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Treating your 'guests' as 'customers' in WooCommerce

The way that WooCommerce handles 'guest customers' has always confused me.

When a user on a WooCommerce store is checking out, they're given the option to create an account (if they aren't logged in to one already). If they check the box and enter a password, WooCommerce registers an account for them and considers them a 'customer' in all reports. They also have a profile in WooCommerce, where their information is stored.

Have you even been online buying something and when faced with that question "Create an account?", just not felt like it? Perhaps you just didn't want to register another account, remember another password, and have another store profile to keep updated. I know I have.

To the customer, there's no real difference whether they check out as a guest or a registered customer. Sure, there are some advantages to being registered, like having an 'account' area where they can log in and see their past orders, but that's pretty much it.

For the store though, there is a huge difference. Guests appear to be one-off customers. WooCommerce doesn't 'link' a guest's multiple orders. That 'guest' doesn't have a customer profile. That 'guest' won't appear as a 'new customer' in reports. That 'guest' is simply that - a guest - when in reality, they're a customer, and they'll likely come back and make multiple orders as a customer, with each one appearing to be a 'guest order' when really it's a 'repeat order from an existing customer'.

There is no easy solution to this in WooCommerce. You could force users to create an account when checking out, which isn't a great user experience. Or you could create some custom code that 'links' guest orders together, but that isn't going to be fun for you to maintain and keep running well.

Up until now, Metorik followed WooCommerce's approach and only considered a user a 'customer' if they had an account, with guest orders excluded from reports and customer lists.

As of today though, Metorik considers a 'guest' to be a 'customer'!

When a guest order comes in, a 'customer profile' is created for them in Metorik if they don't have one under their email already. Any other orders made by that customer with their same email are linked too.

So what does that mean?

  • You can get stats like LTV for 'guest customers' that don't have accounts on your store.
  • 'Guest customers' have profiles in Metorik.
  • 'Guest customers' are included in reports as 'new customers'.
  • You can filter orders and customers by the 'customer type', to find orders made by registered customers or orders made by 'guests'.
  • If a guest later registers, their past orders made as a guest are included in their customer profile.

Simply put, guests are just customers in Metorik.

To learn more about the difference between guests and customers, check out our help doc that explains it.

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