Prashant Chaudhary Prashant is a full-stack digital marketer with a special love for the fintech and payments industry.

Guest Checkout or Account Checkout: Which one is right for you?

8 min read

Guest Checkout Vs. Account Creation Checkout

When setting up your eCommerce store, you may wonder whether you should use Guest Checkout or Account Checkout on your website. Well, the choice depends on your audience and your strategy. Both options can be effective and can have their place. Still, only one can fit your needs perfectly, and it’s essential to determine which one makes the most sense for your business, mainly regarding customer retention and conversion rates. 

Guest checkout seems like the right choice, right? When you encourage customers to purchase your products or services, making the process as simple as possible makes sense. The guest account system does not require customers to create an account, which can be helpful if you plan on offering them one-time purchases. But there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of before you move to account checkout and abandon guest checkout altogether.

Here are some pointers on how to figure out which one will be best suited to your business model–guest checkout or account checkout. Whether you’re starting or already have an established eCommerce store, this article will help you make a decision. 

Content Index:

What is guest checkout?

It allows customers to shop and purchase on your site without creating an account. It speeds up checking out because they don’t have to fill out any information except the payment and shipping info. The guest account allows your customers to purchase an item on your site easily; it doesn’t require them to create an account.

Ecommerce guest checkout, also referred to as guest shopping, won’t have extra fields to fill out beyond shipping and billing information. For example, at Crate and Barrel, a guest shopper can browse from home and purchase with as little effort as possible. They don’t have to fill out their contact information shipping address, nor do they have to create a password yet. 

The positive aspect of that is a faster purchase process for customers. However, if someone is a returning visitor who has not registered yet (or will ever), then they cannot buy from you at all without first creating an account! It also gives them a sense of anonymity, which some people prefer. Here are some examples of businesses that use guest account checkout: Apple, Zappos, Crocs, etc.

Take a look at how the Apple store uses direct checkout for its customers:

Here are a few reasons you might consider using guest checkout over account checkout-

1. Easier-to-fill out forms

With guest-checkout forms, you don’t need to ask users for their information upfront. They can buy something and enter their contact details later, giving potential buyers more flexibility and making it easier to complete an order.

2. Fewer registration steps

If people have to sign up before they can even shop, you may lose some sales because they get discouraged by jumping through so many hoops. There are fewer hoops with direct checkout forms—or smaller ones—to jump through during initial checkout.

3. Guest checkout is more consumer-friendly

People find guest accounts friendlier, and they feel like they have greater freedom when using direct checkout. Shoppers aren’t forced into making purchases right away—they can take time to think about what they want.

4. An easy way to engage new customers

This lets you collect new customer data without being pushy about signing up for an account. Instead of rushing prospects into creating accounts on your site, let them browse freely until they feel comfortable entering their email address or other essential info.

5. Conversion rate boost

Whether your website is B2B or B2C, direct checkout has been shown to improve conversion rates. One study showed that conversion rates increased by 57% with direct checkout compared to older methods that did not allow guests access to products.

How does guest checkout work? 

Many eCommerce sites are ditching account checkouts and offering a direct checkout for visitors. But what’s so great about direct checkouts, anyway? If you’re thinking of adding one to your site, here are a few examples of how they work and why they might be right for you.

  • This enables you to create a shopping cart without an account, using only your email address. 
  • The checkout process takes two steps: first, you click on an item and add it to your cart; second, you click on check-out and provide shipping details, billing information, and choose a payment method. That’s it!

How does guest checkout help in reducing cart abandonment?

Direct checkout helps to reduce cart abandonment because it allows customers to complete their purchases without signing up for an account. With this, customers can get everything they need in a single click without worrying about inputting all of their personal information right off the bat. Instead, direct checkout encourages users to complete their purchases and come back later to share more information about themselves.

Additionally, this requires less work on behalf of a merchant’s customer service team; merchants won’t have to try hard to educate new customers on how online shopping works when they are still getting used to their website.

Guest checkout vs. account checkout: which is better for you?

Guest checkout and account checkout offer different pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which is right for your business. Ultimately, you have to assess your customer base (who do they like better? And consider how much time each option saves you as a merchant (do you spend more time working with customers that choose one over another?). 

Before deciding which type of checkout will work best for your business, get familiar with both options. Understand what each type has to offer and which option is best for your company. 

For example, if you have repeating clients, then having them register through your site might be beneficial because they don’t have to fill out a lot of information each time—they enter their credit card info and are ready to go.

On the other hand, maybe you sell products that people tend to buy when they want something on-the-spot, such as concert tickets or event passes. In these situations, reducing friction in any way possible will benefit you, so implementing this would be a better fit. 

Guest checkout experience with Nimbbl 

The checkout experience should be simple and painless. Not only does it get new customers excited about your brand, but it also gives existing customers an easier way to return to your store.

Wouldn’t it be great if your customers could pay via their preferred fast payment method like Buy Now Pay Later, and UPI apps without having to log in? Well, Nimbbl makes that possible through its guest checkout feature. 

