Envato is opening up guest checkout on their marketplace — a move welcomed by authors.
Upon checkout, the form gives you an option to sign in, or when you enter your email, choose to either create an account or checkout as a guest.
Envato will still track the user by a unique email address, and the buyer can access support, downloads, and whatnot through that address to verify the purchase. So in effect, it's still an account, but with less hassle for someone who is a one-off buyer.
There is a $2 handling fee for checking out as a guest, which is the same fee applied when using an account, unless you have already deposited funds to Envato, a method they've long used to incentivize deposits. The handling fee does seem to go away beyond a certain dollar limit (when I had two items in the cart, for instance).
I asked Envato if they have any feedback yet on how the guest checkout system is working, and was told that it's not been long enough yet to determine effectiveness, and that they are still A/B testing it.
They may share results of the test in the next couple of weeks. My gut tells me it should increase conversion rates, if only slightly.