In a world cluttered with information, visual data, and attention-grabbing notifications, your websites and apps must stand out to stay in the minds and hearts of your users. The more consumers trust your brand, the more likely they are to engage with it. Users who trust a website or app, will share it with their friends, entrust their personal information, purchase from your shop, and engage in the discussion.
Just like any relationship, the user's relationship with your brand evolves gradually. However, first impressions are critical, and users will abandon your website with ease if their trust is violated. You can think of the evolution of trust as a series of steps, where users proceed to the next step only if they are sure the one they are currently standing on is secure.
- Prove relevance - A prospective user is visiting your property for the first time. Is your offering compatible to the user's needs? Be clear and direct about your value offering.
- Go slow - The user is getting to know you. Don't ask for your user's personal information (or for any kind of input) before they have become acquainted with your site. Sometimes it's enough to move the registration form to the bottom of the page - below the important content, and not above it. Also, always ask for the minimal amount of information. Are last name and home address an absolute must for the initial registration? Is signing up crucial at this stage?
- Upfront disclosure - At the critical moment (registration, purchase), don't hide the important things in the fine print. Tell users clearly why you need their personal information and what are you doing with it. Outline what is covered by your services or products and, perhaps more importantly, what isn't.
- Give control - Don't betray the trust you were given. Prove to your users that they have control over their personal data.
- Exceed expectations - Now it's up to you to deliver your promises. Remember that every contact point with the customer can be an opportunity.
Registration-as-a-Service is a powerful tool for building a trust-based relationship with your customers, and engaging your users with your brand. You can raise your registration rates by implementing some of our best practice recommendations.
The recommendations presented here are divided into three categories:
- Form optimization: anything to do with the actual flow users undergo from anonymous to fully registered. This includes the design of your website, the calls-to-action, and the registration form.
- Centralized profile: discusses a data structure in a multi-site installation whereby users are required to register fewer times to gain access to the added value provided by registration.
- Progressive profiling: helps reduce the number of fields that are required when registering for the first time, thereby reducing friction and dropout. Progressive profiling can play an important part in building a trust-based relationship with customers, and in creating a more personalized user experience.
Please keep in mind that this guide includes general recommendations; your business needs may vary, and implementation use cases may differ from the ones listed here. We also recommend testing and analyzing changes you make to the registration flow, for maximum optimization.
In the Screen-Sets page of Gigya's Console, you can see the registration conversion rates for your site:
There are many ways to increase registration rates on your site. We have gathered some of these recommendations in relation to Gigya registration screens.
You can offer your users a chance to register or login passively (as "Login | Register" links or buttons visible on a page of your site), or actively, by combining the login and registration flows with other user flows of your site, such as content consumption, contest participation, gamification and more ("Register to continue"). In either of these places, consider the following:
- Be clear about the value that users are receiving by creating a profile on your site.
- The hierarchy of the web or mobile page should be optimized to emphasize the registration option and its benefits.
- The number of steps (including page clicks, confirmation checkboxes, and required fields) needed to complete registration should be kept to a minimum.
- Whether you use buttons, clickable links, or embedded registration forms, users should be able to find them quickly and easily from any page of your site, and especially the home page.
- Consider testing and optimizing the different flows, button sizes, and texts that channel users into the registration flow. Note that what works for one industry (e.g. a coupon website) may not work for another (e.g., a pharmaceutical company).
The Registration Screen
The design of the registration screen and login options that are offered have a significant impact on whether users submit their registration or abandon the effort at some point.
If you are using Gigya's screen-sets, the UI Builder offers extensive options for designing your screen, including changing fields, colors, and texts. The UI Builder supports custom CSS, using Markup Extensions, and hosting custom JS code with Gigya.
Whether you use the UI Builder or not, the form design should take into account the following:
- Number of fields required for registration: this should be kept to a minimum
- The hierarchy of the various elements on the screen should make up a logical flow without clutter.
- Visual design of the various screen elements, including colors, images, icons, backgrounds, shape and size of the form, and more.
- Texts: In the UI Builder you can customize any customer-facing text, including placeholders. Texts should match your brand voice, include a clear presentation of value (e.g., "register to access exclusive content") and a clear call to action. All parts of the flow should be clearly explained. For example, instead of being vague: "Use your social profile", clarify: "Register using an existing social identity".
