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Fail To Do This One Thing And You’re Guaranteed to Lose Ecommerce Sales

By Camille  |   Business Website Tips

symbol of credit card used in online shopper's checkout experience

Let's get to the good stuff! Here's what you need to know: usability research proves online shoppers do not like being forced to register in order to buy something.

Let's dive into this today so you can learn how to apply this knowledge directly to your site to boost your online store's sales.


While forcing a shopper to register on your ecommerce website can make sense for your own future marketing considerations, it complicates and lengthens the purchase process for the user. Worse yet, research is showing that requiring users to register before they can make a purchase significantly increases the chances that shoppers will abandon transactions altogether—costing you $$$.

Most shoppers dislike registration in general due to its extra steps and hassle, whether they’re real or perceived. Others—for example, those buying a gift for someone or those making a one-time purchase— may not know or trust the website they’re buying from and dread having their information on file somewhere. (The likelihood of receiving yet another unwanted email newsletter doesn’t help either.)

How to build trust during checkout (and keep buyers from abandoning in frustration)

Your ecommerce site should instill trust while making the purchase process as easy as possible. You can move toward these goals and increasing your sales by setting expectations upfront, through clear communications and then meeting those expectations.

Simplify your purchase process and generate trust by building registration into the flow of checkout as an optional step—labelled as such—rather than diverting users to a separate registration form.

rei website check outprocess

The REI website creates trust during checkout by providing options and letting users know what to expect. When seeing this screen during the purchasing process, buyers also understand they can use their member dividends whether or not they choose to sign in or continue as a guest.

Even more tips to prevent customers from abandoning your shopping cart

These steps will help you further minimize the perceived hassle of site registration and boost your ecommerce site’s sales (pay close attention to #3!):

  1. At the beginning of the checkout process, clarify for users that they’ll have the option to register and create a password on your site. Share with them when this step will take place to avoid hesitation and surprises.
  2. Don’t make users enter any more information than you need. You’re probably already collecting the necessary registration fields during the purchase process, such as the person’s name, address and email address. Use that email as the account username if they do opt to register, so all they need to add to complete registration is a password.
  3. Place the optional password creation step at the end of the purchase process, after the transaction is complete. This prevents any distractions for the shopper during the transaction. You don’t want to do anything to get in the way of your customers hitting that submit button.
  4. When you do present the option to register, make sure you list the specific ways a user will benefit from registering, such as a quicker checkout process in the future, member discounts, or order tracking. Note this list should NOT include company-oriented benefits like getting a newsletter. Also, even if it seems repetitive, make sure it’s clear and obvious that registering is optional. Many ecommerce sites find it useful to do this near the password creation field to build trust for those who have chosen to checkout as a guest.
  5. Don’t forget to list the requirements of a valid password, such as minimum character count and case sensitivity, to avoid users having to guess this information and becoming frustrated when they’re given guidelines only after being told to try again.

staples website sign up process

The Staples account creation form clearly shows the requirements for a valid password so users aren’t left to guess what will work.

Encourage more sales by putting your customers in control

When site registration is simple and optional, online shoppers have the power to decide whether it is worthwhile. Not only do they really like that—it pays off in increased sales. Research is showing that implementing this one tactic into an ecommerce site—when accompanied by clear communication and the meeting of expectations—boosts sales. Boom!

On the other hand, when registration is forced in order to complete the purchase, many users get frustrated and some abandon the transaction altogether.

Looking for amazing results or a big boost in sales?

And if you're looking for expert help to boost sales from your ecommerce website, let's talk. Our ecommerce clients experience amazing results. A few example experiences from Followbright ecommerce clients include:

  • a 60.2% boost in sales within 3 months,
  • online sales up 37% in 45 days, and
  • a doubling of online sales in just one month.

Sound good to you? Give us a ring at (970) 668-0709 and we'll have a great call about your site.

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