[ic] Checkout and Userdb
jamie at versado.net
Mon Jul 19 08:30:12 EDT 2004
We manage a website which despite many changes, still converts very
badly (approx 0.3%) and we suspect it has to do with our checkout setup.
We have a multistage checkout which starts with a welcome page that
1) Existing users login using their email address and password
2) New users enter just their email address (a password is autogenerated
on completion of the checkout
This is not an uncommon setup, but it's been suggested that it is
probably putting off customers and that we should allow users to
checkout without creating an account (even automatically). This is
backed up by the large (>50%) abandonment rate we see after this stage
of the checkout.
So what we want to do is have 3 options at the welcome page:
1) Allow account holders to login using their email address and password
2) New users who want to set up an account click "New Account" and on
the next page are prompted for their email address and to choose a
password (along with other address details).
3) New users who do _not_ want to set up an account click "Continue
checkout" and on the next page are just prompted for their email address
(optional) and address details.
The problem with this is that because we use email addresses for login,
they have to be unique for each entry in the userdb table. So at the end
of the checkout process, if a user has not entered an email address or
if they have entered an address that is already in the userdb table
(they might have created an account before but don't want to login for
some reason), then the userdb record creation will fail.
The only solution I can think of to this problem is to skip the userdb
record creation if the email address is missing or duplicate. However
I'm not sure whether there might be problems with this approach that I
Has anyone else done something like this or solved the same problem in a
Jamie Neil | <jamie at versado.net> | 0870 7777 454
Versado I.T. Services Ltd. | http://versado.net/ | 0845 450 1254
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