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|Why do ecommerce websites increasingly require customers to register?|
I've noticed that I am increasingly having to register with web sites when I make purchases online.
Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it takes so long that I give up and go away. But even when it is easy, I generally get fed up with having to register, check my email, log in and remember all of this the next time or keep records. And then there is the fear of getting spammed.
I can think of several occasions in the last month where I have simply gone to another web site and purchased from there, simply to avoid yet another pain in the neck registration process, or to avoid scrolling through my old emails to locate the password. Sometimes the other site has even been a bit more expensive, but my time is also money.
So I would be interested in hearing why eCommerce site owners have increasingly gone down this registration route. I can understand the marketing appeal. Marketing people love to have databases of customers. But from a customer point of view it is a real turn off.
Welcome to webmasterworld :)
Not only you had to register, you should have come across that no URLs are allowed in the threads [Unless the moderators are impressed by the nice graphics in there :) ]
talking about credit card security breach..the more i think about it the more i think that small companies should just use Paypal merchant services as they are a bigger/reputated company and they have more resources to keep the data safe(r) than a small website.
I see all these people saying if i have to register you wont get the sale. Yet you've all registered to make a post here?
Theres nothing wrong with it. I
Registering is a part of the online world and often life offline too. We sign up for credit, bank cards, accounts, loans, offers and insurance etc, the list goes on, and nobody bats and eyelid do they, as it's just an accepted and normal part of the system.
Like I said earlier, if you anyone feels their data isn't secure then there is an organisation (in the UK) that deals with such problems. By law the data protection act should cover most issues, and suing isn't the problem it used to be - the law works folks.
[edited by: Helpinghand at 10:17 pm (utc) on June 27, 2007]
Sites that have registration usually do it to decrease operating costs or to increase sales through some type of oped in marketing.
|I see all these people saying if i have to register you wont get the sale. Yet you've all registered to make a post here? |
Yes, true. But I haven't receieved any emails from WW saying "Dear Habtom, people who used the ecommerce forum, has also used the foo forum."
I sure would have disappeared by then. Is Brett around? :)
I am currently looking at some venture funding for my e comm site from a North American investor. Without a data base of 'Registered Users' , I have a very weak case.
Sales figures are ok but without showing the POTENTIAL for growth, I ain't gonna get a penny...
BTW , I don't store CC nos...
|Registering is a part of the online world and often life offline too. We sign up for credit, bank cards, accounts, loans, offers and insurance etc, the list goes on, and nobody bats and eyelid do they, as it's just an accepted and normal part of the system. |
Not a fair comparison because this is entirely different. People appreciate that to do the things you mention the vendor needs your personal information but if you walk into a shop you can make a purchase with your credit card without having to provide all your personal details to the person at the cash desk.
quote]Not a fair comparison because this is entirely different. People appreciate that to do the things you mention the vendor needs your personal information but if you walk into a shop you can make a purchase with your credit card without having to provide all your personal details to the person at the cash desk[/quote]
Well, you better check the back of your cards then. Above that strip is a magnetic black area, and all your banking details are contained IN that swipe area (it has to for the bank to know who to charge). Sooooo, that means every time you use your card, the assisitant swipes it through and the info within that strip is recorded. Guess what, that shopping you just did - well let's just say that payment wasn't the only thing you gave them when you hand that card over.....
Do folks really think that information is only held by the bank? What happens when the retailer needs to get that money, how do they know who we are, as they need to tell the bank about the person who made the transaction.
The card puts that info into the cash register - that's why they swipe cards. Oh dear, I wonder how many times we used our cards, and not just one either! On average in the UK, folks have 5 credit cards, not including bank ATM or debit cards, then we have store cards, reward cards etc etc.
It would be easy for a retailer to hand over your details to another store or department of the company or even another business. It's quite scary sometimes, as nobody can ever know WHO has our data. We are on so many computers you wouldn't believe, yet folks worry about signing up to a website, but I'd worry more about the computers feeding the computers.
