The other day I was shopping online for a computer and the next thing I know, I’m adding a really cool shirt to a cart in a store that doesn’t sell computers. We’ve all been there, right? Some simple online shopping, distraction, and distraction leads to an unintended purchase. The marketer inside me was all like, “yay, what we do works!”
Then I go to checkout. I get the dreaded, “That email address is already associated with an account.”
Did you just sigh really loudly? I did. I knew what was next. “Email or password not recognized,” followed by “Email or password not recognized,” which was subsequently followed by, “Email or password not recognized.” At which point I actually yelled out, “PLEASE JUST LET ME GIVE YOU MY MONEY!”
More and more, I’m also seeing boutique (and even some larger) retailers popping up with a login that’s required just to enter their website. Are you that overcome with success that you would want to limit the number of customers that can shop at your store?
Online retailers, what gives? Can you imagine even trying this once in your brick and mortar stores? What would be the in-person equivalent? A secret handshake? A wink and a nod? Would you want your customer to just walk out of the store? So why do it in the online space?
“Guest checkout” is my new favorite e-commerce experience. For the few sites that have it, this enables users to provide simple payment and shipping information and move on with their lives. There’s opt-ins of course, but most importantly, it gives customers a choice – to opt out. They’re buying something from you already, so they’re already a fan. Don’t make them sell their soul so you can email way too many times before they unsubscribe? And while the implications for retailers are that you lose that precious email address, you’ve also given the customer the experience that they want to have – and that in itself is good customer service. Sell a good product and give a user a good experience and they’ll come back. You can always seek ways to connect and capture an email address at different points along their journey, but don’t make creation of an account a condition of purchase.
I refuse to put one more password into this tiny little brain of mine. So much so that I even subscribed to a password manager. So why didn’t that kick in for the above scenario? Turns out there’s some usability issues with password managers too. Duplicate entries with different credentials and neither of them right. Never mind the unease I have with one website keeping track of literally every single piece of electronic confidential information in my world. Yet my own frustration with user experience actually forces me to compromise on what I believe is secure.
Turns out, I’m not the first one to have these thoughts. Search for “password rage” and you’ll see it’s a common theme. Better yet, Google has made a video about it:
With so much focus on your online retail presence, don’t overlook the one part of the user journey that’s most important – letting them pay for their purchases. There are better ways and we can help you get there. Give us a call. No password or secret handshake required.