It’s all hands on deck for driving revenue and securing conversions in retail today.
While the marketing team figures out how to make the best play in an economic downturn, product and technology teams need to turn eyes to the point in the customer experience most likely to leak money: the checkout experience.
Optimizing the checkout experience is the first place e-commerce brands should look to improve conversion rates and make the most of hard-won (or at least expensive) traffic. But before you start to tally the time, talent and budget you’d need to build your own, consider how quickly you can get where you want to go when you use proven, high-converting checkout tools already on the market.
While for some brands it might make sense to rally the resources to create a commerce architecture from scratch, that’s not the case for the majority:
“Every commerce team is after the same goals: faster time to market, less toil, better conversion rates and the ability to spend precious cycles on the unique needs of their business,” said Ilya Grigorik, principal engineer, technical advisor to the CEO at Shopify. “The best way to achieve that is to take and integrate with what you need, extending and customizing the engine to your needs.”
If you’re feeling the pressure to build your own e-commerce checkout, here’s why you’ll see better results with a leading ecommerce platform:
Designed for today’s customer
An optimized checkout experience, the availability of accelerated payment methods and incorporating relevant customizations (such as customer data autofill) can dramatically affect conversion. For example, research from BCG and Shopify indicates that the simple addition of accelerated payment methods (such as Shop Pay, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Meta Pay) can increase lower-funnel conversion rates by upward of 50%.
Storefronts operating without these features won’t meet today’s e-commerce customer’s needs. And there are dozens of other considerations to take into account, from one-click checkout and mobile accessibility to UX and UI best practices and more. Unless you and your team are an expert on today’s e-commerce customer and the customizations they need to feel excited to buy, you likely will not create a checkout experience as effective as Shopify’s.
Designed for speed
Speed is critical to today’s e-commerce customer checkout experience. So important that research from BCG and Shopify reveals improved speed at every step correlates with “higher conversion rates across most industries.” The researchers noticed a significant increase in conversion rates starting from the moment the checkout experience begins: If the process to complete the full checkout takes longer than 90 seconds, the lower-funnel conversion rate may decrease around 47% on average.
Every second counts. But your team may not be able to spend every second focused on checkout. That’s not true for a platform like Shopify, with more engineers working just on making checkout high-converting and performant than some other companies have working on their entire commerce solution.
Designed for security and convenience
E-commerce customer privacy and security are top issues both for retailers and customers. This becomes top of mind for a customer when they reach the checkout stage — any step that doesn’t move forward in a way that feels secure and convenient can deter them from finishing the sale. However, retailers must walk a fine line because these efforts to prevent fraud can’t impede the flow of checkout or you risk a customer giving up on the sale.
This is one area where a platform like Shopify shines because of its robust identity network. Today, more than 100 million high-intent, high-value buyers are pre-opted into one-click checkout with Shop Pay. Shopify can recognize prospective customers in one click, enabling pre-filled customer information and a seamless one-click checkout — which means a secure checkout 4x faster than a guest checkout.
Designed for continuous improvement
The e-commerce space doesn’t sleep, and retailers must navigate a constant stream of new products, competitors, platforms and ways of shopping. A retailer’s checkout experience must evolve similarly, often as a result of continuous updates and attention to detail by investing in an innovative and well-engineered e-commerce platform. This investment (or lack thereof) may contribute to the variance in conversion rates among all-in-one e-commerce platforms — a variance in conversion rates of as much as 36% from one platform to another.
Just consider the ramifications of a 36% gap in performance. For a merchant with about 53 million unique sessions and annual revenue of about $100 million, a lower-funnel conversion rate improvement of even a single percentage point can be worth as much as $6 million per year.
Superior experience, superior conversion rates
It’s a cliche to say it, but online merchants that don’t use the best possible checkout experience literally leave money on the table — customers primed to buy, with product almost in hand, hit a snag and abandon their cart.
Did they change their mind? Or did they simply lose momentum along the purchase journey, something easily and quickly fixed with a better checkout experience?
If you’re looking to grow revenue this year, start with your checkout experience. That’s the fastest way to ensure you’re always moving towards lowering your total cost of ownership, pivoting quickly to meet shifting buyer demands and maximizing conversion rates for your in-demand products