Now we have something more important to worry about.... We lost control over this years ago, and we ain't getting it back.
I appreciate all of this but the thread is more about usability than security, i.e. making it easier to purchase stuff online.
Remember that whoever is taking the credit card details is privy to all the information you mention whether the transaction is on or offline. It's only certain online stores that force people through their tedious registration processes.
So it's the actual regestering bit that's the problem. But I'm not clear as to what the problem is. There are a few possibilities why people don't like sign up pages:
Is it the length of forms on registration?
The time involved in filling this out?
Or could be the type of details requested eg: Personal and NOT Business..
E-Commerce websites are dealing with buying and selling activities to different customers so they need one database for their operation,understanding, to maintain records for the customer who do transactions frequently.This is one of the advantage on the part of the e-commerce website.
On the other hand, when the customer once registered themself on the site with their pre-requisite it helps them to transact quickly as per their requirement and if not registered, whenever they have to visit they have to fullfill all the requirements as before done. This will waste the customers time.
|On the other hand, when the customer once registered themselves on the site with their pre-requisite, it helps them to transact quickly as per their requirement |
That's the idea of such a system. Makes it easier for the client - but this is a GOOD thing.
|and if not registered, whenever they have to visit they have to fullfill all the requirements as before done. This will waste the customers time. |
Fulfill what requirements again? Huh; - I think folks on here try and invent problems that don't exist in order to make more posts.
Look, all you do is get a designer to allow clients to login to gain access to their whatever.... Then they won't have to keep signing up for anything.
Ofcourse non-clients have to do more to get certain services, they aren't paying and the trust between website and client isn't there yet.
If I make every visitor sign up just to get access to normal services, and then do it over every visit, then yeah - I've wasted their time and so they probably won't return, which isn't a good tactic for any site, never mind one that sells for profit. Na, I think it would be a major mistake to annoy visitors like the way you suggest.
Too much to lose in the end.
this thread has completely lost the original question of why *ecommerce sites* require people to register .........
think it was banafish said it's because free software like oscommerce or so retailers can spam you - those are the main reasons for ecommerce retailers (companies selling goods) using registrations - and it's not such a good things because people have so many usernames and passwords these days they don't want more for one-off purchases etc
in general, not a good idea to force registration before the sale - it does put people off - the main reason people buy online is because it's convenient - but forcing them to register and login and jump through hoops destroys that convenience - and it's so easy for shoppers to click the back button and buy from the next site in google .... (i never buy from oscommerce sites because the registration slows it all down so much)
there are some circumstances where logins are helpful, but no need to force registration before the sale - it can be done AFTER the sale - just generate passwords and send them to the customer after the first sale
and there are other ways of storing customer name and address without needing logins - they're called cookies - no need for logins - just give the customer a tickbox for "remember your details" and next time they visit their name and address is displayed in the cart without the need to register and login etc
Shak once said "ecommerce is about making it as easy as possible for people to give you their money" .......... nuff said ......
Ecommerce sites like people to 'join' for various reasons:
1. The listing and recording of details is proof of the existence of clients. I've had people submit a site and when sold to, they try and claim that they aren't clients, even when their email, url, company details etc has been recorded by my system.
Once they 'sign up' the proof is there and they can't back out and get nasty. - that's one very good use of the registrations process.
Information is proof of a genuine client, which is very different to companies that 'use' a service and never pay - ever..
2. Capturing data is useful for follow-up sales, which is a must for any company. All commercial businesses do this - even the clients have clients. That's the reason anyway.
3. Registering allows business details to be used for other purposes eg: Input into another database automatically, and thus give more/better services. Eg: FriendsReunited does this very thing. They transfer the membership details to the GenesReunited and Jobs site, but does anybody complain? - I'd say hardly any do! And the ones that don't complain far outweigh the ones who do.
The member gets another free service and the same details build up a 2nd site, thus expanding the company into a bigger company, without all that re-registering nonsense for the client. This actually saves the clients much hassle and time.
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