Introducing Customer Registration

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We’ve hinted at it over the last few months, and we’re very happy to announce that on Tuesday, we released the first phase of Customer Registration for your Yahoo store. This first phase, launched in beta, introduces registration, sign-in, and account features for your store customers, making it easy for customers to register their information and to enjoy a faster, more efficient checkout experience.

If you’ve signed into your Store Manager since Tuesday morning, you may have noticed that Checkout Manager is now called Checkout & Registration Manager, and that a beta label appears beside this link. The beta label applies to the registration feature only, and not to your checkout pages or the sections of Checkout & Registration Manager that existed prior to this release. We’ve released Customer Registration in beta because during this phase, we’ve introduced mainly buyer-facing features, and not the full feature set. The general release, which will include a merchant feature set, is currently set for early 2011.

What will my store customers see?

When you’ve set up and enabled Customer Registration for your store, your customers will see "Sign In" and "Register" links at the top of your store pages, and a new checkout options page from which they can register or sign-in to their account, or choose to continue placing their order as a guest (if guest checkout is enabled).

Customer Registration Sign In and Register links
Customer Registration “Sign In” and “Register” links

Checkout options page with Sign In, Register, and Guest Checkout options
Checkout options page with "Sign In," "Register," and "Guest Checkout" options

 

Registered customers who are signed into their account will see a welcome message, and "My Account" and "Sign Out" links:

Customer Registration welcome message, My Account, and Sign Out links
Customer Registration welcome message, “My Account,” and “Sign Out” links

 

Registered customers may now access a customer account area. The My Account feature makes it easy for customers to check on the status of open orders and to view shipment and tracking information, without having to contact the store merchant directly. This feature also allows customers to see their order history from the time they’ve registered their account, quickly place repeat orders in one click using the new reorder function, and view and edit their customer information.

My Account area for registered customers
My Account feature for registered customers

 

Customer Registration uses OpenID, which means that your customers won’t have to remember additional usernames or passwords, and can rest assured knowing that they are signing in using a trusted provider. Currently, our system allows customers to register a store account using their existing Yahoo, Google, or AOL user ID. When a customer enters the registration flow, their provider will display the information being shared with the store merchant, and will require them to agree to share this information.

How do I set up and enable Customer Registration?

Installing Customer Registration is a two-part process. First, you must update your store templates to support Customer Registration and publish your changes, and then you must enable it in Checkout & Registration Manager and publish your Order Settings. How you choose to update your store templates will depend on the type of template you use, and your own installation preference.

Customers using standard Editor 3.0 templates can update their store templates by re-running the Design Wizard. If you’re re-running the Design Wizard, please note that any customizations you’ve made that are specific to the template theme will be re-set. For example, if you’ve uploaded an image header, you will need to upload this image again. Learn which settings this affects. Custom settings that are not specific to the template theme will not be overwritten. If you’re using our Floating Cart feature, your floating cart and mini-cart settings will not be reset.

Customers using standard Editor 2.0 templates or custom templates can update their store templates using either a div code and JavaScript code, or by adding two new RTML operators to their templates. If you have previously installed a div code and JavaScript code for the Floating Cart feature, or previously added the FC-BAR and FC-LOADER RTML operators to your templates, the new div code and JavaScript code, or new RTML operators must replace these. If you are using Floating Cart and do not wish to use Customer Registration, your existing div code and JavaScript code, or existing RTML operators will still function.

Information about manual setup for Editor 2.0 templates and custom templates can be found in the Global Settings section of Checkout & Registration Manager, in the Customer Registration Manual Setup tab. Instructions for how to install and enable Customer Registration can also be found in online help:

At this time, Customer Registration is not supported for stores built using Web Hosting tools. Support for Web Hosting stores will become available in the coming days, and will be announced on the blog.

Can I customize my Customer Registration settings?

Checkout & Registration Manager gives you the ability to customize your Customer Registration settings. You can enable or disable guest checkout, offer registration to customers using guest checkout upon completion of their order, and can customize the content of your registration and customer account pages. Advanced features, such as customizable Customer Registration buttons and CSS-editing options, let you control the look and feel of your registration and customer account pages.

You can even personalize the registration confirmation email sent to your customers upon registering, by modifying the email content in the Shipment & Order Status section of Store Manager.

Why should I enable Customer Registration before the general release?

While the first phase of Customer Registration launches the buyer-facing features, by enabling Customer Registration now, you can begin collecting important customer and order information. The data collected from the time you enable Customer Registration will be stored and available to you upon release of our merchant feature set.

More information about Customer Registration, and how to install, enable, and customize this feature are available in our online help center. We look forward to bringing you the merchant feature set early next year, and to continue making enhancements that will help you provide a better shopping experience for your customers.

Jennifer Farwell
Yahoo Small Business
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Comments

[...] customers may now access a customer account area," says Yahoo’s Jennifer Farwell. "The My Account feature makes it easy for customers to check [...]

Pingback by Yahoo Lets Store Owners Offer Customer Registration | O-I Newswire — August 20, 2010 @ 8:51 am

Hi – I’ve been anxiously awaiting this release – so glad that Ystore will now have customer registration. As it stands now the registration only allows customers with yahoo / google or AOL accounts to register. We service many corporations with employees who purchase for their employers. They want to use their work email addresses – not their personal AOL accounts to register. Will the Yahoo system support users who want to register with an email from a domain other than google / aol or yahoo?? Thank You

Comment by Dave — August 20, 2010 @ 9:34 am

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your comment, and we’re very glad to hear you’re happy about the Customer Registration feature. As you mentioned, yes, customers can currently register using their Yahoo, Google, or AOL user ID. It should be noted that customers can change the email address associated with their account, so they can receive notification emails, etc. at any email address they choose. To do this, customers should go to the Account Settings tab of their My Account page, click the “edit” link, and update their email address. This does not change their user ID.

As with any feature, we do listen to your feedback for future enhancements, and what your customers are requesting from you. Your feedback and request has been seen by our product team, and we’ll keep everyone updated about enhancements to account registration options as we continue to build on our Customer Registration system.

Comment by Jennifer Farwell — August 20, 2010 @ 9:54 am

As a couple comments. We have been having a few problems with the caching of the shopping cart when someone goes from being “not logged in” to “logging in”. These problems could be solved if the system had a universal cart. This way once someone logs in their cart is saved indefinitely with the particular account. They could then look at items while at work and then when they arrive home be able to log back in and place the order.

Since it will be awhile until the merchant side of customer registration is complete it would be great if there was something at the order level that showed whether or not the person had an account. Right now we have no real way of knowing whether the account registration is beneficial or not and a yes/no on an order would let us know if customers are using it.

Comment by Doug — August 24, 2010 @ 12:03 pm