Use Auto Account Detection to Create a Smooth Purchase Flow
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Here’s an interesting alternative to the standard ‘Guest Checkout’ vs ‘Login’ vs ‘Register an Account’ approach most retailers take.
Start off by simply asking for your customers email address, and quickly checking to see if there is an account linked to it.
If there is, ask them to put input their password and login (or checkout as guest, it’s important to leave this option in place).
If there isn’t, give them the option of adding a password and completing their account on purchase, or checking out as guest
It provides a smoother checkout process, by almost taking the decision away from the customer.
They don’t have to sit and think for a second ‘oh do i have an account here already?’ no, they just put their email in and get told if they do or not.
To make this even more powerful, if they get their password wrong, you could let them continue as a guest instead of sending them away to do a password reset, and instead let them do this AFTER the purchase.
You avoid a potential accidental abandonment and get the purchase instead, then give them an opportunity to reset their password, collect loyalty points or achieve some other value-add goal without disrupting the purchase.