5 Tips to Get to Know Your Guest Customers Better

It’s hardly possible to imagine eCommerce without personalization. Merchants strongly need customer information to create an outstanding customer experience. They want to know customers’ needs, personality, and family. They want to anticipate customers’ wishes and offer solutions to their problems. They want to be relevant. They want to sell. But what if customers remain incognito? Merchants are left unarmed, aren’t they?
Let’s look at how retailers can get to know their guests better and this way convert these strangers into repeat customers.

Why do customers prefer to stay guests?

Many customers avoid registration for several reasons:

  • First, once a customer finds the item they need, they rush to the checkout page and definitely hate wasting a minute on formalities.
  • Second, many customers just value their privacy and don’t want to stuff their email box or phone with ads. Such customers simply want to buy and go, while registration looks like a commitment.
  • Third, customers shopping from mobile would rather skip lengthy registration forms that are even less welcomed when they appear on small screens.

How can both merchants and customers win?

To reach a compromise, merchants should be very gentle while fishing out guests’ information. Three simple rules will help you do it effectively:

1.   Never force guests to register.

Baymard’s study showed that forced account creation is the second biggest reason for checkout abandonment (23%). Instead of making an obligatory registration an unpleasant surprise just before the checkout, let guests choose for themselves whether to sign up or not.

2.   Assure guests that they have full control.

Many merchants find it useful to let customers choose marketing communication that they accept. Show that a guest will have total control over their subscriptions and the using of their personal info after registration. This will help you make guest customers less suspicious of unwanted ads.

3.   Make sourcing guests’ information experience.

Value customers’ time and make registration quick and creative.

How to motivate guests to give more information?

Ideas that will help merchants learn more about store guests:

1.   Let guests formally skip registration

Even in the case of a guest checkout, filling in brief personal and shipping information takes efforts. After a guest finishes a transaction, you can offer to save their details for the next time. Make registration a service rather than a customer’s duty. For example, you can ask for registration by saying “Would you like to skip typing all this next time?” or “Let us save your time”.

If a customer agrees, go an extra mile to ensure their convenience and automatically take their account details from the checkout form. At this stage, you can also ask for additional information (but remember to keep it short). Ask a question or two to learn the customer better. This will be enough to start a dialogue with the customer and all the rest you’ll get to know later.

2.  Show registration benefits

Sell registration just the way you sell products. Walmart perfectly used this technique a couple of years ago. They offered visitors guest and account checkout alike and coupled both options with creative names and descriptions. This way a trivial Continue as Guest turned into Save time now, and Create an Account became Save time later. One more good example of selling the sign-up benefits is Nike.

The more accurately you state the benefits of registration, the higher the chance that guests will decide to sacrifice their time to sign up. You know that logged in customers get loyalty bonuses and quickly find what they need thanks to personalization. Let customers know the benefits as well.

3.  Entice guests to register with rewards

What if I say that you owe me something? Ok, and what if I say that I owe you something – just take it? The latter sounds better, right? This is exactly what merchants can do if they let guest visitors choose registration as a more beneficial option. Try offering a reward for registration, say a discount, a coupon, or bonus points, which will increase the value of account checkout. This way guest checkout will make customers feel a slight loss, the loss that is so easy to avert if they sign up.

As an example, you can tweak a product page for guest visitors and replace the price with a custom CMS block that will offer guests to be redirected to the registration page and get a reward. To get this functionality, check out extensions for your eCommerce platform, like this Customer Groups for Magento 2.

4.  Make requests for quote informative

In some cases, companies can also replace the price block with a request for quote option. Apart from item details, you can ask for some basic customer data to arm yourself with more information.

5.  Be creative

Successful merchants tend to play with language so as to add a human touch to their stores. For sure, a customer understands that a retailer wants them to register to learn more about them and increase sales. Yet the words that you use to motivate customers to matter a lot.
As an example, consider Sears. They perfectly use trigger words, like free, create a sense of community by offering to join rather than sign up or register, and clearly state all the benefits of having an account.

Making it work

Merchants need to know their guest customers better not to lose them once customers complete a single purchase. As forced registration is likely to make guest customers less willing to convert, retailers have to work hard to eliminate the sign-up barrier. That is why selling registration per se is as important as selling products. Though there can’t be one recipe for all, being creative and laser-focused on customers’ needs will certainly help you with this task.

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