- If your implementation requires gathering a lot of information about the user, consider still keeping the number of required fields in the registration screen to a minimum, and to include those fields in a separate flow as part of progressive profiling (see below). This way, the user has completed registration and is considered "converted", while additional information is submitted further down the line.
- If your registration process does require that the user fill in many fields, instead of having one long form that can deter users from even beginning, break down the process into multiple forms, preferably with a clear context (e.g. "Step 1: Personal Details; Step 2: What Do You Plan To Achieve Using Our Program?" etc.). If the process is short, reflect to the users how many total steps there are, and keep texts friendly, conversational and encouraging, in keeping with your brand voice (e.g. "We're almost done!").
- If your multiple-step process requires a non-standard piece of information, try and ask for that information in the first registration screen, so as not to cause frustration when confronting this on the last step of the process. For example, it's an unpleasant user experience if a user that tries to sign up to your library website provides first and last name on the first screen, information about their reading habits on the second, only to discover on the third a mandatory field with their non-existent library membership number, which they did not realize was required in this process.
Minimal fields, minimal social login options, clear calls to action, clear value proposition
In addition to providing users with the option of a site account registration, Gigya offers a variety of options for users to log in with existing social accounts, with their phones, or with other identities.
Since these options are usually easier for new site users, we recommend that you locate these registration options before the "account creation" option. For example, display a short and clear text "Quickly log in with your social account" followed by a social network icon, above the "or" separator which is followed by "Provide the following details", followed by the fields required for registration.
- Social Login - Gigya's Social Login is an authentication system that allows users to register and login to your site using their social network accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and more. The login is secure and simple, providing users with an easy way to use your site without having to create yet another password, granting you permissions to store their publicly-available user data. Gigya best practice recommendations for Social Login:
- Place the social login options before the site login option, which includes required fields and may deter users.
- Usually, a large majority of the social logins are done on 2-3 social networks. These networks usually include high-quality user data. If this is the case on your site, you can remove all other login options, to clear visual clutter and capture more valuable user data.
- SMS Login - OTP - gives your users the option to log in using an automatically generated code that is sent to their phones. This is especially useful when potential users don't necessarily own an email address.
- Federation - advanced federated options include SAML and OpenID Connect.
In multi-site installations, you can offer users the option to register once, and access many properties. There are many other benefits to Site Groups and Single Sign-On, such as infrastructure simplification and data accessibility; in the context of improving conversion rates, a centralized database:
- Can give the registered user access to multiple brands with one login, thereby reducing the need for an additional registration
- Simplifies the relationship with the account
- If the sites belong to the same SSO segment, spares users the need to login again when they visit more than one site in the same browsing session
Registration screen clearly features the two brands to which you register when signing up
Watch out for the following implementation pitfalls:
- Do not include completely unrelated sites in the same SSO segment
- Do ensure users are aware of all the brands they are registering to
- Do ensure users give explicit consent to engage with a specific brand (be compliant with GDPR), but,
- Do not perform cross-marketing activities based on that consent (avoid being creepy and comply with GDPR and other standards)
Progressive profiling is used to incrementally collect profile data over time, as a relationship of trust is built between your site and the customer. Users may become frustrated or suspicious when you require a lot of personal information as a prerequisite for registration. Instead of creating lengthy registration forms with many required fields, you can use reduce form abandonment by using progressive profiling to request information from your user further down the line. Information is gathered unobtrusively over time while the registration rate stays high. Progressive profiling should be an opportunity to build trust with your customers, as you can serve them better when you know more about them.
You can implement progressive profiling scenarios in several ways. One way is to add custom code to your global site configuration, that tracks the relevant events. Another method is to use Markup Extensions for displaying certain screens only if certain conditions are met.
Progressive profiling is implemented by displaying a screen that requests additional information (such as hobbies, preferences, gender), triggered by a specific event that occurs after the user is registered. For example,:
- The user's third login
- User's visit to a certain URL
- Existence or lack of data (e.g. if gender=female, ask this question)
For a detailed explanation about implementing progressive profiling using Gigya's events and attributes, see Progressive Profiling