Apparel brands have struggled to optimize the e-commerce checkout experience and use it to generate a more loyal following, but one technology provider is hoping its latest solution helps brands eliminate both of these concerns.
Checkout experience platform Bolt has launched Bolt SSO Commerce, a single sign-on checkout experience that is designed to turn anonymous guest shoppers into logged-in account holders. Converting these shoppers would enable retailers and brands to gain shopper insights and feedback that they can use to offer more personalized shopping experiences.
Badgley Mischka is using Bolt SSO Commerce in an effort to drive an increase in store account creation and convert one-time guest shoppers into long-term, loyal customers.
“Badgley Mischka’s mission is to define timeless glamour that creates confidence and passion and we are always looking to share that mission with a wider customer audience,” said Katie Ouaknine, owner of Badgley Mischka Web, in a statement. “We partnered with Bolt because it allows us to treat first-time shoppers who come to us from elsewhere in the company’s retail network like returning shoppers, and we look forward to providing these shoppers with personalized, delightful experiences for years to come.”
The new checkout experience comes after Bolt recently released a survey finding that 70 percent of U.S. shoppers have up to six store accounts with different retailers. The survey indicated that shoppers’ top reasons for opening store accounts are speed and convenience at checkout; discounts, rewards and exclusive product offers, and being able to view their order history.
But Bolt said that while it is common for e-commerce plug-ins and alternative payment methods to allow shoppers to save their information to use during checkout across a network of retailers, none of these solutions enables shoppers to create an account on the retailer’s site concurrently.
As a result, Bolt argues that online shoppers have historically had to log in to two separate accounts at different points of their shopping journey: their store account to access their order history and their network or payment account to complete a purchase at checkout.
With Bolt SSO Commerce, a shopper can create both a Bolt account for one-click checkout and a store account for the retailer through a simple checkbox option.
The solution is designed to give shoppers the best of both worlds that typically must be accessed through two separate accounts.
This way, shoppers could access order tracking and purchase history and earn loyalty points, all while gaining the one-click checkout capabilities of the Bolt account.
Once users create a Bolt account, they can use it across a network of hundreds of brands. More than 90 percent of Bolt retail partners say that they serve customers who have already made purchases with Bolt at another retailer. The rate of cross-retailer activity grew 25x in 2020, the company said.
“We’re ushering in a new era of identity-powered commerce that will enable brands to offer the customized experiences today’s shoppers expect,” said Maju Kuruvilla, chief technology officer at Bolt, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be able to help more independent retailers gain the kinds of customer insights and engagement opportunities they can access only when shoppers create a store account. With this product launch, we are one step closer to eliminating guest checkout in e-commerce.”
Bolt’s original offering is designed to eliminate checkout friction and shorten the payment process, with the platform’s checkout page including fewer fields to fill out, and pre-processing so that the site’s code and elements are already loaded, which keeps shoppers on the same page instead of being directed to a new one. Unlike most payment options, Bolt doesn’t ask shoppers for the billing information attached to their credit card.
Repeat customers are able to buy with just one click, and shoppers with a Bolt account are 60 percent more likely to complete a purchase when visiting a retail site that leverages the platform, the company says. On the brand side, businesses can leverage the platform to unify the shopper experience through custom branding, targeted merchandise upselling and special promotions.
In November, the checkout platform partnered with Authentic Brands Group, which operates the massive portfolio of brands including Forever 21, Lucky Brand, Brooks Brothers, Aéropostale, Juicy Couture, Nautica, Nine West and now Eddie Bauer.
The next month, Bolt generated $75 million in new funding, giving it a total of $215 million raised to-date.