When placing an order on your store, a shopper can check out as an existing customer or as as a guest. Most shoppers know the advantages of using a customer account, but some may prefer to check out anonymously!
There are pros and cons to allowing anonymous checkout, so be sure to configure your store settings accordingly. If you know you want to disable anonymous checkout on your store, see Anonymous Checkout Config Variables below.
Benefits of Anonymous Checkout
As a merchant, the primary benefit of offering anonymous accounts is a better conversion rate. Various industry reports show that up to 20% of abandoned carts can be attributed to forced registration. Some shoppers are instantly turned off by the idea of creating an account to make a purchase, particularly among today's ever-increasing mobile shopper demographic!
Anonymous Checkout Config Variables
By default, your Volusion store includes an account registration section on the checkout page.
To access the config variables associated with anonymous checkout from your Admin Area:
Go to Settings > Config Variables.
In the Name field, type "anonymous".
Click Search at the bottom of the page.
Allow Anonymous Checkouts (gives customers the option to log in, register for an account, or place an order without creating an account or logging in).
All Checkouts Anonymous (prevents creation of a store account, even when placing an order).
If you deselect both options, customers must either sign in to an existing account or register a new account before they can place an order.
Identifying an Anonymous Account
Your store creates a record for each anonymous customer, just like it does for registered customers. If you have the Anonymous column exposed as part of your Customers > Accounts table view, you'll be able to identify an anonymous account by the "Y" that displays in this column.
If this column doesn't appear in your customer accounts table by default, see Advanced Table View Controls to learn more!
When looking at an individual customer record, you can identify anonymous accounts by expanding the Optional Fields section. An anonymous account will have the Customer is Anonymous check box selected.
Anonymous Account Capabilities
Anonymous accounts do not allow stored passwords or payment methods. The password reset function does not work with anonymous accounts, since no original password exists. Anonymous customers also can't view order history or account details from the My Account page.
Anonymous Checkout FAQs
Why can't a registered customer check out anonymously with an existing email address?
A customer can place multiple anonymous orders using the same email address. However, once an email address is associated with a registered customer account, it can no longer be used for anonymous checkout unless their account is set to anonymous.
To accomplish this, a store administrator must edit the registered customer account and select Customer is Anonymous.
If an anonymous customer registers for an account, will my store automatically connect the two accounts?
For security reasons, your store will never automatically combine a registered customer account with an existing anonymous account.
How can I merge an anonymous account with an associated customer account?
You can merge accounts by using the Bulk Update tool. Please note that performing a bulk update can be a huge time saver, but should be done carefully so you don't accidentally undo hours of work!
Before combining multiple customer accounts, determine which customer ID you want to preserve. Create a list of other customer IDs that need to be merged with the primary ID, and check to see if there are any orders associated with the accounts to be consolidated. If both accounts have orders associated with them, you can use a SQL statement to move the orders to one account before merging them.
To merge accounts:
Go to Orders > Process Orders.
From the three-dot actions menu, select Bulk Updates.
From the SET drop-down menu, select CustomerID. In the field to the right of the drop-down, type the Customer ID number you want to keep.
From the WHERE drop-down menu, select CustomerID. From the drop-down directly to the right, select EQUALS. In the last field, type the Customer ID number you want to delete.
Press Apply Changes.
Your bulk update inputs should look something like this:
If you're merging more than two customer accounts, repeat the above process for any additional customer IDs. Once all orders have been consolidated and attached to one customer ID, you can delete the unwanted customer accounts!
Does my store create an account if a someone signs up for newsletters without placing an order?
Your store creates a registered customer account for this visitor, but the account does not have an associated password. If the visitor later chooses to create an account at checkout with the same email address, any new information will be added to the existing customer account!
For more information about registered customer accounts, see Customer Account Management.