Building Brand Loyalty Through a Frictionless Checkout Experience
April 21, 2022
The Bolt Team
Walt Disney once said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
The quote naturally refers to the movie business, but if you think about it further, every retailer tries to live up to this in some way. After all, repeat customers drive the lion’s share of sales, and eventually, they evangelize products to potential customers in ways that marketing can never do. Getting there, however, is difficult.
In a recent panel discussion for Nasdaq and BigCommerce, Bob Buch, Chief Business Officer at Bolt, shared how retailers big and small can make headway on building brand loyalty in today’s competitive ecommerce landscape.
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What you see is what you get
From the moment a shopper lands on a website, retailers only have a few minutes, if they’re lucky, to get a shopper to complete a purchase. During that time, shoppers will browse product pages, add items to their cart, and sometimes reach a checkout page. When this last step takes longer than the previous two, retailers stand no chance at converting shoppers into buyers, let alone recruiting new brand evangelists.
In fact, nearly 70% of shoppers abandon their cart because of time-consuming frictions at checkout. Fortunately, one-click checkout solves this problem. As the name implies, one-click checkout lets shoppers complete a purchase in a matter of seconds, not minutes. By removing the hurdles shoppers go through at checkout—like completing long sign-up forms or inputting credit card information—retailers can convert shoppers at a much better rate.
But as Bob points out, “your front-end experience is more than the experience you host.” Retailers will need to think about how they show up not just on their website but also on YouTube and social media. This seachange has been the impetus for solutions like one-click checkout and, just as importantly, headless checkout. That is the ability to add a seamless checkout experience on a website, social media feed, and anywhere with a digital surface.
“And as more brands go headless, retailers will need to think about how they position themselves on those platforms and how they enable it more easily,” Bob says, “[Social media and other surfaces] will become an extension of your front-end.”
The end of cookies isn’t the end of personalization
Not a day goes by that retailers aren’t reminded about the looming death of third-party cookies. Google and Apple made their intentions clear that the two tech giants would soon retire and block cookies from their respective services. And if that weren’t enough, there is an endless supply of new regulations taking aim at cookies.
For most retailers not named Amazon, this begs the question of how retailers can learn about customers.
According to Bob, in light of this paradigm shift, retailers need to consider how they can get more traffic to their website and convert those eyeballs to members. The problem is there are more than 24 million ecommerce sites in the US, and each one has the same idea.
So even if a retailer is successful, the shopper now has a handful of account names and passwords to remember.
“Solutions like Bolt’s SSO, which is a one-time password that logs people in through their mobile devices, gives customers a frictionless experience,” says Bob, “but it also creates a store account at the same time and incentivizes shoppers to log in more frequently.”
With more store accounts created, retailers can glean the same insights about shoppers’ preferences and behaviors that they would have with third-party cookies but now with first-party data.
The future of commerce is social
“If you think about how people will shop in the next five years, are they really going to go to [your website] and start shopping?” Bob says, “They are going to discover things that their favorite creators and influencers are talking about.”
As with any transformation in its infancy, there is still a lot that needs to happen for social commerce to usurp traditional ecommerce. Retailers will need innovative tools to list their product catalogs on social media platforms, and creators and influencers, who will promote a retailers’ catalog, must have the right tools to monetize their efforts.
Not unlike one-click checkout on a website, every social commerce platform will also need to deliver a frictionless checkout experience that tens of millions of shoppers already enjoy. After all, social media attention is more fickle and fleeting than any website.
By partnering with solutions like Bolt, a pioneer in the social commerce space, retailers will have a much easier time selling products at shoppers’ points of inspiration.