registration

10 supermarkets with 10 very different email opt-in/opt out strategies

In this post we examine the hotchpotch of opt-in and opt-out methods deployed by the leading supermarkets in the UK and globally used to obtain customer consent to add them to their email marketing lists during registration and checkout.

As retailers reassess their consent strategy, it would be prudent to examine the methods used by competitors, ideally incorporating customer feedback and testing, to adopt the best approach.

Be our guest: a guide to ecommerce guest checkout best practice

Welcome to this guide to gues… Oh wait hang on… You haven’t entered your email address….

Done? Great, now we can carry on. Welcome to this guide to guest checkouts, where we’ll take a look at best pract… hang on, your password isn’t valid, please try again.

Okay, great, let’s carry on… Hang on, have you already registered that email with us before? I’m sorry you can’t use that address if you’ve already registered it.

Guest checkouts! I love them. If it was at all possible I would carry out every transaction super quickly and utterly anonymously.

Last week our esteemed editor Graham Charlton compiled a list of the 11 best ecommerce checkouts in the world and in doing so came up with seven key features he felt were common to good practice.

These include speed, no forced registration and easy form filling. As far as I’m concerned having a guest checkout can cover all these things and more.

However, am I wrong about the glory of guest checkouts? Are there any drawbacks I’m not thinking of? Are there any best practice tips that can help ecommerce websites improve their guest checkouts?

Lets take a look. Wait, hang on, before we go any further, can you just enter your delivery address please…

How to attract registrations without creating a barrier to checkout

Registration has benefits for both customers and retailers, but it can be perceived as a barrier by customers. 

It needn’t be a barrier though, and well designed checkouts can reduce customer abandonment while still encouraging people to register. 

The key is to present web forms and order the process in such a way that it doesn’t mean more effort for consumers. You can still have plenty of customers creating accounts. 

Here are some examples…

10 checkout login pages from ecommerce sites

Your customer has added items to their basket, clicked to proceed to checkout, so what should they see on the next page? 

Well, since registration has been shown to be a barrier to conversion, they should see a page that takes an email address and eases them into the checkout proper. 

But are sites doing this? Here are a few examples from ecommerce sites

11 things Boots can do to improve its conversion rates

I’m not a regular visitor to Boots’ website, so when I clicked on it recently, I was surprised that the number of usability issues and potential barriers to purchase I found. 

The site does appear to be due a revamp, and there are plenty of areas for improvement where Boots could reduce customer friction.  

Here, I’ve picked out some of the most serious issues, and what Boots can do to improve conversion rates on the site. 

NB: I have no inside knowledge of Boots and its online performance. It may make a fortune online, but from what I know, there is lots of potential for improvement, so here we go… 

Why HMV shouldn’t make users register before checkout

Making customers register before they checkout is a barrier to purchase, yet many online retailers have yet to learn this lesson. 

The arguments against this barrier are compelling. For example, ASOS halved its abandonment rate at the registration page simply by removing any mention of creating an account. 

In a more famous example from Jared Spool, one retailer added $300m to its annual revenues by removing the registration button. 

These are lessons that HMV needs to learn in order to optimise conversion rates and reduce abandonments. 

How to reduce checkout abandonment and increase customer registrations

In an ideal world most, if not all, retailers would like their new customers to register when they place their first order, thus opening up the potential of a building a more meaningful long-term relationship with the customer.

Unfortunately most new customers want to avoid registering and just checkout as quickly as possible, so how can retailers encourage more registrations without deterring customers? 

10 heinous usability crimes committed by Playmobil

In the comments of a recent article by Matt Curry on e-commerce platforms and Javascript, Playmobil was mentioned as an example of particularly poor usability. 

One of the problems that Matt found was the threat to lock users out of the site for 24 hours if questions were answered incorrectly, which is astonishing.

There are plenty more user experience crimes to be found on the site though, and if Playmobil wants to make the most of the online channel, then it should look into solving the following issues, if not redesigning the whole site… 

Don’t mask users’ passwords – Nielsen

While it may be a common security feature, masking passwords as users type them in may be causing login problems and lost business for websites, according to Jakob Nielsen.

Nielsen also argues that this isn’t even necessary as a security feature, since users aren’t normally overlooked when typing in passwords, while a determined snooper can simply watch your keystrokes anyway. I have my doubts though…

login

Asda improves its online offering

Asda.com was the third biggest supermarket online in terms of traffic in the most recent Hitwise Hot 100 list, but its site has been looking dated for a while and in need of a revamp.

Asda.com

However, the supermarket has recently launched a new version of Asda.com, and has revamped its grocery, financial and Asda Direct sections.

Having pointed out ten things that Asda could do better online last year, including navigation issues, and the way the site’s different sections linked up, I’ve been looking at the new site to see if it has fixed some of these flaws…