Ask the Right Question at the Right Time – An E-Commerce Example

So I recently purchased a DSLR camera lens from a leading E-Commerce and Brick & Motar Store called J & R based in New York. Looking back, since I never shopped there in the past, I was glad that I did not have to “register”.

At an inconvenient time (which is almost always), filling out forms have the potential of users leaving your website and an abandoned shopping cart sweetly singing “Lonely… I am so lonely…”.
Here is the problem:

  • Registration forms can be lengthy
  • They do not represent the primary task of the customer who visited your site
  • They can cause errors – either programmatically or human error
  • They distract the user from accomplishing the task at hand
  • They have no set standards across websites

Back to J&R. The whole transaction and purchase process went as smoothly as it can. What struck me was that I could very easily buy without having the need to register or login.

Once my order went through, JR asks me if I would like to register. Nice!. Here is what the screen looks like.

Did you catch that? A confirmation screen that also serves as a registration screen. A nice catchy title that says: Your J&R Account is Just 1 Step Away!

This is what a good experience is about. Think about it… when you go shopping at your regular brick & motar store, are you required to “register”? Who made this rule for the digital space? Obviously someone who was not interested in getting customers to open their wallets as soon as they could. Instead, they are made to fill lengthy forms of data that only some business stakeholder in some dark cubicle cares about.

Asking for information at the right time can increase your chances of converting a guest into a registered customer.

So the next time you design a transaction website, keep in mind that having a “Register now” screen will only intimidate or frustrate site visitors.

Allow them to continue and open their wallets. The user name and registration can wait. 🙂

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One thought on “Ask the Right Question at the Right Time – An E-Commerce Example

  1. Cool! I hate it when websites require almost a blood sample before I can finish my purchase…thanks for highlighting a great idea!

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