I recently entered into a referral deal with a certain online store, whereby my site links to the store and my organization receives a portion of the referred profits.

After receiving several complaints from my site's users who were having a hard time using the referred store's shopping cart, I discovered that their shopping cart requires each new user to (a) register with the site, including creating a password and reminder question, (b) check their inbox for a verification email from the site and click on the verification link, then (c) login to the site using their email and password. This is all required before they are allowed to start shopping. To me this seems like if you would go to your local grocery store and be required to complete a military training obstacle course and solve a series of trivia questions before you would be allowed in the store!

I am concerned that (a) this is causing lost sales which makes my referral deal less valuable, (b) is reflecting badly on my site since I am linking to it and (c) is taking up my time dealing with the complaints of my users.

Since I like to always consider both sides of an issue and don't have much experience with the ins and outs shopping cart apps, I would like to find out if perhaps there is something I am missing, and there is some good reason why a shopping cart would be set up in this manner. Are there any commonly used shopping carts that do this and why?

1 Answer 1


Often sites require an email address to be verified. Sometimes they let you use the site without that step been completed, maybe not letting you do everything that a verified user would.

I don't remember seeing a site that requires the verification step before letting you check out. What would be more sensible is if they took the order but didn't ship until the verification was done.

("often" and "sometimes" are in my experience, I don't have statistics to hand.)

  • Please explain what the reasoning is to requiring email verification in order to ship a product that has been paid for? What is the problem that is being solved by requiring this?
    – BlueWhale
    Oct 10, 2011 at 14:23
  • The user could put someone else's email address in there, or maybe mistype their own email. They don't need the user to register at all in order to ship something, but for someone reason, maybe so they can tracking spending, or send promotional emails, they want users to create an account. Oct 10, 2011 at 14:38

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