Customer login

eCommerce Guide

Repeat business is fundamental to virtually any eCommerce operation and a customer login area, or user account system, is great way to encourage this by accommodating the needs of repeat shoppers and developing long-term customer relationships.

The customer login area improves the shopping experience for repeat customers by adding more convenience and giving them greater control. It can allow users to:

  • Save time at the checkout
    Registered users only have to log in and click to buy – as the system automatically brings up the necessary delivery and payment details for them.
  • Maintain their personal information
    Users should be able to edit shipping and invoicing addresses, email address and phone number, modify passwords and change payment options and card details.
  • Keep track of orders
    In more advanced user account systems, customers can check the progress of both their orders and returns.
  • Review their purchase history
    You should consider providing this feature if you have customers that make frequent orders.
  • Choose the way you contact them
    Such as by email, SMS or post. You should also remember to provide an opt-in check box so that users can choose whether or not they receive mailings from you.

Depending on the needs of your own particular eCommerce business, you could add any number of useful features to improve the user experience for your returning customers.

For instance, you could allow users to save product searches, store items in a basket for a later date, claim and view gift vouchers or reward points, reorder previous purchases or recommend a product to a friend.

You could even use the login area to offer exclusive access to special promotions. However, the primary function of your user account system is to make your site more usable and accessible to your customers. So make sure you keep your offers relevant and target them to customers based on their previous purchases.

And don’t forget that you should display a visible call to action instructing users that they can unsubscribe from the site if they wish.

What you need to consider

If you intend to sell overseas, make sure that both your initial registration form and customer login area are equally usable by international customers – for instance, by allowing appropriate choices of shipping and formatting of addresses.