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I’m currently working on an appointment platform for a drugstore chain. The current flow is as follow :

User select a service and get geolocated or enter is own location information. The user can see a map and a list of the 10-20 drugstores that offer this service. User select the drugstore he want to make an appointment at. User is asked to login/signup to start the appointment process (he can skip the signup but get asked basic informations)

What to know : The network have an unified login for their customers to use (across all digital platforms). Therefore, when the user login, the platform receive the “preferred” location/drugstore if set.

What we know : At the beginning, most of the users won’t have an account and for those who will, they might not have added their favorite location.

The goal is to offer a quick and easy way to get an appointment with a professional.

I was wondering what would be the best choice, between asking the user to login as soon as he select a service so I can show him is preferred location, if he as none, he’ll have to choose one anyway, or ask the user to connect only when he start the appointment process (when we require the personal information).

My thought would have been to ask the user information only when it’s necessary and not right at the start where it could “scare” some user away if they haven’t signed up even if there is a skip option, which I do not intend to make very visible because of a required business goal.

What is your thought on that?

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You don't say what sort of appointment(s) you're dealing with (5 minute chat; 1 hour consultation etc.) nor the demographics of potential users (9-5 workers; retired etc.), and these could all affect an answer, but...

Depending on how widely-spread the drugstores are, and how easy or difficult getting an appointment at a convenient time is, a user's "preferred" location, may not be that important (hence, insisting they login so you can "see" this information may be less important).

  • For instance, if I was an office worker, I might want an 8am or 6pm appointment to avoid disrupting work. If these are in short supply, I might be willing to travel further to get one than my "preferred" store which is just around the corner (and handy if just picking up a prescription).

  • If I was at home during the day (e.g. responsible for child-care; retired) and had more flexibility over the time of the appointment, I might be more interested in proximity (in which case, knowing my "preferred" store could be useful).

These different use-cases -- ideally -- means the interface should not force selection of store over selection of time -- if I need an 8am appointment, I don't want to have to select each store in turn to see if one of them has that slot available. In addition to selecting a store and showing the times available, either show available time-slots for all nearby stores (in some kind of grid) or allow selection of (an approximate) time-slot and list the stores that have appointments available in that slot.

Tl;dr: Don't insist they login "just" to get their preferred location (if any) since it might not matter much. If they need to login/register before completing the appointment, you can delay this until they've picked both a store and time (possibly "holding" the slot for 15 minutes while this happens).

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You are right when you say that login at the beginning could drive users away.

From what you have mentioned, it seems like a user doesn't really have to login in order to be able to use the application. So, don't ask them to.

Let them use it and get the info they need. Suggest them to login at the final step of the workflow or at a point where you think that you have provided the user with what they were looking for.

For example: Once they click on a drug store to view its info, trigger a message or a notification that says something like, "Access your preferred drug store details with just single click by adding it to your Favorites!"

This will give the interested users a chance to explore this option. Once they click it, redirect them to the Login page where you can use the age old "Not a user? Register here" message.

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When there is a transaction happening and that should be stored to make it more personalized to user, Example: Flipkart user can keep browsing the products and their conversion point is when user wants to buy , Here transaction is happening so you need to ask user to login and explaing user why they need to login. in flipkart case if user is logged in and adds and product in card and if user quits the session the next time user re-visits the site the item is still in cart which makes user happy ( this is to provide delightful experience ). Let me know if you need more help!

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My team and I recently did a project similar to this with a login to get your location and results. We did user testings of 10 users and 7/10 said they were fine with having to login to get results on a beauty profile. What happened was when the program launched, we saw a decrease in logins. People were not logging in and so we decided to take it out for a few weeks. We saw a increase in this in GA and conversion. We moved the login to the end when they decided to make a transaction and found that our users were more comfortable of the idea and that it was more personalized rather than straight out asking them "hey give us your info now!"

This is only a experience we encountered but hope this gives some insight. :]

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