OK I really laughed out loud on this one. In Price Checked, Mark, as the clueless cashier, harasses the fetching customer "Jen" for personal info before he'll tell her cart's total. Mark really gets his cheese on for this one and emanates the tact and charm of a creepy small town used car salesman (apologies in advance to all smal town used car salesfolks).
Video #5 - Price Checked
Anyhow, this topic of 'when should sites ask for personal info?' touches on privacy, ID security, logistics, as well as, well ... tact. Not knowing the final tally is a personal pet peeve for me when shopping online ... I simply ask for the REAL GRAND TOTAL, with tax and shipping, before surrendering my name, rank and credit card number. Sheesh, is it so hard?
Certainly, some etailers want to capture this info in order to oblige you into making a purchase and also send you newsletters, coupons, offers, ... but in reality, this lack of transparency is just annoying (and almost insulting) to increasingly sophisticated shoppers.
My (radical) opinion is: if you show a running total (with tax/shipping estimates) shoppers will abandon less and buy more since the mystery is removed. Of course I might be totally wrong - anyone have a study on this?