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Currently I am using the below scenario for returning customers and new customers. The address form is beneath. So if you are a new customer we require email and phone, but if you are returning then you can login.

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I was wondering if there are any proven methods to help the visitor more clearly. What I was contemplating was something closer to having two buttons, NEW CUSTOMER, RETURNING CUSTOMER, and then showing the correct fields onclick. Anyone have any suggestions of experience in such matters?

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Is there a CTA somewhere for the new customer? Also, the text seems to be written by a programmer as it says "Else if you are a new customer". You should try to use text as if you were speaking to a human in real life. –  Rich Sep 12 '13 at 2:52
    
true, well I am a programmer, I guess its just in my nature. –  Source Sep 12 '13 at 10:56
    
What about two boxes side by side, I resent the having an extra page for the visitors to navigate through, I think its much better delivering it to the same page. So if the fields were in two boxes side by side clearly outlining new and used, would that be better? –  Source Sep 12 '13 at 10:58
    
What is the user scenario? Is the user landing on the page, or is she checking out? –  JOG Sep 12 '13 at 11:24
    
Checking out, below are the address and payment forms. –  Source Sep 12 '13 at 21:39

4 Answers 4

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My approach would be to break them apart.

Putting too many fields would clutter the screen and give redundant fields. My approach would be breaking them up into 2 screens. In addition, according to many articles out there, returning customers have a higher ratio compared to new customers.

Hence, I suggest putting the existing customer as the primary login page and accessing a new customer page through another link as shown above.

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Let the user do everything on website without login.
When he wants to check out propose a box like that.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

For returning custumers everything is fine. For new user you move them to another page where he could create a full account or simply give you his phone number.
When a customer give you email, phone, delivery address with only one more field password you could finish the account creation or let the user order without account it's up to him.

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haha! you read my mind! :)) –  CTreevor Sep 12 '13 at 11:04

Since the e-mail address is a common field for both type of users i could suggest a similar solution that i have seen in e-commerce websites.

1) user has to enter his e-mail address 2) if that e-mail address is already in the websites database a password field appears, if not the telephone field. Or just put two radio buttons under the e-mail address as shown in my mock up bellow.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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I am trying to avoid this extra step –  Source Sep 12 '13 at 21:53
    
can you make the system automatically to detect through e-mail address if the user is new or returning? That would avoid those radio buttons –  CTreevor Sep 13 '13 at 10:51
    
by saving IP address? But they would still need to enter their username and password. I'm not down with the radio buttons anyway, I think there are definitely better alternatives than that. –  Source Sep 13 '13 at 11:28

It depends partly on the scenario. Is the user just landing on the page, or is she checking out?

In the case of landing on a page where normal usage requires a constant log on, you have an area showing who is logged in (typically upper right). That is where your eyes will go, looking for who is logged in or not, and is a suitable spot for the login button. The signup can be placed neatly adjacent to it, separately, but in the spacious page body where it can't be missed.

enter image description here

In the case of checking out, it depends on your process, but I recommend not to scare off the user with lots of fields in the cruisal bring-out-your-wallet moment. Amazon separates it, so that the initial step is effortless, in their checkout process. Your first investment is simple: Type your email:

enter image description here

And in any form, use the browser's autofill capability.

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But having this extra sign in process is one extra step, that I am trying to avoid. –  Source Sep 12 '13 at 21:40

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