realize that they had seen a better product just a few minutes back.
What should they do then? Go back to the browser history and get lucky enough to re-find one product or browse through the whole site again?
Nope! You don’t need to put your customers through that misery.
Instead, help them out with a ‘recently-viewed products’ section in your Shopify customer account page when they revisit your store.
This is why it’s important:
- Allow customers to see items they already browsed so they can either go back to them or avoid going through the same item repeatedly.
- If shoppers had clicked on a product, it means they might have liked it. By displaying recently viewed items, you can subtly direct shoppers to purchase them and boost your sales.
The recently-viewed section will look something like this. By adding a shoppable ‘Add to Cart’ button, you can make it easy for shoppers to purchase these items as well.
5. You can make reordering items easy for customers
There are a lot of items that customers might want to buy repeatedly – things like grocery, stationery, household items, etc. In such cases, a reorder tab can help shorten the customers’ buying journey by allowing them to place orders easily and quickly. For example, we often do this when buying grocery and food items online.
It saves customers’ time as all they need to do is click on the ‘reorder’ tab. They don’t have to go through the lengthy process of finding the item, adding it to the cart, and then checking out.
Here’s an example of a recorder button – a simple click can make a shopper’s experience effortless.
6. It enables a much faster checkout
30% of consumers shop online because it offers fast checkout. Brands can make sales faster with the help of the different tabs discussed above. Speedy processes are a key aspect of good customer experience.
Today’s consumers are impatient and expect a fast and seamless online shopping experience.
By encouraging customers to sign up, you can make their shopping experience faster and easier. It’s simple – they do not have to go through the tedious process of adding their payment methods, delivery address, and personal details every time they make a new purchase.
The result: Your conversion rates become higher as buying items from your Shopify store gets easier. Think about the number of times you made a purchase from Amazon just because it was oh-so-simple to!
7. You can promote your loyalty program
According to a KPMG report, 75% of consumers favor brands that have a loyalty program. They buy more from these brands and recommend them to more people. What is more, it can lead to a 306% higher lifetime value! That’s how important it is for your Shopify store to offer a loyalty program.
By urging your shoppers to sign up, you can promote your loyalty program within their customer account page, making it easy for them to interact with and keep track of rewards. Here’s how loyalty points can help your customer and you:
- Offer store credits to customers for different actions – signing up, subscribing to newsletters, recommendations to friends, and sharing product reviews, among other things.
- Encourage your existing customers to recommend your site/products to their friends and family members in exchange for credit points.
- You can provide more value to your loyal customers through store credits, offers, and other marketing campaigns that make them feel exclusive and special.
- These loyal customers will keep coming back to your store, increasing your profitability.
8. Boost customer engagement through personalized campaigns
By now you’d agree that urging customers to sign up helps collect valuable data – and for eCommerce, data is equal to gold. You can gather insights into customer data, behavior and personas by way of their customer accounts.
So how do you use it for an enhanced customer engagement?
Here are some ways:
- Use data from wishlist to understand your customers’ interests. Follow up with personalized messages such as discounts and deals on those items.
- Display personalized shopping recommendations based on the customers’ past purchases and browsing history.
- Based on customers’ recent purchases, employ upsell and cross-sell campaigns to improve your profitability. A product sold on its own may not make as much profit compared to two products sold together.
- Provide personalized customer service to registered users. When you resolve customer issues personally, customers feel satisfied.
What do you think about guest checkout on your Shopify store?
For eCommerce stores, a faster checkout process is key. And when it comes to which one is better between guest checkout and a customer account page, the answer is BOTH.
The only difference – guest checkout gives a one-time quick checkout, while a customer account page provides a fast checkout experience every single time customers buy from your store.
So it’s more around the question – Do you want to risk losing a customer to competition by knowing less about them or have a reason to pull them back to your Shopify store frequently?
Ready to drive repeat sales on your Shopify store?