Knowledgebase: Settings
How does anonymous checkout work on my store?

By default, your 3dcart store will require that your shoppers create a customer record on the store when a purchase is made. During the checkout process, they are generally asked for their billing and shipping information as well as their email address and a password which can then be used to log into their account during future purchases.

The advantage to this system is that your shoppers have an account which they can log into and review their order history with your store, Another advantage is that is can help you manage your customer information more efficiently by having your store record their purchases in one centralized location.

However, you also have the option of setting up your store so that it allows anonymous checkout. With anonymous checkout, your shoppers are not required to create a customer record at all. This can help streamline the checkout process and may be viewed as a better shopping experience by some of your customers.

If Anonymous Checkout is something you're interested in, the following article will explain how to set it up and how it works with your 3dcart store.


Enabling Anonymous Checkout

The first step in the process will be to remove the password requirement on your store's checkout pages. To begin, please take the following steps:

  1. Log into your 3dcart Online Store Manager
  2. Using the left hand navigation menu, go to Settings ->General ->Store Settings
  3. Once there, click on the "Checkout" tab along the top area of the page.
  4. Next, look for and uncheck the "Password is required" checkbox.

With this setting disabled, the password field in your store's checkout pages will now be optional.

Note
There is a similarly titled setting labeled "Email is required" which essentially performs the same action for the shopper's email address by making it optional as well.

However, not requiring an email address during checkout can also prevent your shopper from receiving order notification messages. Therefore, it is usually recommended to have at least the email requirement set on the store.


Shopper Experience

By following the above steps, the password requirement during checkout is now an optional entry for your shoppers. Any new customer coming to your store will have the option of creating a customer record (by setting a password) or just checking out anonymously with no cusotmer record created.

However, this setting can also affect your existing customers as well. We've set up the following scenarios to help explain how each of these types of customers will be affected.

Brand New Customers Scenario

For new customers, the effect will be minimal.

  1. Customer A is a brand new customer purchasing a product on your store.
  2. They add item to their cart and proceed to checkout.
  3. At the checkout screens they are asked for their billing and shipping information.
  4. When they get to the section where it asks for the email and password, the password field is no longer required, so they leave this field blank.

  1. They checkout and complete their purchase
  2. The store will still record their order information, but no customer record is created at all.

Alternately, if the customer specifies a password in the field, then the store will create a customer record for them and they will be listed in the Online Store Manager's Customers area.

Up next we'll describe how this setting will affect your existing customers.

Existing Customers Scenario 1

Customer B on the other hand is an existing customer of yours. They've purchased in the past and have an active customer record set on your store. In this case, the password requirement is still optional, so they will not need to enter it on the store during the purchase process.

  1. Customer B comes back to your store and adds an item to their cart.
  2. They then proceed to checkout.

At this point, they are asked to log into their account, but let's say they ignore this part and proceed to fill out the order form.

  1. At the checkout screens they are asked for their billing and shipping information.
  2. When they get to the section where it asks for the email and password, the password field is no longer required, so they leave this field blank.

  1. They checkout and complete their purchase
  2. The store will still record their order information, but the order itself is NOT tied to their existing customer record at all.

In this situation, the existing customer is allowed to check out their order. However, since a password was not entered, the store has no way of correlating it to the existing customer record. Therefore, the order is created, but it is not attached to the customer's record at all. Should the customer ever log into their My Account section to review orders, this particular order will not be present.

Tip
As Merchant, you can open up the "Action" button on the order and use the "Link To Customer" option to add this order to the customer's existing record.

Existing Customer Scenario 2

Similarly, Customer C is also an existing customer who has shopped at your store before and has their previously created customer record as well. However, unlike Customer B, they do attempt to add a password to the checkout screen.

  1. Customer C comes back to your store and adds an item to their cart.
  2. They then proceed to checkout.

At this point, they are asked to log into their account, but just like Customer B, they ignore this part and proceed to fill out the order form.

  1. At the checkout screens they are asked for their billing and shipping information.
  2. When they get to the section where it asks for the email and password, the password field is no longer required. However in this case, they add a password.

Unfortunately, the password they entered is not the same as the one they previously created with your store. In this case, the store will recognize that the order is to be tied to a particular customer record. However, the password entered is incorrect as far as the database is concerned. Therefore, it will return an error to the shopper advising them that the email address is already tied to an account.

At this point, your returning shopper will have the following options available to them:

  • Use a different email address
  • Leave the password blank like Customer B did
  • Go to the My Account page and use the "Forgot Your Password?" option to reset their password on the customer record.

Tip
To help avoid these types of issues, you can always add verbiage to your store which can advise your shoppers that passwords are no longer required unless they want to create a customer record. The "CustomerInfo" section found in Settings ->Design ->Store Language would be an excellent place to start!


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