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Product detail page checkout: The Guardian Bookshop deep dive

Jon Amadei, Leading Go-To-Market Strategy at Fast

Back in July, I wrote an article explaining why sellers need Fast Checkout on their product detail pages. I explained how it’s critically important to let customers check out precisely when their intent to purchase is highest – when they’re on a product detail page. Enabling checkout at this point skyrockets conversion and gives shoppers a more enjoyable experience.

As a follow up, I take a deep dive into the product detail page checkout performance of one of our newest sellers, The Guardian Bookshop

Operated by Monwell Ltd., The Guardian Bookshop sells more than 150,000 of the U.K.'s top-selling books and branded merchandise from The Guardian, a major British news organization. Everything purchased from the shop supports The Guardian’s journalism, and part of The Guardian Bookshop’s success is driven by the publication’s editorial content and book reviews. 

Monwell’s partnership with The Guardian allows customers to quickly get their hands on a book after reading a review in the publication and support a great cause at the same time. The Guardian Bookshop’s customers would rather buy books from The Guardian than Amazon, Monwell Co-Founder Nick Sidwell said.

"A bookshop is hard to make stand out,” he added. “If you want your latest copy of the new Jonathan Franzen novel or Rebecca Solnit essays, it's the same book you can buy from anywhere. Where The Guardian Bookshop makes itself different is by creating as many close connections as it can through the editorial content and the editorial brand, so that when a reader is coming to buy from the bookshop, it's their newspaper's bookshop. People are very attached to The Guardian, and they want to support it.”

It’s clear that when readers visit The Guardian to peruse book reviews and find one that resonates with them, many will immediately click the link at the end of the review that directs them to the bookshop, and order a copy. This is particularly apparent during the weekend rush to discover The Guardian Saturday Review section’s “Book of the Week” and inspires a surge in sales.

With the Fast Checkout button, readers can purchase from The Guardian Bookshop in one click on the site’s product detail page.

When readers visit the shop to buy a book, the intent to purchase is incredibly high once they land on what’s called the product detail page. That’s where the description and price of a product, in this case a book, is displayed (See image above). Usually, there is only an Add to Cart or Add to Basket button for shoppers to complete a purchase later. But when someone goes to The Guardian Bookshop website, they’ll see a Fast Checkout button, a one-click payment option right on the product detail page.

This new feature allows customers to immediately purchase a product they want and skips the traditional checkout process that normally involves filling out multiple forms. The easy-to-use payment button also inspires more sales and increases conversion.

Sidwell said that’s why he needed Fast.

“There's a very important user journey for our store, which is when a potential customer has read a book review, at the bottom there's this link that says, buy this book, then they click on it,” he said. “You want to make that purchase journey as swift, as smooth, as pleasurable as possible, because as soon as somebody has decided that they want to buy that book you're now competing against Amazon. Your head start is you've got that link at the bottom of the page and so you've got to execute on that advantage as best as you can.”

And customers have taken to the new checkout experience, Sidwell said.

“We see a lot of interaction with the Fast Checkout button,” he said. “The share of the overall number of sales is way higher than I was expecting.”

At Fast, this is what we love to hear. The existing commerce journey is inherently broken, and in many cases fails to capture intent to purchase through a converted sale. With product detail page checkout, Fast eliminates the friction attached to the add-to-cart funnel, driving revenue up.

So what is the share of Fast orders? When it comes to new buyers, we see a significant share of wallet (SoW) for overall organic Fast Checkout usage and a related, meaningful increase in total orders.

As we dug further to identify the impact of Fast, we looked at total orders placed, and as described, the introduction of Fast Checkout on the product detail page increased the number of total orders by about 43%. During the weekend rush (and on Mondays) this increase stretches even higher, past 65%.

To understand the increase in overall sales volume as a result of the Fast Checkout integration, we need to interpret the “why.” Below, we can see the difference in completion rates (percent of customers who complete a purchase) using Fast Checkout versus the traditional add-to-cart (which we call “Slow Checkout”) checkout process. Completion rates for Fast Checkout orders hover above a staggering 50%, while standard checkout completion rates generally are much lower. In the second graph, we highlight incremental gains, which are consistently above 50% and peak around 200%.

The good news doesn’t stop there. When we took a snapshot of revenue per checkout click, The Guardian Bookshop saw a 62.5% increase in just one day in late September.

The data points really tell the story here. With Fast Checkout on its product detail pages, The Guardian Bookshop allows customers to purchase what they want, when they want, and without the hassle of the multi-step traditional checkout experience. The impact of removing friction from the checkout experience couldn’t be more clear.

We’re incredibly excited to partner with a seller like Monwell, and we’re even more excited about the success it enjoys by working with us. There’s never been a better opportunity for merchants of all sizes to be part of what we’re building and grow with us.

Want to learn more about Fast? Contact [email protected].

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