One-Click Gives Way to Tailored Checkout to Drive Merchant Top Line – PYMNTS.com

Move over, buy button, and one-click checkout. Tailored checkout is the new kid in town, and it’s taking payments integration pain and replatforming anxiety out of the equation.
Announcing its second project with PayPal, Bold has completed a new checkout integration for Adobe’s Magento eCommerce software using Bold’s headless composable commerce solution to bring new value to Magento users faster and more cost-effectively than was possible before.
As Bold CEO Peter Karpas discussed with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, the headless composable approach is opening the door to tailored checkout experiences that focus on what he calls “the royal trio” — conversion, average order value (AOV), and lifetime value (LTV) — rather than a single-minded obsession with driving conversions, which he feels is a junky metric on its own.
As for the Magento news, Karpas simplified it, saying Magento has native checkout capabilities, “but nobody [uses] it because it’s just way too hard and way too costly.” Through the headless approach, Bold enables a modernized checkout experience sans the plug-ins, time and cost.
Moreover, it’s about creating unique “flows” that detect where shoppers are coming from and makes intuitive decisions on directing those customers to complete transactions. It’s a kind of mission for Karpas, who sees the 48% eCommerce cart abandonment rate as “miserable.”
Describing a typical social media buying experience that ends up with five to seven clicks, he said, “What’s a different kind of flow that Bold enables? On my Instagram, I click the ad, it goes to a product page that has one-click checkout in it. That’s a flow when you want to be driving conversion as much as possible, because they’re coming from Instagram, and if you give them any problems, they’ll probably just be like, oh, let me go to my next feed.”
Another flow is the shopper who’s not social app scrolling for fun, but rather someone on a Google hunt for a very specific product. Bold detects the long-tail search behind it. “You know that customer is spearfishing. They want the product,” Karpas said.
“At that point, one-click checkout makes no sense at all. You want to be driving average order value, turning that dial. In that case, you want a checkout flow that is all about driving upsell and potentially cross-sell. This is an example of what we mean by two very different flows in checkout that drive revenue, which is what matters. This is what Bold is bringing to Magento.”
Relating a story about an unnamed company that saw AOV rise when its fast payment plug-in went offline, Karpas said that’s indicative of the broken checkout process he aims to put right.
“We call it the third gen of checkout,” he said. “Gen 2 checkout is basically generic platform checkout. Gen 3, which is where everything is going, is tailored checkout, and tailoring checkout includes where you are. We talk about putting a QR code on your package. If somebody scans it, it goes to a checkout page because they already know. You can skip the product page.”
Peeking behind the curtain of many failed transactions caused by product availability, it’s often not that the retailer doesn’t have the item somewhere. But the shopper is likely on the other side of the country and shipping would kill the retailer’s margin, so they essentially let it fail.
But Karpas said that if a tailored flow can push that order value higher “then they’re very willing to ship because now it’s turned into a profitable order. For the people who are more thoughtful about this, they’re just building in flows that are based on cart size. I’m going to create one that turns that average order value dial as opposed to just conversion, and again, based on what’s in the cart, you can do that with Bold.”
That may not work as well for the first-time shopper on a given site, and he said, “We’re not there yet” when it comes to the use of first-party data and other useful signals but added that a one-point increase in checkout volume is “huge,” and within reach of Gen 3 headless systems.
As Bold moves forward with headless composable integrations like Magento, there’s a test-and-learn phase that will potentially be highly beneficial to the entire eCommerce ecosystem as it relates to realized revenue, not just conversion metrics.
“We’re dying to find a partner who would be willing to experiment with us,” he said. “I would love to test a flow that says, ‘Don’t go anywhere, this is the best deal you’re going to find, we don’t have a better one,’ and doing that based on certain triggers.”
Those focused on revenue rather than conversions may well see that if consumers are told, “This is the best price you’re going to find,” they’ll pay SRP and not wait for the eventual promo code.
Another potential game-changer is that headless composable will allow digital marketing teams to experiment with checkout flows without giving the IT team a nervous breakdown.
“Once they have that new tool, a mind once expanded never regains its original dimensions, and they start experimenting and they start seeing,” he said. “This is why we think we have such an advantage in the Magento ecosystem because you can do it in Magento, it just requires an engineer and a lot of work. If you don’t need that, the total cost of ownership goes down, your experimentation goes up, and you make more money.”
The big takeaway is that one-click and buy button checkouts as we know them aren’t the best approach for many online shoppers today, and the ability to tailor dynamic flows to different customers plays to the entire “royal trio” and not just the conversion piece of a transaction.
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