Bold Commerce CEO: Consumers Skip the Cart and Brands Close the Sale With ‘Shoppable Checkouts’

Social media promised to give brands a new channel to transform browsers into buyers. But the promise has not met reality.

Meta’s Instagram and Google’s YouTube, among others, have striven mightily to embed commerce into the mix. But the pivot away from the thrill of the video feed toward product landing pages and filling online shopping carts represents a series of stutter steps, points of departure where brands can (and often do) lose consumers in an omnichannel experience that misses expectations. 

Peter Karpas, CEO at Bold Commerce, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster that what’s needed is the ability to checkout “in the moment,” where checkout is front and center while the consumer is in the midst of their preferred online experience, in video, email and without being brought to external pages.  

Getting there would be a huge advance over the “brittle and rigid” checkout experiences that are the hallmarks of eCommerce today. Companies have spent years and untold billions of dollars and hours of brainpower personalizing home pages, media message, marketing campaigns … and an Achilles’ heel has been the lack of a personalized checkout experience.

Read more: eCommerce Checkouts Using Buy Button Are 46% Faster Than Without

To that end, Bold Commerce said on Wednesday (July 19) that it is enabling brands to embed “shoppable checkouts” directly into a variety of channels – including social media, video and email – with a new accelerator. The accelerator itself, said the company, was developed by Coalition Technologies on Bold Checkout. 

In terms of mechanics, the accelerator strips the middleman from the commerce equation — where the sidetracks to product pages are eliminated — and as a result, checkout becomes the first step in the journey.

Composable Commerce and Checkout 3.0

We’re about to move into “Checkout 3.0,” — where, conceivably, a consumer can scan a QR code, and is immediately taken to a product in checkout mode. It’s a move designed to fix the pain points that exist with the current Checkout 2.0 as brands engage with their shoppers.   

The approach is one that harnesses “composable commerce” — using a range of commerce components to build applications that are personalized on a brand-by-brand basis. 

The accelerator, as Karpas said, can be integrated by retailers on any legacy or custom platform, sidestepping the need to develop their own coding. by separating back-end and front-end capabilities so that each can be modified independently in what’s known as a “headless” approach.

“It’s a capability we’ve been building for close to five years,” said Karpas. 

The accelerator also leverages PayPal Complete Payments so brands can offer PayPal, Venmo, PayPal Pay Later, and credit and debit card payment options.

Beyond Conversion — the Upsell

Headless commerce and personalization — as consumers click links that intelligently “call” the right checkout scenario — help move brands towards what Karpas called “power trio.”

“Every brand should be focused on conversion, but they also should be focused on average order value and [customer] lifetime value,” Karpas said. A speedy checkout’s a boon for conversion but does not do much to keep customers engaged. Headless commerce, he said, lets brands bring upsell and cross-selling opportunities to consumers, increasing order values … and maybe even transforming the one-time buyer into a long-term subscriber.   

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Karpas explained that the integrations with the accelerator dial up upsell opportunities designed to prod consumers already familiar with eCommerce staples such as “you may also like” and “frequently purchased together,” directly in the checkout. 

Headless commerce, he said, can even let brands swap in a different “shipping widget” to drive certain people to certain shipping options. 

The more checkout flows a brand has, the more successful the brand becomes as low-dollar transactions can be shepherded into larger baskets populated by a range of items and services.

Looking ahead, he said, as shoppers seamlessly buy what they want in the middle of an immersive experience. “Conceptually, you can take a checkout,” he told Webster, “and you can put it … here, there and anywhere.”