Improving Your Customers’ Shopping Experience (6): Keeping Registration Short (and Optional)

We continue to explore the purchase funnel and how to improve the online shopping experience. In this way, we will now discuss user registration, which must be kept as short as possible, or even optional.

When we discussed card abandonment in ecommerce, we saw that about 80% of carts are abandoned. Even though there are various reasons for cart abandonment, some of which lie beyond our control, in some cases user registration is one of the main causes for the high cart abandonment rates. In this sense, several points should be taken into account, both from the user’s point of view and from the store’s point of view (i.e. your point of view).

If you step into your users’ shoes, facing the user registration process in your online shop, you can make the following questions:

  • Why should I register as a store user if I’m only buying this time? I don’t want to give my personal data to just anyone.
  • Why do I have to fill in a million data fields that are not necessary to process my order? Also, I’m in a hurry and I can’t waste my time giving these data.
  • What are the benefits for me if I register as a user? Is there a point?

On the other hand, as an online store, you should make these questions:

  • Is our aim to sell or to capture user information?  This may seem obvious, but in some businesses there are practically no recurring sales, and thus distractions must be avoided. In other businesses, getting users to register provides more potential recurring sales, and thus you can afford to lose some sales in exchange for obtaining more user information and being able to send them emails to obtain that recurrence.
  • Are we really making good use of the information in our user register? If you have no newsletter campaigns towards your users and are not using your user database to achieve sales recurrence, and you have no plans to do so for a while, you’d better focus  on converting in the best possible way right now.
  • What information do we really need about our users? Generally, you don’t need a lot of information about your customers, other than what is strictly necessary for delivery and invoicing. However, in many online store registration forms such data as sex, age, etc. are required.

Once you have answered these questions, you will be ready to design or redesign your registration process. These are some general points (although, as we have seen, they will depend on your strategy and your users):

  • Being a registered user should provide added value. For example, users should be able to log in and fill in all the necessary data at any stage of the checkout process. In some stores, when you log in you need to start the checkout process all over again, and in some critical cases the shopping cart is even reset.
  • Allow your users to complete the shopping process without registering. In the end, the data which they must enter will be practically the same, but some users who know that they will only shop once will feel more comfortable if they don’t register as users due to privacy issues. If they complete the purchase process without registering, allow them to register at the end of the process by means of a “one-click” button. This strategy is usually effective, as many users believe that they will have to enter fewer data if they don’t register and choose not to do so for this reason. But if they are able to register by means of a one-click button, they will give you a reasonable doubt.
  • Simplify the necessary information for registration as much as possible. Group the required information in one area, and leave the optional information in the lower part of the registration screen, clearly marking the required data. In this way, you will make the amount of data which they will enter as clear as possible to your users.
  • Specify the added value of being a registered user. This added value can range from merely remembering users’ information every time they shop in the store, through delivery of discounts and offering users the option of receiving customised newsletters, to even a loyalty programme. If, due to the characteristics of your business, you prefer to have the highest possible number of registered users, offer them something that may interest them to encourage them to register.

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  1. Hi Jose,

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 Continuing on the theme for making forms “short”, I’d like to add one more point.
    Don’t ask for the user for the same information twice.

    For example, typically a users name is required for delivery information and or as part of registration. When it comes to actually typing in credit card information, the “Name On Card” field should be an editable and pre filled.

    Great blog and thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Right! It is really annoying to introduce the same information more than once.

      Thaks for your comment to this discussion :9

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