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.
Interesting article about the reviews, especially the part about the token. I’ve put up a page on our site that will allow any customer to put their order# and shipping zip code in to check the status of their order. If the order has been shipped, the page will also track their order through FedEx and give them the current status (out for delivery, etc.), and the expected delivery date. I might make a change at some point to institute the token so people don’t have to browse through emails to find their order#.
PS: Thanks for all of your work on the responsive osC version. I recently redesigned the site using this as the jumping off point.
John, thumbsup for doing something to allow customers to quickly and easily see order status. Most shopowners probably have never thought about accessing their site as a customer would…
TYVM for the comment about the (r)osc…I’m happy to have kept my word about giving users a useable Responsive version.