By Domm Holland, Co-Founder and CEO at Fast
In the e-commerce space, it’s no secret that online merchants lose billions of dollars in sales as a result of shoppers abandoning their carts. Most estimates peg online shopping cart abandonment at more than 70 percent. Checkout is a major point of friction driving this number. Of those abandoning their cart, 21 percent are walking away because the checkout process is too complicated or lengthy, according to Marketing Dynamics.
To give you an idea of how broken the system is, imagine if you were at the grocery store and filling your shopping cart. What if seven out of every 10 people in that store just abandoned their cart in the middle of the aisle because checking out was too complicated or the line was too long? That’s exactly what is happening online.
Frustratingly poor online checkout experiences have become all too common and the damage isn’t just on merchants’ bottom line sales. Buyers are walking away with a negative perception of companies as a result. Merchants need to build online experiences that meet the expectations of their customers, and they need to act now.
So what if buyers could eliminate all of those extra clicks to get to a checkout page and instead make a purchase instantaneously when they discover your product? This is precisely the opportunity with headless checkout. The buyer never has to navigate to a new website.
Imagine you’re reading an article with a round up of gift ideas for Father’s Day, and you’re feeling inspired to buy your Dad that smart meat thermometer; you click once to purchase it on the spot instead of being redirected to yet another website that leads you down a long and cumbersome journey of creating passwords and entering credit cards numbers.
I know what you’re thinking, this seems completely counterintuitive to the idea that merchants are trained to draw buyers to their website. But the days of measuring e-commerce success by clicks to your website are gone - so shake off that 2008 e-commerce vibe, and remember what the ultimate goal is: to sell your products and services. And if that can be done best while your customer is on someone else’s website, embrace it. A sale is a sale, and in this case, it’s a sale to a customer made happier because they didn’t have to click through to another site with an antiquated checkout process.
By enabling buyers to purchase immediately after they discover a product, the potential to increase sales and satisfied customers is exponential. Headless checkout will completely revolutionize content and how consumers shop.
Decoupling the checkout process from only being done on the merchant’s website unlocks new opportunities for sales by increasing the funnel of people that could buy products. The traditional act of shopping is evolving. The path to making a purchase isn’t always as simple as deciding what we want or need to purchase and then heading to a retail store or e-commerce site. Shopping has become more seamlessly integrated into our daily lives and the manner in which we discover products is often through content online. Merchants must meet buyers where they are instead of waiting for them to arrive at their destination.
The beauty behind this approach of meeting potential customers at the point of discovery is that it allows you to break out and reach new buyers beyond the walls of your own site. It’s like the digital equivalent of putting your products on the shelf in more stores. It drives discovery into action and increases the speed at which customers can checkout by completely eliminating the buyer friction that comes with moving to another site.
Consider the many ways that today’s consumers discover products online, whether that’s reading a review from a trusted publication or looking at posts from social media influencers or browsing Pinterest. Imagine if there was a one-click checkout button embedded in each of those experiences. The opportunity for sales and the reduced friction for the buyer are huge.
There’s also a tremendous amount of potential to modernize affiliate marketing with headless checkout. As the content creator and influencer community has exploded, there’s little opportunity today to effectively monetize it because the affiliate model is so outdated – requiring consumers to click a link and bounce through redirects. With headless checkout, a transaction can happen immediately on a blog or any other content site. It creates endless opportunities for marketers, sellers, influencers and publishers alike.
The merchants that win in tomorrow’s online shopping environment must meet customer demand for a painless purchase experience, and headless checkout is set to transform online purchasing behavior.