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Guest checkout lets users to shop on an ecommerce store without any need of creating an account and registering as a member. Guest checkouts seem to be important in terms of extremely quick transactions making it super easy for shoppers. Are guest checkouts worthwhile? What are the pros and cons associated? Which are the best practices for having an ideal guest checkout? Let us find out.

Advantages of having guest checkout

User Experience (UX) is everything when it comes to an online ecommerce store. Most users have time to compare and buy things, but no time to fill up forms because either they find it useless or probably they are apprehensive of giving their details. What ultimately will occur is, users switching off the platform and never coming back. With guest checkout, users are enticed to come back due to absolute rapid processing of transactions. Forcing users to fill up their details through a lengthy form filling process is the fastest way to bring down your conversions. Once users make up their decision to buy, they should not go through a registration process. Instead, they should be directly redirected to the checkout.

Disadvantages of having guest checkout

With a proper registration process in place, users will leave behind their personal details helpful for future correspondence. Details like name, phone number, residential address, and email id, help ecommerce stores to use them for marketing new products or services in the future. Even the users can avail personalized services such as greetings, information regarding new deals or offers, etc. if details are available with the online stores. This way long-term relationship built between the two leading to a win-win situation. Even the user interaction (UI) customized when regular visitor visits the store every time. Moreover, customers will not hesitate to give a frank feedback when asked by the retailers. All these things are surely not possible with a guest checkout because shoppers will simply come, choose products, add to cart, select guest checkout, and make payments.

Best practices with a guest checkout

One page checkout
Checkout should be of as minimum pages as possible. One page checkout is obvious the most preferred choice. Every relevant piece of information such as payment details, address of delivery, address of billing, and contact information should be present on one single page itself. This approach turns out to be highly useful especially in case of mobile users. Before incorporating information field, just first ask yourself whether the information you have asked is necessary or not. Add cherry on the cake by integrating PayPal as one of the payment methods.

Options made available right from the go
Offer users with the options of continuing with guest checkout or registering themselves, right at the start itself. You can also offer users with a few upfront registration benefits as another option.

Default option of guest checkout
Ask the customers to fill up their address and payment related information right away, once things have been added to the cart. This will undoubtedly raise conversions. After the purchase is completed, you can offer the buyers to register themselves for future purchases. A single page should contain both guest user and signing in options for this purpose.

Do not make use of direct speech
Avoid using the word ‘Register’ towards the transaction completion. Instead use something like “Want to save your details for future purchases?” or “Save your details”. This is because indirect speech will always imply the convenience of the user while direct speech implies an attack of promotional spamming in the future. One another way to deal with this situation is automatically saving the details such as email, address, name provided during guest checkout. Only thing remains is to choose password separately. Make sure to highlight registration benefits to the users.

Multiple guest checkouts with a common email address
When selecting guest checkout more than once, the site should permit use of same email address repeatedly. Many sites allow guest checkout first time, but when same email address used for second time or more for guest checkout, they have to register compulsorily. Practically, users should be allowed to choose guest checkout as many times as they want. The reason being, slowly and gradually they will build a trust on the site that will persuade them to register finally rather than filling up details every time they visit.


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