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Step by Step
         Editing Your Store... (pg. 9)
By Sabra Lutz, Technology Matrix Group - Copyright 2001
Step 15

Now we have reached the last tab for this tutorial which is   "Customer Accounts".  This section deals with the link that customers will use to create/login to their customer account.

The first item on the page is a checkbox that determines whether the customer will see a link at the very top of the category tree or not.  If you choose not to display it, customers will still have access to creating, logging into, and editing their accounts through the "Accounts" button on the top navigation bar.  But, it is definitely not as noticeable and will not be a visible reminder to the customer as to whether they are logged in or not.  We recommend displaying this link. 

The "Customer Login Link" will be what the link will say before the customer creates an account or logs in.  You may want to change the Merchant default "Sign In" to something more meaningful like "Account Login", "Customer Login", or anything else you like.  You can leave it as is, but it just does not sound very welcoming. 

The "Customer Account Link" is the wording they will see after they create an account or login.  Merchant can greet the customer using his first name, or both first and last name.  Merchant defaults to greeting the customer by his/her first and last name, with "Welcome back," and has a period in the box that is provided for additional words/punctuation.  So, theoretically, if the customer's name were John Vader the link at the top of the category tree would change from "Sign In" to "Welcome back, John Vader."

However, we suggest you specify "NONE" because in reality, Merchant will use the first and last name of the person in the "ship to" field!  This means that if John Vader sent a gift to his mother Ella Vader after creating an account, the 'sign in' link will change to "Welcome back, Ella Vader."!!!???  So, we believe it is far better for the customer to simply see "Welcome back." than to be greeted with another person's name.

Another tip, that will make it easier for the customer to use the "Sign In" link properly is to add more words in the "punctuation" box.  We will explain further, but first we should mention that in order to edit information or logout, the customer will need to click on the "Welcome back." link.   As you can imagine, most customers will not figure this out intuitively by reading the words "Welcome back." 

So, we suggest the following:

Keep the "Welcome back!" (we added an ! to it), select the "none" radio button (for the name), then in the 'punctuation' box put <BR>Click to edit/logout.  This may look odd, but if you try it without the <BR>, your category tree will expand to accommodate the whole string of text and become quite wide. 

The customer sees this:

instead of simply this:

The last item on the page is the "Display Login Before Order Form" check box.  If it is selected customers will see a page prompting them to login to their account before checking out.  It will offer them the option of checking out "without an account", and a link to create an account if they don't have one.  We see no reason to deselect this option unless you do not want to use customer accounts in your store at all.  (You can do this by replacing the "Accounts" button on the top navigation bar with a 1x1 pixel transparent GIF and de-selecting the "Display Link Above Categories" check box and the "Display Login Before Order Form".)

Step 16

Finally, hit the "Update" button and you're done editing your store! Well, for now anyway :o)


Quick Tips

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