insights | 16.08.2022

Is a guest checkout the right choice for your eCommerce store?

Is a guest checkout the right choice for your eCommerce store?
Article topics
  1. The data: websites that use guest checkout
  2. The benefits of having a guest checkout
  3. The disadvantages of having a guest checkout
  4. In summary: is a guest checkout right for your business?

When you manage an eCommerce website, you want to make sure the checkout process is as simple and quick as possible. If it isn’t, you risk customers abandoning their order and looking elsewhere. Many eCommerce content management systems now offer guest checkout as an option. This is where shoppers can buy without having to set up a new customer account, saving time and meaning they don’t have to remember another password.

Women with tablet and credit card

The data: websites that use guest checkout

We analysed 5,062 eCommerce websites and found that:

  • 3504 offered a guest checkout option – that’s 69%
  • 94% of Shopify sites have a guest checkout option, compared to 89% of WooCommerce sites and 83% of Magento sites
  • Guest checkouts are most commonly found in the fashion, clothing, and home living sectors

These stats show many businesses, especially those using content management systems geared towards eCommerce, are taking advantage of guest checkout on their websites.

However, is a guest checkout option right for your business? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.

The benefits of having a guest checkout

It increases conversion rates

In the retail industry, over 70% of online shopping carts end up being abandoned. This means anything an eCommerce business can do to improve conversion rates goes a long way.

A guest checkout means customers don’t have to waste time creating an account or worry about their personal details stored in a company database. This means more incentive to carry on with a transaction.

You can target impulse and one-off shoppers

We’ve all seen an ad for a product on social media and have been tempted to buy it! In fact, 87% of shoppers admit to making at least one impulse purchase.

A guest checkout option makes it easier for people to make impulse buys, as well as one-off purchases. As you’re making the buying process as smooth as possible, they’re less likely to change their mind at the last minute.

Remember that you’re still collecting customers’ email addresses with guest checkout. This means you can send them discount codes and news about your latest products, increasing the chances of enticing them back to your site.

The disadvantages of having a guest checkout

You lose valuable customer data

Data is important to all eCommerce businesses. You can use it to see where your customers are located, how much they’re buying and what key demographics are purchasing which products.

However, when customers use the guest checkout option you don’t get this information, meaning you’re missing out on critical information that could be driving your eCommerce personalisation.

Similarly, if you want to offer a rewards scheme, you’ll need customers to create an account so you can see what they’ve bought.

It makes things harder for both customers and your staff

Let’s say a customer ordered a pair of slippers from your clothing store. She loves them so much, she wants to buy the same pair for her friend’s birthday.

If your customer created an online account, she can log in, check her order history, and quickly reorder them. However, if she used guest checkout, she has to revisit the store and see if she can find the same pair.

Sad women looking at laptop with card

In summary: is a guest checkout right for your business?

Most businesses offer both guest checkout and customer accounts, letting shoppers choose the right option for their needs.

Some eCommerce sites provide the best of both worlds by letting customers the option to register for an account after using the guest checkout feature. The advantage for the customer is because they have already provided the information they need; they just have to give a password.

Alternatively, if you’re finding that customers are dropping out of the checkout process, it may be time to review the steps they take with conversion rate optimisation. Look at the data you ask for and how long individual pages take to load. This can improve retention rates without implementing a guest checkout.

Don’t forget that Xigen can help you with every aspect of your eCommerce store, from design to maintenance. Our eCommerce specialists will create a store perfectly suited to your target audience’s needs, leading to improved conversion rates and increased sales.

Contact us today and find out how you can give your eCommerce store that all-important boost.

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