Taking Amazon as an example, but I've seen it in other places as well.

This the screen

is the screen you get once you click 'Proceed to checkout' in your shopping basket as a new user.

Wouldn't it be better to keep showing you the items you are trying to purchase, so you don't 'forget' why you're on this screen? I'm sure there's a way to allow account creation/signin on the checkout page itself.


  • I'd say its just a bad design choice. It is technically feasible also. For example when you upvote an answer on StackExchange forums, you are gently asked to sign in/sign up in a modal, and after signing in, the question is upvoted immediately, all while you're on the same page. – Shubham Kanodia Dec 11 '15 at 21:07
  • Are you sure? I just tried in Incognito mode and got taken to a new page to signup or login – Gasper Dec 11 '15 at 21:25
  • I login into stack overflow via my google account (which I'm signed into most of the time). And it doesn't redirect me. Maybe it does for sign in via email and password. – Shubham Kanodia Dec 12 '15 at 8:01

In general allowing customers to use what's known as a "guest checkout" is a better tactic conversion wise for most online retailers. In the linked study 58% made it past login/sign up page, compared with 63% when presented with a guest option.

However large companies like Amazon, where are large number of their customers are likely to be be returning the login page is a logical step.

Also the pattern of "Checkout Button -> Login/Sign Up -> Purchase" is quite an established one, that most users will be used to and unlikely to forget why they are on the page.

There are of course benefits for businesses to ask users to create account first, such as being able to track customer buying behaviour. However if the process stops someone from buying in the first place, it becomes irrelevant.

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  • An additional thought is that Amazon has a lot of other services, aside from simple e-commerce such as video on demand that they will want to be able to market to their signed up customers. – Stephen Keable Mar 15 '16 at 8:10

In my experience, checkout process UI design is very complicated once you get to the details. And login/ signup is tricky from legal and technical perspective.

Based on personal experience with checkout design (I have no knowledge of Amazon's reasoning behind their design), considerations that may have played a role:

  1. Many aspects of the checkout process (may) depend on customer details, so if these are not known, it is difficult - if not impossible - to present a clean checkout page.

    • For example differences between registered customers versus guests in shipping costs, known preferred invoice and shipping address, known payment details, product price differentiation, payment methods, product availability per geography, free shipping, loyalty, age consent etc etc.
    • Checkout design and flow should be extremely distraction free. So if e.g. any shipping address is known, the option/ button to choose alternative shipping address should be minimal, if present at all. This is very, very different from guest checkout, where the shipping address is mandatory, blocking processing until completed. The same goes for payment details, etc etc.That is why it may make sense to start with login/ signup, to keep the rest of the flow distraction free.
  2. One simple unified login/ signup page is easier to maintain than different versions for different purposes.

  3. The entire site may be geared to make users sign-in/ login before checkout. So if site stats show that 90% of users going to checkout are already logged in, then the concession in signup/login is not so costly.

I would consider to maybe add a title to the login page, like "Please login or signup to continue checkout".
But would strongly advise against any other items with links (such as a basket overview). Any additional link/button in checkout hurts conversion, so use them sparingly. Yes, you need to show the customer what they are buying during checkout, but if you show it twice, it will only hurt conversion. So consider carefully where to show it. (login/ signup is probably not the best place).

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