If you are running any flavour of guest checkout, it is likely that your buyers have no way to easily perform after-sale actions. Typical examples would be;
1. Contact you about the order
Of course they could do this via your contact_us form, but they would have to somehow find their order number. Or you, the shopowner would have to waste time trying to marry up and order to the customers name or email address.
2. Leave a review
Once again, they could do this via the contact_us form. Shopowner, that’s you, would have to waste more time in (a) marrying up the customer and product and (b) somehow getting it into the reviews structure on your site
3. See their Order and Order Comments
It’s really dumb not to give customer the opportunity to see their order after the order is finalised. In addition why not allow the customer to track their order via your system of order updates.
Most shopowners who use osCommerce (with guest checkout) probably have never even thought about allowing guest to perform after sale actions. WHY ?
Let’s take just one part of this argument; Reviews
What is a customer review; CONTENT
What is a customer review; WORD OF MOUTH
Next up consider that the Reviews at your shop are fully microdata’d which ALL the major search engines love…and that the review posted is going to be custom content that your site (AND ONLY YOUR SITE) has! Win, Win, WIN.
Why the hell are you shopowners not able to see the wood for the trees? Get a system into place that allows both guest customers and regular customers to easily review the product(s) they have purchased. It’s pretty damned simple…
When an order is made:
1. Give it a random token, stored in the database against the customer ID.
2. Make customer aware of the Token, perhaps by email
3. Have a new page on which;
3a. the token is inserted, this gets the customer ID, which in turn shows the order summary, order update, and a form to give a review, and so on.
THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
Make it easy for your customers, make it easy for yourself. Let the software do the heavy lifting.
All of the above is available, now which shopowners want to see a brighter future for themselves – I’m betting not more than 2 or 3…if you are one of those few Band of Brothers, email me.