BackIntroduction to B3

Guest Checkout: Simplify Purchases and Boost Sales

What is a guest checkout?

Guest checkout is an ecommerce feature allowing customers to purchase without creating an account. It simplifies buying processes such as entering shipping details, selecting payment methods, and finalizing orders, particularly for occasional shoppers.

No information entered through a guest checkout is stored in the business’s database. The information only applies to the single order and is used to complete the transaction. 

The process differs from account-based checkout, which requires shoppers to log in with a username and password. The purpose of account-based checkouts is to expedite future purchases from the store. It also allows the business to offer personalized promotions and product recommendations based on the shopper’s behavior. 

Benefits of guest checkout

Nearly half of online consumers prefer to check out as a guest for two key reasons: they believe it’s faster than creating an account, and they don’t have to input as much personal information. As a result, guest checkout conversion rates for first-time shoppers are often higher because there are fewer barriers to completion. 

The advantages of guest checkout include:

  • Reduced friction. Twenty-four percent of cart abandonment happens because the site requires the shopper to create an account to complete a purchase. By making account creation—or login—optional, you can eliminate a leading cause of customer drop-off. 
  • Speed. Two-thirds of consumers expect to checkout in four minutes or less. Guest checkout helps you meet this expectation by allowing shoppers to skip account creation. 
  • Trust. Guest checkouts can help create trust with first-time buyers wary about sharing their data. They only provide the information necessary to complete and ship the purchase—no need to provide a username or password, and their personal info won’t be stored. If they have a positive experience, they may be more likely to create an account next time.

Drawbacks of guest checkout 

While the disadvantages of guest checkout are real, they mainly apply to sellers. It’s up to you to determine if the pros of guest checkout outweigh the cons: 

  • No data. For ecommerce merchants, the inability to collect valuable data is the leading drawback of guest checkouts. Ecommerce platforms like B3 only collect and store user information when shoppers create an account. No information besides the customer’s email address and a record of their order is stored in your database. This can create issues for businesses that use customer data—like buyer demographics and order history—to engage with customers.
  • No follow-up marketing. Unless they’ve opted for email communications, ecommerce stores only contact guest purchasers to confirm the order and provide shipping updates—no promotional emails, testimonial requests, or other communication to encourage future transactions and repeat purchases. 
  • No order history tracking. Since guest purchase data is so limited, it can be difficult to track a customer’s order history, understand buyer activity before purchase, and refine sales and marketing tactics to attract more first-time buyers.