Why Brand CMOs Must Focus Time, Energy, and Attention on Checkout

Bolt Team


Maju Kuruvilla


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Why Brand CMOs Must Focus Time, Energy, and Attention on Checkout

There was a time when the word “marketing” meant everything outside of the product—the way the story of a brand was delivered to the world. That’s still true, of course, but today’s marketers are also increasingly responsible for what happens once the outside world comes inside.

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are being asked not just to design campaigns and launch products, but also to oversee digital transformations and drive marketing performance. The job has become a blend of art and science, of taste and metrics. In that universe, it’s more important than ever for CMOs to focus on an element of the digital experience they can control: checkout.

At first blush, checkout doesn’t sound like the purview of the CMO. It’s the focus of product, or operations, or engineers. Except that checkout is a part of the shopper journey. To relegate checkout to biz ops or the product team is to miss an opportunity to shape a customer experience—which is exactly what CMOs are in the business of doing. 

It’s also a dollars-and-cents issue. CMOs will see that focusing on checkout gives them a chance to boost every marketing program. Improving checkout makes ad spend more efficient and returns on SEO more valuable. In a nutshell, big campaigns are far more effective when  more people convert and first-party data is acquired allowing future remarketing to existing customers. 

We know that data matters now more than it has in the past. With the privacy changes to Apple ATT and the upcoming cookie apocalypse, marketing channels are going to get more expensive and the “growth hacks” that worked in the past will vanish. According to Deloitte’s recent  survey, almost six out of ten CMOs surveyed said they’ve created a stronger data strategy to better capture information.

Checkout isn’t just a final piece of the product funnel—it’s the last touchpoint a customer has before they leave your site or app. It’s the final impression that makes it or breaks it. Our data shows that logged-in customers with Bolt accounts are 63% more likely to be repeat shoppers than guest checkout users. In a world of finite marketing resources, any CMO in the world will see the value of a repeat customer—because that audience is a marketer’s dream.

At its broadest level, marketing is a promise from a merchant to a consumer—it’s a message about what will happen when someone takes action. When CMOs focus on checkout, they control the final, most crucial part –  where the promise’s rubber meets the road. Paying attention to checkout and the tools and technologies that can improve it, will be the next big shift in a CMO and the shopper’s journey.


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