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Joanne Grantz
 
October 16, 2015 | Site Design and Management | Joanne Grantz

Should you require wine shoppers to register?

Chances are you have considered whether or not to require users to register before making a purchase. While registration is important to enhance the customer experience and increase sales in the long run, mandatory registration can contribute to shopping cart abandonment.

The last thing any e-commerce site wants is to hinder a customer from making a purchase, but that is exactly what happens when sites require shoppers to register first. In fact, Kissmetrics said 23 percent of users will abandon their carts if they are required to make a new user account before completing their purchase. However, scrapping registration altogether isn't a solution, either. Instead, wineries must provide an optimized experience that highlights the benefits of registration without disruption the shopping process.

The solution: Guest checkout
The best way wineries can offer shoppers the benefits of user registration without being disruptive is to provide the option for guest checkout. When customers first start the checkout process, ask them if they'd like to proceed as a guest or a registered user and then prompt them to sign up once the purchase is complete. This strategy can have a very positive impact on conversions. In fact, User Interface Engineering helped an e-commerce site increase sales by $300 million by moving the "create an account" widget from the beginning to the end of the checkout process. That said, some wineries may struggle with finding ways to encourage users to register if registration is not mandatory. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Highlight the specific benefits of online registration when prompting shoppers to sign up.
  • Send follow-up emails to shoppers who have made purchases as guests reminding them to register.
  • Prompt visitors to brick-and-mortar locations or tasting rooms to sign up online for your online wine store as an opportunity to receive exclusive deals.
  • User social media outlets to highlight the benefits of registration.

The benefits of registration
Scrapping online registration altogether can be just as harmful to conversion rates as forcing shoppers to sign up before making a purchase. Online registration enhances the shopping experience in the following ways:

  • Better customer service: Shoppers who register online can expect a better customer service experience. Users who register can more easily access important order information that helps make the customer service process run more smoothly.
  • Upselling opportunities: Wineries have the opportunity to target personalized recommendations to user who register. This personalization will lead to larger shopping cart totals.
  • Faster checkout: It may seem counterintuitive since registration actually makes the checkout process longer at first. However, users who are registered can also store important shipping and payment information, which makes online checkout easier in the long run and ultimately encourages more purchases.

Wineries can make the most of online registration by offering options for guest checkout and highlighting the benefits of registration at the end of the shopping experience.

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