Forcing customers to create an account is one of the leading causes of checkout abandonment. Nobody wants to have to remember another username and password. There’s also the issue of people not being very eager to hand their personal data over to some site they don’t trust just yet.
Forcing users to create an account at checkout is also very callous. It interrupts the checkout flow. These are people already prepared to hand over their money to you and you just drive them away by forcing them to create accounts.
Allowing shoppers to check out as guests is the better option but that isn’t enough. The guest checkout should be very prominent so shoppers are left in no doubt it exists.
Baymard’s eye tracking study revealed that users expect the Guest Checkout option to be in the top-left. If not, then 14% of users have difficulty figuring out the next step and abandon the store.
On mobile, 60% of users were having issues finding and selecting the guest checkout option, often because that option was too low on the page.
- Give shoppers the choice to log into their account, but the guest checkout could be selected by default, and visually attract more attention than the other options.
- Users expect it in the upper-left on desktop, and on top on mobile.
- Clearly label the guest checkout option (include the word “Guest”)
You should save your account creation prompts for the order confirmation page. People who have already bought from you will be more open to creating accounts because they’ve developed some level of trust in you.
You’re also not interrupting anything since the purchasing process is already over at this point and you might as well use the opportunity to draw them back in.