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:
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.
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.