In order for a website to work efficiently and produce optimal results, it needs to operate smoothly for all customers using the platform. Even small glitches can easily discourage visitors from making a purchase, while major flaws in a website’s design or functionality can put buyers off your ecommerce business for good.
For many businesses that rely on a loyal customer base, the login step is one of the most crucial parts of the buying process. As well as helping buyers feel like they’re invested in the business, logging in can help companies to gather valuable information on their customers – something that can then be used to inform future product lines or marketing campaigns. However, when this step goes wrong, it can spell disaster. Slow, error-packed or confusing logins can put buyers off your company and even drive them into the arms of your competitors.
The best way to ensure that your login is an asset rather than a hindrance is to manage the process smoothly and efficiently. If customers can log in to your site with just a few clicks, they’ll be a lot more likely to stay with your business and buy from you again in the future. Keep reading to find out more.
Why have a login page?
According to our recent benchmark report, around 29.4% of websites have a dedicated login page. That means that just over one in four ecommerce businesses ask buyers to log in before completing a purchase. However, our report also revealed that, on average, websites without dedicated login pages actually had an overall conversion rate that was 2.7% higher than those with a login step. This could make some business owners question whether a login page is right for them, especially if their conversion rate is on the low side already.
Although errors and abandoned carts are a risk for websites with login pages, there are a lot of benefits to be gained from asking customers to join up to your site and give you their details. For a start, it provides you with an instant mailing list. Emailing individuals and companies that have already bought from your site can help you to boost business, create a loyal following and encourage past buyers to make a repeat purchase.
What’s more, asking customers to log in also allows you to track their buying habits a little more closely. This can provide you with invaluable information when it comes to planning your future marketing campaigns, creating new product lines and tailoring your brand identity to better appeal to your target audience.
Asking customers to log in can also help them to feel like they’re part of your business. This is especially true if you take the opportunity provided by a login step to show them special offers or product lines they might be interested in. Once they’re successfully signed up to your site, there’s also a good chance that the ease of logging in and making a purchase will make them more likely to select your company over your rivals in the future.
How to minimise error rates
One thing that’s likely to put customers off at the login stage is an error message. According to our research, the average error rate at this crucial step is 16.6%. This means that around one in six login attempts results in a failure. Unsurprisingly, a lot of customers choose to abandon their purchase rather than persist with a glitchy login. If your login page is particularly tricky to use, it could even result in your customers navigating to the site of one of your competitors.
The best way to minimise errors on your login page is to have the step designed by a professional. This should help to ensure that the page is easy to use and that glitches and errors are removed as quickly as possible.
From a design point of view, it’s important that your login fields are large and clearly marked. If you’ve asked customers to use special characters or capital letters in their password then remind them of these requirements, as missed capitals and characters are a common cause of login failure. It’s also important to ensure that a reset password link is placed prominently on the page so that customers can get help quickly if their login continues to hit problems.
When designing your login page, make sure you avoid hiding fields like the password or login name. You should also avoid asking guest visitors for an email address at the login stage as this added step could put them off.
When you ask customers to log in to your site, you should always try to offer guest login as well as standard options. Allowing guests to continue the buying process without asking them to sign up to your site can help to encourage all visitors to your ecommerce store to complete their purchase, whether they’re planning a return visit or not.
If you want to optimise your site, make a login a convenience rather than a chore. After all, if customers use their details to log in, they won’t have to fill in their card number or billing address, something that can speed up the buying process and make the purchase even smoother.
However you decide to design your login page, make sure all fields are clearly marked and easy to use. Only ask for essential details and keep the process as quick and as easy as possible.
Investing time and effort into designing and managing the login step on your website can help to minimise login errors and maximise customer satisfaction. Find out more about optimising your web presence, and how we can help you get more from your ecommerce site, by getting in touch with a member of our team or taking a look around our site.