Welcome to Blueleaf's UXpert, our regular look at UX that could improve your website for users and ultimately deliver increased conversion rates. This week, we're talking about guest checkout.

What's the problem?

A surprising number of ecommerce websites still don't offer Guest Checkout, forcing users to register and hence creating what can be a big conversion blocker.

What's the solution?

It's a simple one really, offer Guest Checkout for your users and make it the most prominent option! It should appear at the top of the page on mobile, otherwise you risk making it look as though registration is mandatory.

We've heard arguments from website owners who don't want to offer it, such as "We want everyone to create an account" or "We want to be able to market to them", but using Guest Checkout doesn't mean they can't sign up for emarketing and you still get the same data from the user, they just don't have to choose a password. Indeed, the time saving perception of Guest Checkout for users far outstrips the reality. Users view it as being a lot faster, when actually they must still enter all the same information, bar a password. We've observed this over and over again in usability testing.

You can still ask users to register by entering a password on the order confirmation page, once they've gone through Guest Checkout and be sure to tell them the benefits of registering, e.g. faster checkout next time.

N.B. There are some circumstances where you may need to force users to register (complex products/services where a user needs an account to manage them, for example), but this is in a minority of cases.

What could the benefit be?

Salesforce data gathered from across clients on their Commerce Cloud platform showed that an astounding 85% of customers use Guest Checkout, overwhelming proof that users find it valuable and that it helps conversion.

I hope you found this useful – if you have any questions on this or anything else to do with UX, please do message me.

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