Are you an existing customer?

I suspect that most store owners would like their customers to purchase more than once – I know that I like people to purchase my products as often as possible!

I’ve never really explored the avenue of “returning customers” to any great degree. My idea this morning is to optimise the checkout (covered in a previous post!). A quick summary:

1. person presses “pay now” (aka checkout)
2. they go to account creation page (rather than the login page) – I feel that the account creation page is less “in your face” that a login page.
3. They create an account and checkout as normal.

Now, my idea is to set a lifetime cookie in the “create_account” process. This cookie will simply show that the person using the computer has already created an account. The next time that they come to buy something from the shop, the cookie will get read and instead of the “pay now” redirecting to “create_account”, it will redirect to “login”…

Note that the cookie will hold no identifiable information such as email address or password etc – just a simple falg to say whether or not an account has been made already.

Does anyone see a downside to this idea?

6 Replies to “Are you an existing customer?”

  1. I have my browser set to delete cookies every time I close the browser which is just my personal preference. But, I would be shocked if a web site remembered my login details after a year, month, etc. That is what stored passwords are for, it is not the intended use of cookies. It would also make things very hard for people on shared computers as there is no way to distinguish them from a private computer.

  2. BCS – you didn’t read the post carefully 😉 I agree 100% with what you have to say, the original post states;

    “Note that the cookie will hold no identifiable information such as email address or password etc – just a simple flag to say whether or not an account has been made already.”

  3. No worries – I’ll increase the font size another notch, as it is a bit on the small side.

    So, what do you reckon? It’s probably not worth the effort, but it might be an extra thing that no other osc site has done? I liek having stuff on my sites that is “different”…

  4. Is this the way Amazon.com works? They seem to make it very easy (1 or 2 clicks) for repeat customers to purchase again… which is what Martha calls “A good thing!”

  5. Ron – I’m not sure, I don’t really use Amazon. My idea was mainly to try and make a site more intuitive to the customer. Unsure if my idea would even be workable, I’ll have to find time to test it out.

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