The Pros and Cons of Guest Checkout vs. Account Registration

In the rapidly expanding world of eCommerce, the overall customer experience is ultimately what is going to set you apart from your competition. One critical aspect of this experience is the checkout process. A significant number of consumers prefer checking out as guests rather than creating an account on an eCommerce website. This trend raises important questions: Why do consumers opt for guest checkout, and what are they potentially missing by not registering? Furthermore, how can merchants bridge the gap for those who transition from guest shoppers to registered customers?

Why Some Consumers Prefer Guest Checkout

  • Privacy Concerns: In an era where data breaches are not uncommon, many consumers are wary of sharing personal information. Creating an account often requires submitting details like email addresses, phone numbers, and sometimes even addresses, which can be a deterrent.
  • Speed and Convenience: Guest checkout is often perceived as faster and more straightforward, appealing to those who wish to make a quick purchase without the perceived hassle of account creation.
  • Avoiding Marketing Emails: Registering an account usually means opting into marketing emails. Some consumers prefer guest checkout to avoid a potential influx of promotional messages.
  • Infrequent Purchases: For those who do not shop regularly from a specific online store, the perceived need to create an account is low.

What They Miss by Not Registering

  • Order History: Registered accounts typically offer the convenience of tracking past orders. This feature is particularly useful for reordering products or reviewing past purchases.
  • Faster Future Checkouts: Registered accounts often store shipping and payment information, streamlining future purchases.
  • Access to Exclusive Deals and Offers: Many eCommerce sites offer special deals, discounts, or loyalty points that are exclusive to account holders.
  • Enhanced Customer Support: Account holders sometimes receive prioritized or more personalized customer support.

Transition from Guest to Registered Customer

Interestingly, it’s common for customers who initially opt for guest checkout to return and create an account. This shift may occur due to a positive initial experience or a desire to take advantage of the benefits mentioned above. However, one challenge they face in platforms like BigCommerce is that their guest order history is not automatically linked to their newly created account. This disconnect can be frustrating for customers who want a consolidated view of their interactions with the store.

How to Link Guest Orders to Registered Customers in BigCommerce

Recognizing that both customers and store owners would want to make sure that any guest orders placed on a BigCommerce store get properly linked to a customer account, Your Store Wizards created a tool to do just that.  Our Update Guest Order tool, part of our Your Store Tools suite, allows merchants to link guest orders to registered customer accounts seamlessly.  Simply select a date range of orders and the tool will go through the store, find any guest orders that match the email address of a registered customer, and link them.  It couldn’t be any simpler!

Benefits of the Update Guest Order Tool for BigCommerce

While many consumers prefer the quick and seemingly hassle-free nature of guest checkout, they miss out on the benefits of a registered account, such as order history and exclusive deals. For businesses using platforms like BigCommerce, our new tool offers a practical solution to bridge the gap for customers transitioning from guest to registered accounts. By enhancing customer experience and providing a seamless transition, merchants can not only improve customer satisfaction but also gain valuable insights into consumer behavior.

  • Improved Customer Loyalty: By offering a more integrated experience, merchants can foster greater loyalty among customers.
  • Streamlined Customer Service: With a complete order history, customer service becomes more efficient and personalized.
  • Data Insights: Consolidating guest and registered purchases under one account provides richer data, helping merchants understand customer behavior better.

Your Store Tools features free and premium tools for BigCommerce.  Sign up for a free account today and begin using all the tools to save time managing your online store!

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