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I am currently working on a fundraiser to gain several thousand premium accounts subscribers for my site.

Because these are premium accounts (like Reddit Gold), a user must have an account so the payment can be linked to their account.

The process would be register/login first (via AJAX, so no page reload), and then fill in payment information. However, I have repeatedly seen that users don't like the registration/login requirement (ex. $300 million dollar button).

Is there a way to make the process for purchasing a premium account as painless as possible? I'm unaware of any way to remove the register/login requirement, because the user needs an account to get a premium account.

  • The $300m article/concept does not apply here – you786 Aug 4 '14 at 20:56
  • Yes, it's definitely not the same situation, but I was using it as an example of how login/registration requirements are a barrier to entry that pushes users away (even though it might not be avoidable in my case). – mrl Aug 4 '14 at 21:53
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For new users, you could make an account 'under water' by including the fields in the checkout process. You need their e-mail anyway (for sending them order feedback like subscription or order confirmation). You could generate a password and e-mail it, or let them choose it. At the beginning of the check-out process you can give existing users the ability to log in (if they're not already logged in). If you're missing any information for the existing user, you can show them the checkout process, without the fields for registration mentioned earlier. Users only need to do this once.

I would advice you to take stock of the user needs and the business goals before choosing a particular technique or methodology, like AJAX. What works best in one situation doesn't necessarily work in others. This article sums up some well known best practices. But like I said, don't just apply them blindly: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/28/12-tips-for-designing-an-excellent-checkout-process/

  • Thanks for the advice! This might be tricky to implement for me, b/c the Paypal payment option takes the user to Paypal checkout, where the user does not fill in any inputs on my site directly (and thus making 'under water' account creation very troublesome). – mrl Aug 4 '14 at 22:48
  • I'll also be carefully reviewing my choices before implementing any particular method (such as AJAX). – mrl Aug 5 '14 at 3:42
  • Maybe you can use the Express Checkout Flow paypal provides: developer.paypal.com/docs/classic/express-checkout/… – Ruudt Aug 5 '14 at 8:52
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In a comment you wrote that payment is going to be carried out by PayPal, so just let the users log in with PayPal.

Some websites are visited only after newsletter (users click link in email) if your site is like that you can create account using user's email and send links with login built-in.

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