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Having an online user account with a retailer can have its advantages, including faster checkout and the opportunity for a more personalized shopping experience. And while a report [download page] from DMI found that 46% of the more than 1,500 US adult consumers they surveyed use online accounts, some factors are making the rest hesitate.
One of the barriers that stops consumers from creating user accounts is that they know that emails will follow. About one-third (32%) of respondents are not interested in receiving marketing emails.

Historically, people say that retailers send relevant and accurate emails more than other industries. Yet, while more recent data shows that many consumers are scanning subject lines to decide whether to open retailer emails, others stay subscribed because it’s just too difficult to unsubscribe. Consumers making multiple purchases online at various retailers possibly are hesitant to wade through the resulting emails should they create user accounts.

One-quarter (24%) of respondents also say they are nervous about providing personal information. Most marketers are well aware that data security and privacy are top demands of customers in the digital age – know and what the consequences could be if they do not secure customer data. US shoppers have been known to walk away from brands who use their customer data without their knowledge and many others have stopped using a brand after a data breach.

The nervousness some consumers feel about their data being misused has also led to many taking actions to reduce their digital footprint. Some have gone so far as to only purchase products in-store as opposed to purchasing online.

Another reason shoppers forego signing up for a user account is the time it takes, with 22% saying the process takes too long. Additionally, another 13% of respondents say they don’t sign up for a user account because they are not planning on buying from the store again.

Separate research from Namogoo in 2018 showed that three-quarters of shoppers want an easy checkout process – a figure far higher than those that want the website to remember their preferences and history. So in this context, e-commerce merchants should strongly consider offering a guest checkout process.

The report can be accessed online here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 1,530 US adults, two-thirds of which have a household income of less than $100K.

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