How does anonymous checkout work on my store?
By default, your Shift4Shop 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 Shift4Shop 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:
With this setting disabled, the password field in your store's checkout pages will now be optional.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: