Right up there with the dream of single sign-on for all is universal one-click checkout, updated for the digital first shopper who wants that experience to follow them wherever they shop. It’s a logical evolution in user experience that connects the consumer to commerce at the point of inspiration across the many social and shopping environments that now define the connected economy.
Unified commerce-focused FinTech Bolt CEO Maju Kuruvilla told Karen Webster that a single “commerce identity” that customers can use wherever they’re shopping online may hold the key to unlocking anywhere, anytime payment. An experience that brings the checkout to the consumer and not the consumer to the checkout.
Think of it as one FinTech’s mission of a checkout operating system for the connected economy.
“One-click is table stakes,” he said. “It’s super critical because 70% of people tend to drop off at checkout if they don’t have a one-click checkout experience. That’s almost $1 trillion in lost opportunity in the U.S. just in one year.”
While one-click can bring that number down — possibly way down — Kuruvilla said, “There’s a lot more to it, and the inspiration for building Bolt’s shared shopper network. Recognizing the shopper the minute they land on a site and providing them a really personalized shopping experience and also giving the opportunity to buy things with a single click when they want to buy is critical.”
He’d know. After eight years working at Amazon driving Amazon Prime logistics and directing software development, Kuruvilla understands the conversion power and loyalty that one-click creates. Now he wants the world to have it.
Consumers are being trained to have great seamless experience buying things online on Amazon, perhaps the gold standard for the online checkout experience. It’s an expectation now, he said, as consumers are shifting more of the transacting to digital or digital-first channels. Kuruvilla contends that most merchant sites are not ready to provide that.
“If they don’t match experience, they’re not going to get that connection with the customer or the sale.”
The Bolt global shopper network, he said, gives the term “Amazonification” new meaning, turning on that scale for all manner of merchants anywhere their customers (or would-be customers) find them.
At the Point of Inspiration
Having announced its integration with BigCommerce in March, Bolt is helping retailers capitalize on trend that innovators are bringing to eCommerce in new channels — the impulse buy. Consumers want to buy things at the point of inspiration, and merchants want the ability to be there to collect the same when they do. And in one click, Kuruvilla says.
“Providing that experience of [personalization for] shopping and having the opportunity to do that one-click checkout … that’s what we are really going after. We feel it’s critical for commerce right now.”
Critical, he says, because consumers aren’t just discovering products on marketplaces and eCommerce sites anymore. They are shopping with influencers on social networks and in livestreams. They are reading blogs and want to click and buy what they’re reading about. In- the-moment sales are a critical component of the connected economy and will drive its growth.
Key to that, Kuruvilla said, are two things.
The first is giving each consumer a single verified commerce identity, that becomes the passport to the one-click experience anywhere they see something and want to buy it.
“Commerce identity is foundational for everything to identify a shopper and give them personalized shopping experience, or to give them a one-click checkout experience,” he said.
Amazon, Shopify and others have built entire ecosystems based on one-click convenience. But that advantage is only available for merchants within their ecosystems. Retailers that don’t want to sacrifice a bit of their brand experience have traditionally had to offer customers an experience that’s a bit more disjointed.
“In a decentralized way,” Kuruvilla said, “there isn’t a shopper network that’s available that works across all different merchants and brands.”
The second is creating the checkout operating system. Kuruvilla said Bolt aims to solve for that by integrating its headless API model into the merchant’s checkout flow. In combination with the shopper’s network, a consumer can pay at any merchant anywhere the consumer discovers it, with one click.
“We can extend that functionality and make it available wherever people are discovering products, whether that’s a blog or a video,” Kuruvilla said. “We can provide that same experience because we have the shopper accounts network, and we have this integration with the checkout operating system.”
The Dawn of Decentralized Checkout
Kuruvilla said it’s the dawn of decentralized checkout, where every platform can make a run at Amazon. Rather than having to operate within the walled gardens of closed ecosystems, the shopper network, commerce identity and one-click buying all exist in a framework any merchant can use — and outside of one.
“People used to just go to buy from Amazon. Pretty easy, one place, you can just buy things,” he said. “Now people are more comfortable buying from different places, different merchants. People want to buy more with devices and apps and everything.”
Brands and merchants benefit too, as sales tend to be higher and loyalty more direct.
Kuruvilla said Bolt users report 50% conversion lift with a one-click checkout, as well as the tendency for order sizes to increase an average of 50% more. Also, he said, over half of users make repeat purchases “when they get a great one-click checkout experience. It’s important for that transaction, and it’s important for building lifetime value with the shopper and making them a repeat purchaser,” he emphasized.
“Having a unified commerce ID that works everywhere, there’s no more guessing. That’s the foundation of Bolt network.”
See also: Bolt CEO Breslow Steps Down