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This article applies to: ML8

Anonymous Checkout

The anonymous checkout feature allows customers to check out without creating an account. Many customers prefer this as it allows them to get through checkout more quickly. It is generally recommended, however, that the feature isn't used unless absolutely necessary. The only thing customers gain is a few seconds spent creating a password during registration, but they lose the ability to reorder automatically, create a wishlist or gift registry, etc. Order management also becomes more difficult, depending on how the feature is set up (see below).

If the feature is enabled, customers will still have the option to register if desired, as seen here:

NOTE: It is important to be aware of the difference between a regular anonymous customer and a customer who has gone through anonymous checkout. An anonymous customer (as far as the software is concerned) is any customer who visits your site and does something that causes a record to be created for them in the database. This could be anything from adding an item to the cart/wishlist, choosing a locale or currency, etc. Anonymous checkout is a complete order, with the only difference from regular checkout being that the customer cannot log back into the site in the future.


To enable anonymous checkout, simply set the PasswordIsOptionalDuringCheckout AppConfig to true. There are several other AppConfigs that need to be considered if this feature is going to be used, however:

AppConfig NameDescription
AnonCheckoutReqEmailIf this is set to true, anonymous customers still have to enter an email address (just not a password) when going through checkout. It is HIGHLY recommended that this is left true. If you do not have your customer's email address it can be difficult to track orders and you cannot send them receipts or other email notifications.
GoogleCheckout.AllowAnonCheckoutIf this is set to true, customers can pay through Google Checkout (if it is enabled) without registering on your site. This is usually required by Google's terms and conditions.
PayPal.Express.AllowAnonCheckoutIf this is set to true, customers can pay through PayPal Express (if it is enabled) without registering on your site. This is usually required by PayPal's terms and conditions.
AllowCustomerDuplicateEMailAddressesIf this is set to true, customers can use the same email address multiple times for multiple anonymous checkout orders. It is HIGHLY recommended that this be left set to false. If set to true, accurate tracking of orders/customers can become incredibly difficult and your fraud risks increase greatly. It will also be necessary to make changes directly in the database if a customer ever decides to register with an address that has been used multiple times.
HidePasswordFieldDuringCheckoutIf using one page checkout, this AppConfig will also need to be set to true to enable anonymous checkout.