Your customer’s details from the shopping cart are used to present personalised payment methods on the checkout page. They have to select the method and complete the purchase in one click. Nimbbl runs the eligibility check via APIs at the back, saving the customer’s time and clicks. 

Customers can easily pay with their personalised payment method with Nimbbl

Pros and Cons of guest checkout 

Pros: –

1. Faster shopping experience

Guest checkout allows shoppers to move through your product catalogue faster because they’re not required to register an account before completing a purchase.

2. Drive new customers

You can create a consistent customer experience that doesn’t require shoppers to register an account before purchasing. Account checkout requires new customers to provide their contact information even though they have yet to build a relationship with your brand. 

3. Higher conversion rates

Your conversion rates are likely to increase because shoppers aren’t required to register an account before purchasing. This means you can gather all of their contact information during checkout, making it easier to convert new leads into buyers down the road; and account-based checkout requires customers to register an account with your site before proceeding with a purchase, meaning they’re more likely to abandon their cart and not complete a transaction at all.

Cons: –

1. Tracking customer data to improve customer experience and sales

Without a login, it’s harder to keep track of customer preferences and shopping habits, leading to a decrease in conversion rates and revenue.

2. Giving up valuable customer data

When customers create accounts to check out on your site, you gain access to personal information that you may not have otherwise acquired, allowing you to customize future offers based on their previous buying patterns and interests.

3. Up-selling/cross-selling opportunities

Upselling and cross-selling are essential factors in increasing overall sales; Cross-selling involves offering complementary products with purchase to increase value for consumers by having them get more than one item at once. 

Upselling involves encouraging people who had already purchased to make an even more considerable investment—for example, purchasing extended warranties on electronics if they also bought protection plans when they first bought those devices. But guest checkout makes doing so exponentially more complex (which means less money for you!). 

1. WooCommerce: 

WooCommerce offers many tools that businesses can use to create their store. One such tool, WooCommerce Guest Checkout, allows customers to purchase products without registering. Here’s how it works: The shopper enters their billing information (name and address) and an email address to complete their purchases and receives a receipt via email.

This type of checkout keeps customer data secure because no other personal information has been entered onto your site. It also cuts down on back-end tasks like manually confirming orders.

2. BigCommerce:

BigCommerce has implemented direct checkout for visitors so that users don’t have to log in if they want to buy something quickly and easily. As with WooCommerce Guest Checkout, you won’t need to add any code to your site. With a few settings on the Big Commerce admin page, you can also enable Guest Checkout. 

3. Shopify: 

Shopify also offers direct checkout functionality for visitors through its Storefront theme. When you activate this, all customers visiting your store are presented with two options at checkout: Register or Pay As Guest. If someone doesn’t want to be registered, he can choose Pay As Guest. Just enter his name and shipping details on Storefront’s registration form, and he’ll immediately be able to purchase items from your store using our built-in payment system.

Conclusion:

We’ve looked at guest checkout, account checkout, and everything in between. If you have a lot of users on your platform, then setting up an account may be a good option; otherwise, using direct checkout for visitors could save you time and money—and increase conversions. Depending on which type of checkout is best for you, it’s probably best to test both direct checkout and account checkout to determine which yields better results. 

FAQs

1. Is guest checkout a good idea?

Yes, but it also depends on your business type if you want to go that route. For example, fast food establishments like McDonald’s and Subway prefer to use direct checkout for visitors because they don’t want people lingering in their restaurants. On the other hand, full-service restaurants are more likely to use account checkout since they serve multi-course meals and don’t want customers to be distracted by hunger while dining.

2. What is guest checkout in WooCommerce?

WooCommerce guest checkout allows users to check out without registering. This can be useful when users make only one purchase, but we don’t want them to create an account every time they visit our site.

3. Will my sales suffer significantly if I do not allow guest checkout?

The short answer is yes. Your conversion rates and thus sales will be significantly lower if you do not have a direct checkout option for visitors. On top of that, 30% of those who start a cart without an account choose to abandon their shopping cart before checking out, meaning you lose at least half of your potential revenue when you don’t allow direct checkout for visitors.

4. Is guest checkout secure?

Yes, it has obvious security benefits. With this, customers do not need to enter any account information, and they won’t see a billing page until they want to make a purchase. If you’re worried about losing customers because of your site’s security (and who isn’t?), using direct checkout could be an effective way to attract new visitors. This also makes it easy for your visitors to complete an order without giving up their email addresses.

5. When is guest checkout beneficial?

Guest checkout presents itself as an excellent option for websites that aren’t ready to offer users a complete shopping experience. The question of how you should implement this depends on what kind of website you’re operating, but there are many reasons it is not beneficial. In some instances, customer data needs to be collected later to fulfill an order, and if those customers used this, you would lose your lead.

Therefore, if your company doesn’t need to collect user details and handle orders at once, this system could work well for you (and increase conversion rates). 

By contrast, account-based checkouts tend to convert better and keep leads because they provide seamless transitions between site pages and help customers see that their payment details won’t change from purchase to purchase.

Prashant Chaudhary Prashant is a full-stack digital marketer with a special love for the fintech and payments industry.

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