A smart approach to customer registration


If customers have to register for your site before they can complete certain transactions, asking for less information is usually a good thing. So when I signed up for a new account on an e-commerce site a few days ago, I was pleased to see that all they asked for was my email address and a password of my choice. After I logged in, however, I was surprised that they had my name, phone number, and other info pre-filled.

Where did they get this data? It turns out that I requested info from the site earlier, and even though I never made an account, they associated the info with my email address in their database. Overall, I think this is a very smart move. The customer doesn’t have to register until they’re ready, but the site remembers what they put in earlier to save time.

The only thing that I’d recommend in this case is a little more disclosure of what’s going on. In particular, after filling out an info request form, it should say that the info you’ve provided will be saved with your email address in case you want to make an account later. Then, when you do register, it should advise you that the account has been populated with the info from earlier, and tell you how to edit that info if desired. Although I quickly realized what happened, since only a day elapsed between these steps, someone who completed them months apart would probably be a lot more confused.