As customers flock to ecommerce amid COVID-19, online initiatives continue to grow and evolve. In the online shopping space, it’s no longer enough to have a functional ecommerce platform.
As we consistently hear across all areas of retail, shoppers’ expectations are continuing to grow. Online customers—who were once wowed by the simple convenience of online stores—are now extremely perceptive of the intricacies (and, more importantly, the annoyances) of online ordering.
One such inconvenience is being bounced around to different pages during the order and checkout process. Sometimes just a single point of friction causes shoppers to abandon their carts and never return.
An often overlooked but essential ingredient to successful ecommerce experiences is an integrated checkout. An integrated checkout streamlines the ordering process for shoppers and brands alike, growing recurring revenue and building loyalty.
What is integrated checkout?
When checking out online, websites will sometimes transfer shoppers to a different site and interface to complete the purchase. Such transfers can happen when a retailer uses certain payment vendors or when items in the cart demand different checkout processes (such as when a customer is purchasing individual items but also subscribing to other products).
With integrated checkout, a vendor can seamlessly integrate into an existing cart to complete their purchase on a single site. Therefore, consumers aren’t being redirected to an external, and often suboptimal, checkout experience. This ensures that the process for a one-time purchase or the enrollment experience for a subscription, membership, or reorder program is seamlessly integrated with an optimized checkout increases conversion rates.
What’s the big deal?
Consumers expect frictionless experiences. They want to find their products and checkout in as few steps as possible. When it comes to committed relationships with brands, they expect even more – no checkout, no credit card entry, no clicks and quick resolution of problems with real humans. It’s all about relationship commerce — a business philosophy aimed at developing deeper relationships with consumers, moving them from one-and-done transactions to ongoing, frictionless relationships.
According to the Baymard Institute, 21% of U.S. online shoppers have abandoned an order in the past quarter solely due to a “too long/complicated checkout process.” Meanwhile, Statista reports that 30% of shoppers will abandon checkout if they have to re-enter their credit card information, and 25% will leave if they have to re-enter shipping information.
Shepherding customers to another platform for checkout adds extra steps, a change in branding and overall complexity. These actions work together to lose customers in the final steps, which ultimately reduces loyalty and the potential for recurring purchases down the line.
Considering the principle that every first-time buyer could turn into a regular customer, any disruption to the experience puts recurring revenue and repeat purchases at risk. When the checkout for recurring revenue programs is separate from the rest of a consumer’s checkout flow, consumer enrollment in subscription programs can diminish by as much as 40%. That’s far too much money for enterprises to risk losing when an alternative is so easily accessible.
How does integrated checkout fix internal disruption?
While this adds complexity for the customer, it also adds extra work for the retailer. Significant disadvantages associated with having to manage two distinct checkouts are the behind-the-scenes duplication of everything:
- Duplicate or separate payment processors.
- Replication of all promotional and marketing programs.
- Product catalog duplication.
- Loss of conversion funnel tracking and analytics.
When a vendor owns the offsite checkout, the retailer can lose control of the customer journey. Customers buying a non-subscription option vs. a subscription item or using an external payment vendor are at risk of a disrupted checkout. Integrating these functions into the existing checkout allows retailers to manage one checkout and maintain control of the branding experience, analytics and other essential metrics to grow customer loyalty.
What’s next for integrated checkout?
Shoppers have become extremely conscious of the details in digital commerce platforms. Integrated checkout is necessary and will become the norm over the next few years as retailers seek to offer a smooth checkout experience. Integrated checkout helps merchants maximize their online and recurring revenue, streamline operational overhead, natively integrate marketing and promotional capabilities, and improve tracking and analytics. The days of losing 40% of conversion will soon be over.
Ordergroove Inc. provides software that powers subscription programs for D2C brands and retailers.