9 Reasons to Join a Retail Network

May 17, 2022

Melissa Lagomarsino

In the last two years, the retail world has changed a lot. As a result, brands are rethinking their online shopping experiences to adapt to the rush of virtual buyers.

Consumers expect superior ecommerce experiences and are seeking greater incentives for shopping online. So more than ever, independent retailers need the right technologies and strategies to stay in control of their futures. 

Retail networks provide innovative solutions to future-proof your online shop. So let’s dive into nine reasons to join a retail network. 

9 Reasons to Join the Bolt Network

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What is a retail network?

A retail network connects retailers and shoppers in a unified, cross-brand network. The long- and short-term benefits of joining a retail network include:

  • Increase in customer lifetime value
  • Boost in conversion rates
  • Acquire out-of-market customers
  • Growth in brand awareness and loyalty

Think of a retail network as a giant marketplace like Amazon—you’re selling your goods and services in a network. But, unlike selling on Amazon, you’re not forfeiting your brand or giving up precious first-party data.

As a result, your shoppers experience your brand the way they’re meant to. And they don’t have to sacrifice the frictionless checkout experience they’ve come to expect. 

Why should you join a retail network?

Joining a retail network helps you gain and nurture direct-to-consumer relationships—driving customer retention and overcoming rising advertising costs. In addition, retail networks are a great way to reach new shoppers as an influx of new brands enter the arena.

While Amazon provides an onramp to sell goods, it hits its third-party sellers hard with fees that range from 6% to 45% of the retail price. Retail network fees are much lower and are typically only applied when they add value.

In addition, network shoppers generally have a higher conversion rate. They are also more likely to repurchase due to the seamless experience. Therefore, joining a shopping network is a great way to lower your customer acquisition cost.

9 reasons to join a retail network

You’ve gathered that joining a retail network is a vital investment in your brand. Businesses that focus on their brand make stronger connections with their shoppers.     

Selling on giant marketplaces means losing control of the brand you’ve worked to build. Not to mention the valuable first-party data you lose because shoppers aren’t shopping on your site.

So let’s cover how joining a retail network boosts conversion rates, increases customer lifetime value, and more. 

1. Give your shoppers a frictionless checkout experience

Did you know that 97% of shoppers have backed out of a purchase because the checkout was inconvenient? Today’s savvy shoppers embrace—and expect—convenience in every part of their journey. 

Retail networks give consumers the power to create an account once, then use it for purchases across the entire network of retailers. So, as a retailer in the retail network, you’ll gain access to new customers who can quickly check out on your site, even if they’ve never been there before.

In addition, returning customers’ personal information is pre-populated, resulting in a speedier checkout. With all their payment and billing information saved in one place, shoppers can buy with ease at their favorite sites.

With Bolt powering your checkout, the one-click experience reduces abandoned carts, driving revenue and conversions. And it’s offered to any shopper who joins the Bolt Network.

2. Reach new shoppers easily

As more online shops enter the ecommerce space, it’s challenging—and five times more expensive—for retailers to gain consumers’ attention. But there is a way to make this endeavor less expensive.

Joining a retail network is a substantial investment in your brand identity, attracting more out-of-market buyers. Considering that 80% of customers do research online before making a purchase, you have to secure a place in consumers’ minds if you want long-term, sustainable growth.

A retail network gives you an instant relationship with any shopper who uses the network, even if they’ve never shopped on your site. Providing a lightning-fast checkout experience is a great way to make a lasting impression. 

3. Decrease fraud

Year over year, ecommerce grows rapidly, and there are no signs of slowing down. Unfortunately, just as fast as ecommerce evolves, online fraud grows, too. As a result, you need innovative solutions to combat fraud while prioritizing your customers and fueling operational efficiency. 

In a retail network, you rely on shoppers’ behavior to combat fraudulent behavior—a vast departure from how it’s commonly done. Instead of focusing on identifying and rejecting fraudulent orders, fraud indemnification makes maximizing revenue a priority by accepting more good orders.

With Bolt, over 200 real-time behavioral signals are analyzed for each transaction. Because Bolt knows who your shopper is through their interactions and shopping behaviors in the Bolt Network, there is a higher chance of the order going through.

4. Maintain your brand and elevate your checkout

As the digital space becomes more crowded, your brand is vital to your success. You use it to evoke a feeling and stand out from your competitors. So why brand your entire site, guide your shoppers through the journey, and have them end up on a generic checkout page?  

