Most ecommerce retailers would understandably prefer all their new customers to register their details when they first place an order. Customer registrations open up new and trusted communication platforms between e-retailers and their customers, and can be maximised to encourage customer interaction with marketing and social media efforts. Customer registrations are also an effective solution to the pitfalls of ecommerce business development.
Through accessible online accounts, customers can be encouraged to rate and review products which increase the business development efforts of an ecommerce solution. Account facilities also create in registered customers a sense of brand loyalty; customers are invited into their own personalised areas of an ecommerce website and can tailor its content to meet their needs and requirements.
Unfortunately many new customers try to avoid the registration process, preferring to checkout as quickly as possible without providing what they view as privileged information. In a recent study, econsultancy has discovered that 29% of online users abandon checkouts because they do not want to register their details with the ebusiness in question. This is a serious matter, which ecommerce retailers need to combat.
The most obvious and simple solution to this ecommerce problem which some e-retailers take is to provide customers with no option but to register their details and create an account. Unless the ecommerce business is a market leader, or provides specific products that cannot be found elsewhere, this approach is more likely to deter customers from purchasing products from the business. Although a simple problem, the solution lies in understanding how customers think – User-Centric Thinking.
User-Centric Thinking involves e-retailers putting themselves in their customers’ shoes, and asking why their customers avoid registering and creating accounts. Customers, when asked to provide their details think, “I just want to checkout and complete my purchase as easily as possible”. Online consumers typically don’t want to start a long term relationship with e-retailers and become concerned that providing their sensitive information could lead to spamming through unwelcome emails, phone calls or even text messages.
Once ecommerce owners begin to understand that their customers’ main goal is to purchase products quickly and easily, they can begin to solve the problem by finding a suitable solution. In reality, creating a customer account only involves adding details into two more fields such as user name and secure password. Customers are already providing their sensitive information such as payment details, contact details and addresses when they complete checkout forms online.
The simple fact is that customers are generally unaware of the benefits of registering for an account, and as a result are wary of providing their details. By applying User-Centric Thinking to uncover problems, e-retailers can begin to raise awareness of the benefits of customer registration which include:
Faster purchasing methods.
Viewable and traceable orders.
Management of delivery addresses and contact details.
Access to exclusive offers only available to registered customers.
Intuitive ways to provide user-generated content.
Access to past orders, invoices and account statements.
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