Each osCommerce user account belongs to one of the account types available in the system. In osCommerce Template, the two available account types are customer and administrator/provider (also known as admin/provider or simply admin).
The type of user account defines the set of access privileges granted to a user: Customer account is the type that provides full-featured access to the Customer area of an osCommerce Template based store. It can saves your customers the trouble of having to type in their personal information and billing/shipping addresses every time they order a product: all the necessary info is stored permanently in their personal profile and can be re-used when necessary. Besides, some features (like orders history, wish lists / gift registry, special offer bonus points, returns) are available only to registered customers. Customer accounts can be created directly from the Customer area. To create a customer account, a user needs to complete a 'Profile details' form and submit it.
Administrator and provider accounts are account types that provide access to the Admin area of the osCommerce Template.