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Chapter 4. Transactors > Membership Not Required

Membership Not Required

Overview

Don’t force your users to register or create an account with you just to make a purchase.


So I’m happily shopping along the QVC web site, and I decide to buy the EZ Reacher Pick-Up Tool with Saf-T-Lok so that I never have to stoop down to pick up anything again. As I dream about my future days of a better posture, I decide to go to my shopping cart and check out when—BAM! It’s the dreaded you-must-login-or-become-a-member-first-before-you-can-shop-with-us page. What is wrong here? I want to give the site my business, yet it insists on me registering before I can buy.

At QVC.com, users are required to register as a Q Member before they can buy items. www.qvc.com

The issue with the QVC web site isn’t that it asks users to become members; the problem is when it asks and the fact that it makes membership mandatory before users can make a purchase. Compare this with how the Wal-Mart web site does business, and you’ll see the difference.

When I decide to check out, I am given the option to either “Begin Checkout” or “Sign In” as a registered customer. Given that this is my first time, I click to begin the checkout process. As expected, I then fill out my address, shipment, and payment details.

The Wal-Mart site lets users check out without registering, but it provides the option for users to create an account at the end. www.walmart.com

When I get to the second-to-last step in the checkout process, I am given the option to submit a password to create an account. The benefit of this process is that the registration is optional, and it also explains to users that creating an account will allow them to save all the information they just entered. The advantage here is that the registration is asked for at the end (when the benefit is clearly understood) rather than at the beginning (when it seems like an unnecessary prerequisite).

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