How Real Milk Paint improved their checkout experience and stopped customer attrition.
When Dwayne Siever, an antique furniture restorer, found that modern day paints did not render the authentic historical finish he was looking for, he set on to solve the problem. During his research, he realized that the difference in look, feel, and texture was because milk paints were used in earlier days. He then started to experiment with small batches of milk paint using traditional, natural ingredients and applied it on his antiques. The result was brilliant with the end piece staying true to its original character.
Soon, word spread, and many craftsmen and renovators showed interest in milk paints. In 1995, the Real Milk Paint Co. was launched with 10 colors. Still a family-owned business, it’s grown to offer 56 colors of eco-friendly, sustainable, and non-toxic milk paints with a large B2B and B2C client base across the US.
“Having a website that people can navigate and checkout easily has always been at the forefront [of our priorities].”
The checkout niggles
Real Milk Paint relies on a strong digital presence. Shane Siever, customer service head and social media manager of Real Milk Paint, and son of the founder, Dwayne Siever, points out that as milk paints are a niche market, “online is the best space for it because people can find it.” He adds, “Having a website that people can navigate and checkout easily has always been at the forefront [of our priorities].”
Real Milk Paint has a great product that resonated with customers and a strong research and development (R&D) function. But they knew they would have to quickly close the gaps with their customer’s checkout experience or customers would drift away.
The clunky, error-prone checkout process in their ecommerce platform posed a challenge. For instance, a customer would add their information to an order only to find all of it wiped out. There were many glitches that customers encountered during checkout and frustrated calls poured in. Siever says, “It definitely caused a lot of shoppers to leave and move on to different products. Before Bolt, we had a 36.9% checkout completion rate which is average. It was time to improve our customer’s checkout experience.”
“One of the first things we noticed after moving to Bolt was the lack of negative calls. The customer service team no longer needed to manually process orders to circumvent the hurdles during checkout.”
Introducing Bolt into the equation
As Real Milk Paint evaluated alternative options, it zeroed in on the Bolt platform due to two main factors. First was the ability to offer a seamless checkout experience to their customers. The idea of having an “Amazon-like checkout” without having to spend “trillions of dollars” was an attractive feature that was hard to say no to.
Second, Siever was reassured by the percentage-based incentive model of Bolt. To him, this clearly indicated a “symbiotic relationship” in which “when we do better, you do better.” The underlying confidence that Bolt would strive to continually improve the platform and make the overall service and experience better, faster, and flawless, brought Real Milk Paint into the Bolt Network in late 2019.
“We have seen an average of 63% higher conversion rate when it comes to shoppers who use a Bolt account vs. those that use guest checkout”
The Bolt impact
Siever recalls, “One of the first things we noticed after moving to Bolt was the lack of negative calls. The customer service team no longer needed to manually process orders to circumvent the hurdles during checkout.” Within the first 90 days of implementing Bolt, they saw a 66% increase when it came to completed checkouts; a shift from 36.9% to 54.6%.
Although checkout was the main problem they were trying to solve, Siever found out that the benefits extended to payment and fraud functions as well. With the ecommerce platform doubling up as the payment processor, they didn’t need multiple vendors, and the seamless integration and handover from one function to another delivered all they wanted as “a complete package.” They don’t encounter many instances of fraud now, but Siever explains, Bolt fraud protection is like having insurance, it provides peace of mind.”
Real Milk Paint has been able to tap into the potential of Bolt accounts. They’ve noticed their wholesalers and retailers take advantage of creating a Bolt account which seamlessly saves their information during the first checkout and registers them for future one-click checkouts. By tracking the identity and purchase history of these B2B clients through Bolt accounts, Real Milk Paint automatically applies customized discounts, which in turn encourages customers to opt for repeat purchases. “We have seen an average of 63% higher conversion rate when it comes to shoppers who use a Bolt account vs. those that use guest checkout,” noted Siever.
And then there was the added power of the Bolt Network. Shoppers can complete a one-click checkout on any site powered by Bolt. Siever commented, “Over the past two years, Real Milk Paint can equate 3% of our new customers to shoppers that have an existing Bolt account.”
Facing uncertainties with the Bolt partnership
Siever recalls the shocking year that 2020 was, which brought a 3X increase in digital transactions overnight. But the Real Milk Paint team was ready this time. Their concern that the spike in volumes would throw up surprises, resulting in losing orders and momentum, was put to rest as Bolt was able to scale up to the new normal smoothly.
This year, though the volumes have come down from the drastic jump of 2020, the baseline has gone up and Bolt continues to support the Real Milk Paint website through this transition.
As Real Milk Paint charts promising plans for the future—introducing newer product lines, expanding to international markets, and building a new manufacturing facility—they can move ahead knowing that the Bolt partnership will be the backbone in their initiatives.