Migrating Anonymous Users to Registered Users

Commerce Server 2007
For the latest version of Commerce Server 2007 Help, see the Microsoft Web site.

Most eCommerce Web sites support the concept of anonymous (or guest) users and registered users. An anonymous user is one who does not have any specific personal information that is stored in the site's database. An anonymous user can browse a site, but has restricted permissions on the site. For example, an anonymous user cannot make a purchase or change any personalized information. On the other hand, a registered user has personalized information that is stored in the site's database, such as shipping address, billing address, credit card information, and purchase history.

In your Commerce Server sites, you have to decide how you will manage the migration of an anonymous user to become a registered user. For example, you can opt to do nothing. In this case, any items added to the anonymous shopping basket will be lost and the user must browse for items and add them to the shopping basket again after the user registers on the site. Taking this approach increases the chance that a user will lose interest in your site and purchase items elsewhere.

A better approach is to have your Commerce Server site merge the anonymous user shopping basket to the registered user basket. This provides a seamless transition between anonymous users to registered users.