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So I've taken on the task of rebuilding the checkout process since the way it's done now is really horrifying for the end user..

I've drafted a chart of how the process is today where each box is a new view for the user (except "email pw"):

enter image description here

As you can see, the user has to be in the "shopping cart" view to start the checkout process. Now, when the user wants to check out, the script (circled) checks to see if the user is logged in in order to proceed.

I find that the user has to go through an unnecessary number of views just to be able to place an order, especially when it's a new one.

The main product that is sold requires the user to have an account/profile with the company in order to maintain the device they purchased (uploading/downloading of required files, and support).

Here's a scenario in my mind:

When the user checks out, we use the delivery details and require an email to create the profile. If necessary, this should only happen at the very end of the process. When the user hits "finish", we run a check in our database to see if the email provided exists.
If it does: we ask for the user to provide the password. Done..
If it doesn't: we create a new profile, email the password, and ask the user to enter the password. Done.

What do you guys think?

  • 1
    So registration is not strictly required in order to purchase? Could the user decide to register at a later date? – Matt Obee Sep 22 '14 at 15:10
  • As I briefly mention in the question; The main product requires a profile with the company. So registration is required in order to use that particular product - when recieved. Today the user has to register a profile, beforehand, regardless of what product they want to buy. – ThomasK Sep 22 '14 at 21:01
  • I understand that registration is required in order to use the product but I was asking if registration is required in order to purchase. It sounds like you could, in theory, remove registration from the purchase flow and allow the user to complete that step later once they've received the product. – Matt Obee Sep 23 '14 at 8:37
  • Sorry for missunderstanding your question. Yes. In theory it is not required to have an account, or profile, in order to just purchase. But the extra step, in my new layout, is just filling out one extra text field named "email" in order to create the profile. – ThomasK Sep 23 '14 at 11:17
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There should be zero extra fields save for delivery address and credit card information and any extra steps may cost you sales. Registration should be an option at the end explaining the benefits of doing so.

I did some work on single vs multi page checkouts where i included the email conundrum as an option at the very end of the checkout process http://colmcqux.wordpress.com/single-vs-multi-step-checkout/

see also www.baymard.com

  • Registration can't be optionally for the main product as it requires the end user to upload a file to the companys server. Emailing the files is out of the question since this company has about 50 dealers across the country connected to a tailored administration system that keeps track of all of it. – ThomasK Sep 22 '14 at 21:24
  • what am I uploading? Is it part of the product that requires something to be uploaded for it to work? – colmcq Sep 23 '14 at 9:17
  • The main product is a handheld computer the user connects to the ECU of their vehicle. They read out an originale file, upload it to the companys server trought their profile, and wait for a modified version of the file that they can download and write back to the vehicle. Also, any support goes trough the system. – ThomasK Sep 23 '14 at 11:22
  • The user can create a profile at any time after purchase of course, so I would make the profile creation optional and unobtrusive to the check out process. ie as a final step post purchase and passive (as many fields autopopulated from credit card data) And im guessing its not the end of the world if the user cant be bothered setting up a profile there and then because they can always contact someone or register somewhere later? – colmcq Sep 25 '14 at 14:46
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Another question I would ask is: do customers tend to come back and purchase other items or are most of your customers one-time purchasers? Knowing that would also affect your workflows.

Either way, I think you're on the right path. If a user is a returning customer, providing a simple login link would be good. That way they know they aren't creating a new account or re-entering information they've already provided previously. For new customers, I would require a valid email address initially. Be sure to inform the user why you're asking for this though. Is it so you can spam them with marketing emails (their worry most likely!) or is it to send an email receipt and be able to link the product to their device? If you explain that, you can help ease worries.

If you have a user's email address, at that point you can create an account for them in the background. They'll be providing a name, mailing/billing address, and other contact information. At the end of your checkout process, you can allow them to create a password if they wish. Otherwise you'll keep the randomly created password that you used when you created the account. When you email the user, be sure to inform them of their new password too, providing a link where they could change it if they wish.

  • Yes. Customers tend to come back to buy more. Mostly the same type of product - which still requires a profile etc. But also other products of course.. A login solution is available for the user so they have the opportunity to login and reuse their existing shipping/billing details. My goal is to make the flow more easy accessable for both new and existing customers... – ThomasK Sep 22 '14 at 21:15
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As per your said that The main product that is sold requires the user to have an account/profile with the company in order to maintain the device they purchased (uploading/downloading of required files, and support). Then you could ask user at end of process to sign up or sign in.

Also no one would sign up for a site after delivery details and payment is confirmed unless there is a coupon or discount you're company site is providing for signing up.

So your scenario would go like this that when user wants to check out then at that point you could show a list of all items with detail and amount on right side(column) and on main centre you could ask user to sign in or sign up. Now as user has sign up or sign in then you should jump user to delivery details and rest of process goes like-wise.

Keep it simple yet effective for user to go with the flow of site and rest attraction point will be your design part.

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