"you do not need to create an account to make purchases on our site. Simply click Continue to proceed to checkout."
"to make your future BestBuy.com purchases even faster, you can create an account during checkout."
Best Buy had close to $25 bil in revenue in 2004 and 2005.
You may be surprised at how high the the "cart abandonment" rate is on ALL e-commerce sites. With nothing to compare to, perhaps they just assumed those people were a lost cause.
1. Give guests full use of all the features of the site. Posting, editing, befriending, etc. Store this information by identifying them by the combination of IP + username (which they have to enter for each post) or something similar. This will encourage them to participate (no barrier to entry) and let them decide whether or not they want to become a full member.
2. If they register, link everything they posted while they were guests to the new account, i.e. change the username on all the old posts (if necessary), etc. That way they don't lose all their stuff.
3. The only required information should be a username and password. An e-mail address should be optional, with a warning that if you don't provide one you won't be able to recover your account if you lose your login details. Naturally you should be able to provide one later if you decide you really don't want to lose the account. This keeps the "You just want to send me spam" people happy.
4. No mandatory confirmation email. When you click submit on the registration form you should be logged in and ready to go. Opening your mail client/website is an unnecessary and annoying step.
I might have missed one or two points, but adhering to these rules should take the majority of the pain out of registering.
I once tried to establish an OpenID account for stackoverflow, but it was too much of a hassle so I didn't bother registering. Users can just reuse names and passwords. It sucks from a security perspective, but unless you can make it transparent to the user, you're pretty much boned because no one will want to use it.
When it's something as crucial as keeping track of your customers and users, don't "outsource" it unless there is a very, very compelling reason.
"When “Number of Deaths” is one of
the field labels, you can be certain that every design decision is an
Fairly vivid too!
Also, by your logic, every time a big revenue increasing optimization is found, one could say "if this were true, (that company) would have already found it had it existed."
I went out and searched for screenshots myself, and found this one: http://www.webreference.com/programming/xul/amazon.png which shows it more clearly.
Damn, I hate being wrong :-(
And sorry Matt for being so persistent in being wrong. :-)
- The checkout path is the most important part of a site that sells consumer products, the people you lose here are ready to buy: If you lose them during the process it's money right out the window. For this reason it's the most optimised part of any serious retail site.
- This is a pretty standard trap, and any usability professional will know this. I would be very surprised if Amazon, even years ago, was designed by Jeff Bezos 14 year old cousin.
- Amazon is known for running split tests and numbers on their site to see how something works. They have done this since they launched. The thought that they somehow didn't do so on the checkout path, the most important part of the site, is pretty far fetched.
- Jeff Bezos is a numbers guy - he used to be a stock broker, and is crazy about optimising and testing.
It's like saying Steve Jobs approved the new line of Ipods being Scottish tartan with the user interface outsourced to Microsift.
He was a quant. Huge difference. Any idiot could be a broker.
This is a standard trap now, but he was a numbers guy back when it wasn't, and he hired someone to optimize and test. They found that error.
I know you're trying to be funny, but soon after Jobs' return to Apple after the "NeXT exile," things really did seem that surreal for a bit...
(The first two quoted lines are my own interpretation, others are quotes.)
"Amazon is a big company. Big companies don't make amateur mistakes. That's why they're big."
"Therefore, Amazon doesn't make amateur mistakes."
(Repeating this type of logic over and over is...)
"The checkout path is the most important part of a site that sells consumer products, the people you lose here are ready to buy: If you lose them during the process it's money right out the window. For this reason it's the most optimised part of any serious retail site."
"This is a pretty standard trap, and any usability professional will know this."
(Continuing to post more arguments feeling you must be right since no evidence has been provided to the contrary, is...)
"The thought that they somehow didn't do so on the checkout path, the most important part of the site, is pretty far fetched."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man (nobody said they thought Amazon absolutely decided to skip usability testing of checkout functionality. Also, for example, they could have tried but did not think of changing it, or ran out of good subjects who hadn't already used Amazon's checkout page, bad selection of candidates, poor interpretation of results from the split tests, or had lots of bureaucracy or competing work or designs of checkout incompatible with such changes, human error, that this looks easy in retrospect but not something they thought of at the time, person in charge of that being complacent, etc.)
That's just the customized Carnegie Mellon version.
I would say that the numbers are probably accurate.
EDIT:Although I do not see how this one could make 25B a year.
Registration has become synonymous with ways to sneak in email newsletters.