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I'm working on an e-commerce site and I would like to know after the user has added one or more items to his cart and is not logged in he will be directed to a page. Will this page be the "login page" or "create account" page? As this is a new site it will have no registered users. I feel even though there are no users the right UX flow would be to direct him to a "log in" page and show "sign up" as an option. My colleague feels that we must direct them to the sign up page as there are no users, what is the right move here? What my colleague says is good only for a temporary basis until we have users post which we must show the sign up page. On another case say if the user is logged out because his session has timed out and has to re-opt in by using his password, even in such a scenario it is better to show the "log in" page.

Your thoughts on the question and what would be the right method to follow. enter image description here

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It's generally a better idea not to make registration/sign up mandatory in order to complete a purchase. It's much easier for a user to have registration as an optional step after the purchase.

E.g. a user completes a purchase and has already entered all information (Name, e-mail address etc.). Her intended task, to buy one of your products is then completed and she's ready to be taken somewhere else. Now's the right time to ask him to provide a password for an optional account.

If the user's already registered then it might be a good idea to ask for the credentials before completing the check-out form (avoid letting her fill out a form with information you already know)

The problem of mandatory registration is also addressed in the 300 Million Button article.

They took away the Register button. In its place, they put a Continue button with a simple message: "You do not need to create an account to make purchases on our site. Simply click Continue to proceed to checkout. To make your future purchases even faster, you can create an account during checkout."

The results: The number of customers purchasing went up by 45%. The extra purchases resulted in an extra $15 million the first month. For the first year, the site saw an additional $300,000,000.

Here's another article about basket abandonment that also illustrates my point and offers some more interesting hints.

Clothing retailer ASOS managed to halve its abandonment rate by removing the need for customers to create an account.

However, the sneaky part is that customers actually still create an account, it’s just that ASOS removed any mention of registering.

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    I can't help thinking about the article uie.com/articles/three_hund_million_button regarding an optional register button :) – Gunnar Sjúrðarson Knudsen Jun 24 '14 at 11:39
  • @GunnarKnudsen Yes! That's the one I've been initially searching for before I found the basket abandonment article. I'll add it to the answer. Thanks! – msp Jun 24 '14 at 11:40
  • @msparer: due to time constraints we cannot integrate guest checkout, but your solution to the problem is unique and helpful. – Jezza Jun 24 '14 at 12:01
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    @Jezza If this is a good answer and helps you to solve your problem, you could "accept" the answer by clicking the check-mark below the vote count. – msp Jul 2 '14 at 15:43

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