E-retailer Kettlebell Kings says a growing number of shoppers with multiple products in their shopping carts are completing their purchase thanks to a simplified checkout process it implemented about a month ago.
Launched in 2013, Kettlebell Kings has grown sales by at least 100% each year. But many shoppers who added several items to their carts were abandoning orders once they got to the checkout process. Checkout previously contained about 15 fields, such as if the shoppers wanted to create an account or if they wanted view their cart again. The checkout also required shoppers to scroll down one lengthy page, says Jay Perkins, the retailer’s co-founder and managing partner.
About 30 days ago, Kettlebell Kings was one of the first retailers to implement a new feature from e-commerce platform provider BigCommerce called Checkout SDK, a software development kit that enables merchants, agencies and developers to customize the online checkout process.
For example, a merchant can add one-click checkout for returning shoppers, change the look, feel and placement of checkout fields or add payment options such as Square, Stripe or Klarna.
Kettlebell Kings, with the help of payment and fraud prevention software provider Bolt, cut the number of fields a customer needed to review during checkout roughly in half, Perkins said. Now, if a shopper has auto-complete turned on to automatically fill in areas such as email, shipping and billing addresses, she can check out in as little as one or two clicks. The retailer also implemented a light box that pops up during each step of the checkout process and blurs the rest of the page. This, Perkins says, reduces clutter and confusion and helps the shopper quickly focus on her current step.
“It’s a really elegant 3-by-3-inch box that blurs out the background,” Perkins says. “The quick pop out helps you focus on what you need to answer at that moment.”
Since implementing the changes, Kettlebell Kings is capturing more impulse purchases and has increased average order value to about $250 from about $150 with the old checkout.
“We are getting more orders because it reduces barriers,” Perkins says. “A lot of people would add items to their cart and not complete their order. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to checkout. People literally buy [based on] how they are feeling at that very moment.”
Making the changes took about two weeks and was free for Kettlebell Kings, as the service was offered as an add-on feature to Bolt’s payment processing and fraud prevention service. Perkins adds that while he was vetting payment processors, Bolt agreed to match the lowest payment processing rate he found—in addition to offering the checkout revamp.
With the new BigCommerce Checkout SDK, merchants or service providers like Bolt build a checkout page replacement rather than making changes to the existing checkout page. Essentially, retailers place a skin over the built-in BigCommerce one-page checkout with a completely new user interface that merchants can design themselves, BigCommerce says.
Apparel retailer Bohemian Traders also used the new SDK to build a one-page checkout where all fields are readily visible to a shopper when she lands on the page, eliminating the need for a shopper to scroll. With the help of design agency Intuit Solutions, it used the SDK to customize its former one-page checkout by rearranging the fields and placing three columns above the fold: billing and shipping information, shipping method and order confirmation.
“Now, there are three columns on the checkout page,” says David Berlach, CEO of Bohemian Traders. “There is no scrolling at all. It’s clean and not distracting for the customers. Plus, we can brand it or include up-sells or cross-sells as needed.” Berlach says he was seeking a “true” one page checkout with no drop down boxes or separate sections to open and close. “The aim was to provide as streamlined a process as possible for customers, eliminating as many friction points at checkout as possible,” he says.
The new checkout also includes a connection to Google Maps that auto populates with a customer’s address when he begins typing the first line of his shipping address.
A survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in July by installment payments software provider Splitit via Google Consumer Surveys found that 87% of online shoppers will abandon their carts during the checkout process if it is too long or too complicated, and 55% of all online shoppers would not only abandon their carts, but also never return to that retailer’s site.
The survey found that older shoppers are the least forgiving of complex checkouts, but millennials don’t like them much either. 90% of respondents aged 55 or older said they would not follow through with a lengthy checkout, compared with 83% of millennials.
Millennials, however, were a bit more likely than older shoppers to give a retailer a second chance: 12% said they would exit a lengthy checkout but return to the site later, compared with just 7% of those over the age of 55.
Excessive advertisements during the online checkout process also can make consumers less likely to buy, the survey found. 25% of respondents—including 19% of millennials and 28% of older shoppers—cited advertising as a reason for abandoning their carts.
15 merchants in the Internet Retailer Top 1000 use BigCommerce as their e-commerce platform.
James Melton contributed to this report.