4. Should you Visually Prioritize the Guest Checkout?
If you offer guest checkouts, the majority of checkouts may be from non-registered customers. We noticed that most online shops we looked at visually prioritize the user sign-in — for visitors that already have an account — over the ecommerce guest checkout. Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret are the exceptions.
We will perform a mobile checkout best practices study in a future article.
If you do not prioritize guest checkout over account creation, this option may be visually invisible, especially to mobile shoppers where guest checkout will be stacked below account creation.
Yes, we want returning customers to use their account. It makes buying easier and reduces checkout abandonment. But the guest checkout should have a higher conversion rate. If it is hard to see, sales may suffer. This is a great area to test and optimize for conversions.
5. No account? Let me give you a cookie
Add a Final Submission Confirmation or a Review Order Page
The worst e-retailer scenario for an order without an account is the lack of flexibility or options in case of cancellations, refunds, returns, etc. Adding a final review order page with confirmation before its submission will allow you to warn the customer about these risks and offer them a simple way to create an account on the spot.
6. Offer a Newsletter Opt-In Option on Checkout Pages
If your marketing department’s biggest concern is keeping in touch with newly-acquired shoppers, a simple opt-in to your newsletter will suffice. Visitors have to actively opt-in, so you have to make it worth their while to let you into their inboxes. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
7. Best ecommerce guest checkout tactics to increase conversions: AB test
If you are not sure about providing a guest checkout, AB test it.
You can answer these questions with an AB test:
Do fewer people leave the site on the “Create Account” page if there is a guest checkout? If so, how many?
How many will people create an account after the sale vs. before checkout?
Is there an increase in purchase transactions with the guest checkout? If so, how big?
Is there an increase in revenue with the guest checkout? If so, how much?
Do more visitors sign in if I make the “Sign In” button more visible? Does it increase checkout abandonment?
NOTE: When we talk about “Abandonment” there are two ways to measure this.
- Cart Abandonment is the number of people who add a product to their cart, but do not buy. Cart Abandonment = (Visits with Add to Cart – Completed Transactions) / Add to Cart
- Checkout Abandonment is the number of people who click the “Checkout” button, but do no complete the checkout. Checkout Abandonment = (Visits who Click Checkout – Completed Transactions) / Visits who Click Checkout
We setup this kind of tracking for all of our ecommerce clients.
Read more about our ecommerce optimization solutions
Ecommerce Guest Checkout Examples and Ideas
Of all the ecommerce retailer websites we examined for our micro-study, most offered a guest checkout. Those that did not include Amazon, Target, Costco and Chewy. If your site has subscription sales, consider adding a guest checkout. It may seem counter-intuitive to you, and it is something you should definitely test.
Wayfair has no guest checkout, but you can make checkout faster if you have a Paypal account. A shopper only needs an email address to create an account.
American Eagle Outfitters
Barnes & Noble ecommerce checkout process
A no-pressure approach on the B&N checkout design flow. Their priority is memberships. The guest checkout process has multiple steps, but you get several opportunities for an express checkout.
Etsy Guest Checkout
Etsy makes the “Continue as a guest” button a low priority visually — we call this a “ghost button” — and makes the “Sign in or register” option visually significant with the high-contrast, black “Continue” button.
Apple Cart Page and Checkout
Since so many Apple customers already have an Apple ID, it makes sense for Apple to give the “Checkout with Apple ID” option the more prominent, left-most position over the Guest Checkout.
Apple provides pre-filled information and a simplified checkout flow. Be creative and persuasive when naming your shopping basket sections. “Where should we send your order?” is more personal and inviting than “Shipping details”.
Kohl’s Guest Checkout Flow
Kohl’s offers a smooth guest checkout process with many options, and shoppers can create an account after checkout.
Shopping flow is pretty distracting, with cross sells, upsells and financing offers. But they offer several ways for a fast checkout – Amex express checkout, Paypal checkout and Masterpass plus guest checkout. The Guest checkout bears a FOMO message and a progress bar with four steps to complete the process. I guess they are trying to discourage this route.
Lowe’s 2-Step Guest Checkout Flow
Lowe’s prioritizes the Sign-in by placing it on the left. Like Apple, they may have a large number of repeat buyers with accounts.
Conversion Sciences Pro Tip: Adding a status bar to your checkout often decreases abandonment rates.
Walmart Super Smooth Guest Checkout
Walmart incentivizes its coupon-happy shoppers to create an account by requiring it in order to use a discount code. This could have a negative affect on some shoppers, so AB test guest checkout tactics like this.
So, get ready to AB test these guest checkout tactics and your checkout flow to increase sales.
- 10 Customer-Delighting eCommerce Checkout Usability Techniques
- Why is my Conversion Rate Dropping? 8 Common Reasons
- Differences Between Sales Funnel and Full-Funnel Conversion Optimization
- Optimize for Buyer Intent to Increase Conversions
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