Fashion · E-Commerce

Require customers to create account or let them check out as a guest to make a purchase?

Lucas Jaz

January 20th, 2016

Curious what others have seen or think about about requiring customers to create an account in order to complete purchases vs. giving the option to checkout as guests? What have you seen be the real con of requiring account creation especially if you make it easy with google/FB et c. What are the pros/cons of each and which would others recommend using?

John Griffin Co-Founder at Spiral Scout, Founder at Cutcaster, Co-Founder at Instigate Labs (Maker of Moment)

January 20th, 2016

Allow the user to checkout as a guest and collect only the info you need to make the sale and ship the product. On the successful checkout page give them the option to create an account for easier checkout next time, view their order history or offer them a discount the next time for creating an account. You can always collect more info later on your customers. I have a ton of experience creating these checkout experiences and have seen the conversion rates go up if you allow guest checkout. Less steps and less info is always better for the customer even if you want all that info. 

Nicolas Scafuro Managing Director, Latin America

January 20th, 2016

In my experience, using FB/Google more harm than help improving signups. Keep it simple and optional. 

Alex Hisen Founder and CEO at CardPass - frictionless checkout for mobile customers

January 20th, 2016

You can sometimes get away with requiring registration if your site will be used often and it has some air of exclusivity/membership, etc. But for general online retail, you will see roughly 20% decrease in conversion rate if you require registration.

As to social login (as well as alternative payment mechanisms like Amazon and PayPal), on general retail sites, for whatever reason, less 15% of shoppers tend to use them.

Vast majority of shoppers just use guest checkout and 60-75% never choose to register.

Please forgive a shameless plug but with my company's service offering, now online retailers don't have to make a choice between guest and registration, nor do their shoppers have to deal with password hassles. And unlike social login, it's used by 100% of returning visitors to checkout in just a couple of clicks without 'registration'. :-)

Brian McConnell

January 20th, 2016

Any extra step you force on your user causes some of them to abandon. I would recommend using Google or Facebook authentication to identify the user (which to support depends on the type of app). Then signing in is a

Amy Lightholder Scrum Master, Coach, and Amplifier of Human Potential

January 20th, 2016

As a rule of thumb, you want to remove any and all obstacles to a customer giving you money. 

Roger Wu co-founder at cooperatize, native advertising platform

January 20th, 2016

Remember the horrible experience of mobile.... I am logged into the Facebook app on my phone, but I enter your site via Safari (or Chrome) and am forced to create an account to checkout, so I click on "Login with Facebook" and it brings me to Safari with a blank username and password screaming in my face.  "Oh forget it." 


January 20th, 2016

Agree with John. Don't require anything upfront, just give the option.  Any friction will lead to a drop-off, so don't introduce it if you don't really need it. If you do need it, introduce it as late in the game as possible and, control-test to find out if the loss of business justifies the benefit of having the account.

Edward M. Yang

January 20th, 2016

Forcing account registration almost always increases the cart abandon rate compared to giving the purchaser and option to check out as guest.

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

January 20th, 2016

For some reason I was thinking app... but the issue is the same for web:

For a website that uses a CC to purchase a product, the user is going to have to enter their email address as there needs to be some way to communicate to them. So the difference is now entering a password. Is that really more work than reading some text about making a decision of creating an account vs. checking out as guest? 

I (unfortunately) buy a ton of crap on the internet and I can't remember the last time I saw a "Checkout as guest" option. Can someone point me to a site or two that does that well?

Shyla Klinder Head of Product

January 20th, 2016

You need to give the consumer the best experience and not force them to create account. The whole idea is to draw them in and keep them coming. As the others have suggested best is to use FB/Google authentication as a first step.