Transcript of the ThinkShop session “Taking a Shopper-Centric Approach With the Bolt Network Effect” with speakers
We’ve been working with Industry West since September, and in this third part of the ThinkShop session, we’ll learn about an unexpected benefit Industry West has seen with the Bolt Network and how they are going to leverage it going forward.
First off, can you talk a little bit about the metrics that you saw before and after using Bolt?
If you look at January to January, after we started with Bolt, we have 18.06% for the conversion rate for ecomm. We started right after Labor Day, – and as a side note, the Bolt support team was amazing – and since then, we have definitely seen a lift. 12.7%, over the past month with Bolt, compared to the five months prior. That’s a huge, huge number.
Plus, not to mention the numbers that we’re seeing on the Bolt Network. 52% of the folks that checkout sign up with a Bolt Account or already have a Bolt Account since we turned on Bolt in September. That’s something that we hadn’t thought about before.
Let’s dig into that for a second. We see with a lot of our clients that the Network Effect is one of the biggest drivers of the increased conversion rate. The Network Effect, which creates a one-click checkout, means that if you’ve ever checked out on any Bolt site and said “save my information”, then every site within the Bolt Network will already have your payment credentials stored and tokenized, and will immediately recognize you as soon as you enter in an email address. It will then escort you right to that final step of checkout where all your shipping and payment information is already saved and all you have to do is a simple click to finalize your purchase. And what we see is a much higher conversion rate for those users.
In fact, that’s exactly what we saw with Industry West, but there are two pieces to this. On day one, there are people that already had Bolt Accounts that are now getting that faster checkout experience. Almost 5% of people who are checking out are people who have created accounts elsewhere. And the other part is that, as you mentioned, 52% of people going through checkout are signing up for Bolt accounts. So now the next time you see them, they’re going to have that one-click experience too. It’s like you’re making guest checkout a thing of the past.
I know this wasn’t the reason you chose Bolt, but has that gotten you thinking about a membership-driven experience around all these new members that you have?
Yes, you’re correct. What was top of the mind for us when we switched over to Bolt, was the fraud protection, the service, the trust in the system that’s platform and payment agnostic and being able to scale. The Bolt Network was really an afterthought for us.
However, now that we’ve seen it and we’ve got 52% of those checking out coming in with a Bolt Account, we’re thinking about how to leverage it going forward, for example, through loyalty. We do have a loyal program on Industry West, but we don’t sell products where you’re going to come in and purchase something every week. But for our other brand, In Favor Of, I can definitely see us leveraging that network and offering the One Click checkout button.
To your point about the evolution of building that Network Effect and having these known customer profiles that don’t have to be a repeat customer of Industry West: We can start to personalize the experience for them, but if they’re a customer of the Bolt Network, we can infer information about that customer, not because they shopped with us before, but because they’ve shopped on other merchant sites. At the moment we’ve optimized the checkout experience for them by removing that friction so they can do that one-click checkout, but what else can we do? If we start to really know the identity of that consumer, as they first arrive on the site, how can we personalize that experience? How can we do more automated merchandising? What specific, tailored promotions can we run with the right value and understanding what’s important to that consumer? Is it free shipping? Is it availability? Is it how quickly they can get the product? Is it the product itself? Is it pricing? It’s being able to understand all those customer sentiments and being able to use that identity from a network like Bolt to actually drive personalization on the site, that where the future opportunities are.
Those are all conversations that we’re having. Personalization is going to be a large push for us this year, and being able to have that data logged in through Bolt, that’s very exciting. As an ecomm director, we talk about customers and we talk about sales, but at the end of the day, it’s got to be fast. If you have that Bolt Network, you’ve got to get them to the point where they want to sign up. I can’t remember the last time I voluntarily signed up to checkout on something without a doubt that I’ll ever go back to that site. I just “guest check out”, and now I’m done.
So that’s an interesting point that you made earlier about “what if guest checkout was a thing of the past?” What if we just checked out and it was smooth across the board and we were able to do it seamlessly? I think that we’ll be able to get there. I’m not sure when that date is, but with the flexibility Magento provides and the checkout experience that Bolt provides us for that first time that person is checking out, is checking a box. It’s a pretty frictionless experience to get them to want to create that Bolt Account, and want to create that experience of checking out smoother for the next time they come to the site.
But the thing is that it’s not impacting your speed. I go through and test the Bolt checkout in seconds, even without having an account. I think that speaks volumes.
And going back to that personalization comment of how you interact with someone who’s checked out with Bolt before and then they’re coming back. What kind of data can we pull from that? How do we implement that into our personalization efforts for this year?
In terms of a key takeaway of using Bolt and Magento and scaling growth, we are in a good position where we have a very good understanding and mature leadership within the company that encourages us to move quickly. Not at a crazy pace for the sake of moving, but to be where we need to be. If we need to experiment with something that’s brand new like a single sign on feature, or the Bolt One Click checkout button, we can reach out and our customer success manager is there to help us. You’ve built up a lot of trust. I think that’s the most important part, being able to use systems and use platforms that allow you to do what you need to do without being locked into a certain way of doing it.
Want to learn more? Watch the full webinar.
Steven Scarborough, Ecommerce Director, Industry West & FAVOR
Steven runs eCommerce production and strategy for B2B and B2C clients at Industry West and FAVOR. He brings 15 years of experience in product design, user experience, and strategy from startup, academic, and enterprise organizations.
Bob Buch, Chief Business Officer, Bolt
Bob oversees BD, partnerships, and corporate strategy at Bolt. He brings over 15 years of experience, including revenue, product marketing, and business development at both startups and large organizations. He’s described as one of the most creative thinkers (across all departments) and one of the best deal makers in Silicon Valley.