Consistent brand presentation increases revenue. So you need a retail network, like Bolt, with a suite of customization tools. Design your checkout to match the look and feel of your site—building trust and increasing conversions.

5. Boost conversion rates

Today’s consumers have more choices than ever before. But unfortunately, a single hiccup or surprise during checkout can cause shoppers to abandon their cart and go somewhere else.

Providing a smoother checkout experience can increase your conversion rates dramatically. For example, Bolt One-Click Checkout shoppers convert at a 47% higher rate than guest shoppers. 

Bolt One-Click checkout boosts sales and conversions by narrowing the gap between browsing and buying. After shoppers join the network, their information is pulled up every time they check out at a network retailer.

Retail networks allow you to treat your shoppers like return customers, which leads to higher conversion rates than guest checkout. 

6. Increase customer lifetime value

Nowadays, shoppers are trying more brands. So you need innovative checkout tools of a retail network to snag up-for-grabs shoppers and retain existing ones.

Turning shoppers into repeat buyers is a feat but can quickly be done at your checkout. For example, dynamic discounting and product up-sell functionality can enhance your UX at checkout to increase AOV.

In addition, keep your shoppers coming back by showcasing new and relevant items through product recommendations. Doing so can lead to repeat purchases, as well as increased AOV.

The state-of-the-art ecommerce tools that a retail network provides open doors for an array of personalized shopping experiences for the next generation of consumers.

7. Get actionable insights

The more insights you have into your customer—how they shop and finish shopping—the better you can turn first-time shoppers into return purchasers and optimize your site for future visitors. 

Gleaning actionable insights from your data is vital to your success. However, the key to using data to make informed decisions is providing user-friendly functionality. 

Bolt gathers this information and presents it in an analytics dashboard, so retailers don’t have to add third-party services that track cart abandonment or hack a solution through an analytics provider. And because the data passes through the Bolt ecosystem, the checkout experience is constantly optimized, maximizing conversion rates.

8. Sell anywhere

Social commerce is on the rise, and brands are reimagining shopper engagement. By 2025, sales through social media channels are expected to triple. About 30% of US shoppers already make purchases directly from social platforms. 

The arrival of social commerce represents an opportunity for independent retailers to compete with ecommerce behemoths by owning their customer experience strategy.

Because marketplaces are product-centric, brand identity is often overlooked. As a result, there is no story to connect shoppers with your brand. But through social commerce, independent retailers can build brand equity and engagement that is an afterthought in marketplaces. 

A retail network like Bolt allows you to bring your checkout everywhere with an omnichannel commerce solution that lets you sell anywhere your consumers shop. And with Bolt, you can gather data from the moment a shopper discovers, engages, and purchases, resulting in accurate end-to-end insights to better understand your customers. 

9. Access hassle-free technology

Ecommerce is booming, and many businesses are building sites to sell their products and services online. The average cost of an ecommerce site with 100–1000 products ranges from $5,000 to $50,000, including design, development, and any upfront costs.

A shopping network is a roadmap accelerator. So you need a partner that offers integrations out-of-the-box without knowing code. 

To keep up with the growing demands of shoppers, you need tech that meets you where you are. With Bolt, you can offer cutting-edge technology that provides your shoppers with a seamless and memorable shopper journey.

Why retail networks are the future of retail

Thriving in this competitive landscape requires unique insight and action. As a result, retailers need innovative strategies and products to stay ahead of the competition.

Selling on giant marketplaces means losing the brand you’ve worked hard to build. Not to mention the valuable first-party data you lose because shoppers aren’t shopping on your site.

For independent retailers, joining a retail network means being in control and having the technology to compete with ecommerce behemoths. In addition, the unique buying experience shoppers get in a retail network fosters long-term relationships.

Final thoughts on retail networks

A retail network connects retailers with shoppers in a massive system to facilitate more accessible, more frequent, and high-quality transactions. When millions of engaged shoppers within a retail network visit your store, they can checkout without any forms or passwords. With less fuzz or friction, the transaction is complete.

Build lifelong relationships that increase customer loyalty, fewer abandoned carts, and higher conversion rates with the Bolt Network. Grow your business with Bolt—the only option for growing brands demanding agility and flexibility.

9 Reasons to Join the Bolt Network

Discover how joining the Bolt network results in fewer abandoned carts, higher conversions, and lifetime relationships with your shoppers.

Download eBook
ThinkShop by Bolt does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. Contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.