There are lots of online stores which sell stuff.
Suppose an end-user buys an inner tube for their bicycle from a website tubeworld.com (Tube World probably is a real thing, but I meant it to be a generic website for an online shopping experience).
In the year 2002, users of tubeworld.com would:
- type in their shipping address
- type in their phone number
- type in their credit card number
Twenty years later, in the year 2022, the end user must do much more:
- End users must provide an email address.
- End users must click a link in an email in order to verify that their email address belongs to them and not someone else (and confirm that the email address belongs to anybody at all)
- End users must choose a new password for their tubeworld.com account.
Many months later, the end user will attempt to buy a bicycle part. They will attempt to create a new account only to find that their is an account already associated with that email address. Also, a password reset will be required.
I am being facetious; but still, there must be some rationale which says that creating an account leads to a better user experience than only asking for shipping addresses and credit card numbers.
I used to think that requiring the user to create an account was for purposes of data-analysis. However, there are cheap services which will convert shipping addresses into GPS coordinates. You can use GPS coordinates rounded to 4 significant digits as user ids. After using GPS coordinates as user ids, lots of statistics (analyitics) about how users who buy Shimano brand bicycle brakes also tend to buy panier racks, and that peak bicycle season in North Dakota is one month later than peak bicycle buying season in Utah.
Why has there been a 20 year shift towards requiring login credentials to purchase and ship retail goods?