I don't mind signing up as part of the checkout, but I definitely bail and go elsewhere if they start higher. While signing up I also look long and hard at the opt out checkboxes. If I'm not certain I can fix it so that I'll never, never, ever get an email from them hawking some promo I get skittish.
One glaring problem I've noticed on several sites lately -even the big ones- is that they have no aids to get in if you've forgotten your password. Once I do sign up, I like for them to have all my info on file, INCLUDING special shipping addresses. I just placed my second order at half.com and it was a breeze... once I remembered my password.
i'm with you oilman. if it's a pain to use, i go elsewhere.
I recently took over a site that required people to sign in BEFORE they could buy anything. You could look over the products just couldn't purchase without providing your user name and password. The site was getting a lot of people visiting it....but very few actual purchases.
Once the site was changed so that people didn't have to use a username and password...on line sales increased dramatically.
The username and password epidemic seems to be raging in all it's fury right now. I suspect as conversion ratios drop that this an@l-retentive impediment to purchasing may become a little less important than facilitating the obsessive-compulsives who can't remember their own phone number.
There are free shopping carts (like www.mals-e.com) that don't require "registration" as part of the checkout process. Instead, the cart optionally stores your details as a cookie on your computer. Works for me! :)
If I am making a purchase I have no problem signing up as a member because if I have gotten to that point I will probably be buying from there more than once and it is nice not to have to enter in information every time.
If, however, they want me to sign up just to get prices or informaion on their products I will hit my back button every time and go elsewhere.
While people are still getting comfortable with online memberships and registrations - I think it is a good idea to have the two options.
1 - be able to check out without a member account
2 - promote the account to those checking out as a time saver, etc.
I would have to agrea with a few of the other responses. I would preffer to be able to check out without having to sing ing. However, if I am there I am there. UNLESS, I am not absolutely sure I have the oppion to never recieve junk mail from them. Being a person that has to go through some 400+ e-mails a day, the last thing I need is more junk mail.
I beleive that the best way is to make a person that purchases a member as then their info will be there for them when they purchase again.
Making them signup before they buy anything would be a great waste to any legit store as database will get huge just because people change their minds.
Now stores that make you signup (in my opinon) are just trying to get some personal info so that they can send Junk mail and/or spam. As RC said Looking for the Opt-in and out check boxes are getting harder as they are surrounded buy so my other junk.
Saw one that asked you to check for male/female and in small text said that you were opting in for email newsletter as well.
Still can't get off that list.. ;)