Introducing e-commerce user accounts
July 28, 2011
We just deployed an important update to UGAL: your customers can now create accounts with your online store. Creating accounts remains optional, and is done once the order is placed: the checkout process stays as simple and quick as possible. When shoppers sign-in to your website with their account, the checkout fields are pre-populated with the information from their last order.
Enabling customer accounts
Customer accounts are not enabled by default on your website, and you need to activate them to start benefiting from the new functionality. Enabling customer accounts is done from the "Settings" section of your store, after clicking the "Customer accounts" link:
Once Customer accounts are enabled, shoppers receive an email after their first order is placed to invite them to create an account. The activation interface allows you to customize the content of the invitation email. It contains a link to a page of your website where the shopper needs to choose only a password to create his account:
Shoppers that decide to take on the invitation and create an account will be listed in the "Users" tab of your website. If you website uses the Intranet option, the new users are added to your "Public" group. You can then re-assign them to other groups if needed.
Guest checkout always possible
Even with the Customer accounts functionality enabled, visitors will be able to place orders without creating an account. This is by design and is meant again to keep the checkout process as quick and simple as possible. Too many orders are lost everyday on the internet because of poorly designed checkouts.
Customer accounts was one of the most requested new functionality for UGAL. Having it available is a huge step forward and paves the way for other related functionalities. We are currently looking at things like:
- Better user management (from the "Users" tab of your website).
- The ability to assign customer numbers to users so that orders can be retrieved by customer number instead of just user.
- Order history and order tracking for your customers.
Your feedback is key in helping us decide on new development, please keep sending us your ideas and requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.