How Bolt increased Safford Equipment’s order approval rate by 53% and fast-tracked their growth from local business to national category leader
Ecommerce was Keith Bridges’ opportunity to bring Safford Equipment — and his eponymous Alabama town — to the national stage. He founded the company 18 years ago, when the tiny town had not so much as a stoplight, post office, or another business for Keith to model his after. Even though he had no experience with ecommerce and very few others in his category sell their products online, Keith is a born entrepreneur and knows an opportunity when he sees it: “With Amazon and all the other big guys out there, everyone expects to order and get things delivered to their home. That means even things that haven’t been traditionally shipped and bought online, like lawnmowers, need to be.” Keith recognized a particular opportunity selling and shipping large lawnmowers through a digital storefront, since almost no one else offered them online.
“My checkout system is head-over-heels better than my competitors.”
The Early Problem of Fraud
After getting their digital store up and running the previous winter, Keith and his team began running Google ads in the summer of 2018. He and his team were excited to open Safford Equipment up to the world. But what immediately came flooding in wasn’t revenue; it was fraudulent, criminal orders. It immediately ground their online business to a stand still, as Keith’s team had to spend 10 minutes reviewing every order to decide whether or not it was fraudulent. The work burdened the entire team, and even Keith had to get involved with reviews. Quickly, they decided they’d have to turn off all advertising and stall growth until they found a solution.
Keith and his team didn’t know if the solution they were looking for actually existed until they found Bolt, but after just one meeting they were sold. Bolt immediately made them feel comfortable, and allowed them to unleash their true growth potential and move forward. Safford’s sales and revenue have steadily climbed since adopting Bolt thanks to a 100% decrease in chargeback costs and 12+ hours a month saved in manual order review. Now, Keith says, “It’s impossible to survive as a company — large or small — out there without the security of something like Bolt.”
Why Every Business Has to Build for the Amazon consumer
Bolt’s fraud detection isn’t the only way Bolt has helped Safford Equipment to grow. As a new digital business entering the field, Keith’s found that Bolt gives him a serious competitive advantage: “My checkout system is head-over-heels better than my competitors.”
Since Safford Equipment also sells their products on Amazon, Keith’s familiar with the advantages a faster digital checkout provides in terms of conversion. As Keith puts it: “The buyer’s mentality has been created by Amazon: they can click, checkout, and ship in an instant. If you’re not replicating that experience, you won’t survive, especially as the younger generation comes up.” It’s Amazon’s commoditization of their customer relationships that motivates Keith’s desire to evolve their owned ecommerce experience to the point where they no longer need to rely upon Amazon.
Bolt’s a key part of that strategy for them, given it brings that same checkout efficiency to Safford Equipment’s own site. Bolt offered them the same speed on their owned channels, without the tradeoff in customer relationship that comes with using Amazon. Once Safford switched their checkout to Bolt, they experienced a whopping 54% increase in checkout conversion and 53.8% increase in order approval rate. Overall, the sales and revenue lift from switching to Bolt have certainly fast-tracked Safford’s growth from a local business to a nationally-ranked category leader.