Bolt is a startup that wants to give e-commerce retailers a better shot at competing with Amazon in the checkout experience.
Checkout mechanisms are complex – retailers layer tools associated with payment processing, payment gateways, and fraud detection, in addition to the checkout experience itself which has to handle calculations like coupons, loyalty, tax, and shipping fees, which creates fragmentation.
“The checkout experience isn’t great – when you click ‘checkout’ and it goes through the payments step in online shopping, there are actually dozens of different underlying tools that power that,” explains founder Ryan Breslow in an interview with Tech Crunch in January.
Breslow continued, “The insight we had at Bolt is that the more fragmented this space becomes, the worse performing online retailers become, and the more market share Amazon is going to gain.”
Bolt solves this issue with its new checkout platform designed to optimize the experience by bundling all the tools retailers need under its roof.
This includes a speedier checkout page that uses techniques to boost load times – like pre-processing the front-end, so code and elements are already loaded, instead of having the site redirect you to a new page that loads from scratch.
The checkout page also reduces the number of fields customers have to fill in to complete the purchase – something that contributes to cart abandonment. Bolt also doesn’t offer the choice to “continue as guest” or login at the beginning of checkout, which Breslow says leads to a 40 percent drop-off because customers second-guess their decision.
Instead, Bolt offers post-checkout registration – customers can sign up for accounts after the site captures their payment.
Bolt also doesn’t require customers to enter their billing address – a fairly radical shift from how online payment processing works today. Breslow claims that the billing address requirement – a generally accepted means of reducing fraud – is actually fairly useless at doing so. It does things like track where the mouse is moving on the page, whether someone is copying and pasting information into the fields, whether they’re making typos, how fast they’re typing, and many other factors. By analyzing customer behavioral patterns, Bolt says it has a better shot at stopping fraud than just asking for the billing address.
In order to assure its customers that they can trust Bolt’s fraud detection, the company covers 100 percent of fraudulent chargebacks. Bolt also incentivizes retailers to switch by agreeing to match the processing fee of the merchant’s current provider.
Combined, Bolt believes its speedier checkout, A/B tested checkout experience, and fraud detection will give its clients the ability to better compete in the world where Amazon’s one-click checkout dominates.