Case Study: Does Forced Registration Kill Sales?

To buy from this highly established retailer, you needed to sign in or register as soon as you entered the checkout.

Google Analytics, biometric customer research, and session recordings showed that users didn’t like being forced to register just to buy a product. This was a problem, because over 50% of the transactions on this site were from new customers.

Hypothesis and Psychological Technique Applied

Most users expect eCommerce businesses to allow guest checkout, wherein they wouldn’t need to create an account with the brand. This is the mental model an average user has about online transactions—it is the users’ expectation from or belief about the checkout process.

We believed that if we allowed new customers (and returning customers if they wanted to) to checkout as a guest, conversions would increase. This would match users’ mental models and increase their confidence of having control over the results of their actions, encouraging checkout.


We added a guest checkout option.

Forced registration killing sales


Forced registration killing sales



From the observed data, we were able to see that the Variation showed a high probability of being better than the Control.


The experiment concluded that matching the mental model of users and increasing their sense of freedom motivates them to purchase. The easier you make it for your customers to buy, the more they will.

Getting registrations was the objective of the business. The objective of the customer was to buy. Don’t receive to then give; first give the customers what they want and you will receive what you want.

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