I read a story once about a guy who wanted to get a new compact flash card. He’d done some looking around and found the one that he wanted at a price he liked. Then, when he went to add it to the shopping cart the site hit him with a four page signup form asking dozens of questions that had nothing to do with his desire to buy a memory card. Somewhere into the second page he decided that this was just too much and not worth the savings. He closed that browser tab and settled for a slightly more expensive unit at another site that didn’t want his life story for a $25 memory card.
Something that will cause more people to bounce away from your checkout is if your site forces them to answer a whole boatload of questions and jump through several hoops to create an account just to use the shopping cart.
Instead, the best way to go is to collect the minimum needed amount of information when they’re making the purchase. As part of the shopping cart checkout is the time to ask them for a UserName.
Tell them that this username will make the checkout process faster in future transactions as well as allowing them to check the status of current orders.
Then, after the transaction, have your autoresponder send them an email that confirms their login information and tells them the url to use to log into their account so that they can check the status of transactions or just continue shopping with shipping and billing information already in the system.
Just copy this code and paste it on your site where you want the link to appear: