Consumer expectations are already high and only getting higher. Online shoppers want fast, hassle-free buying experiences.
In fact, we’ve heard from many of our customers that having a merely functional eCommerce experience is no longer good enough. There is mounting pressure on merchants to deliver a frictionless eCommerce experience, devoid of even the smallest inconveniences.
Studies echo our customers’ concerns. According to the Baymard Institute, 18% of U.S. online shoppers have abandoned an order in the past quarter solely because of a “too long/complicated checkout process.”
With subscriptions, there are numerous ways to inadvertently complicate the buying experience.
An often overlooked but critical aspect of a successful subscription experience is an integrated checkout.
Below, we detail everything you need to know about an integrated checkout, from what it is to why you need one for your subscription offering.
What Is an Integrated Checkout?
In broad terms, an integrated checkout streamlines the ordering process for online shoppers.
When checking out online, websites will sometimes transfer shoppers to a different site and interface to complete the purchase. This is referred to as a “hijacked checkout.”
Most often, a hijacked checkout occurs when a merchant integrates another company’s technology platform into their shopping experience. For example, it might happen when a merchant uses a specific payment vendor or if the items in a customer’s cart require different checkout processes. Unlike Ordergroove, most subscription platforms use a hijacked checkout.
Platforms that offer an integrated checkout seamlessly incorporate with a website’s current checkout process, enabling the entire buying journey to occur in one location.
The Advantages of an Integrated Checkout
Shoppers want to find and purchase products in as few steps as possible.
A hijacked checkout adds complexity, as well as a change in branding. Together, these factors drive down conversions. Our data shows that when the checkout is separate from the rest of a consumer’s checkout flow, subscription enrollment can drop by as much as 40%.
While a suboptimal checkout experience is bad for all eCommerce companies, it’s especially damaging to merchants with subscription programs. Each customer who doesn’t enroll in a subscription represents a loss in future revenue and wasted customer acquisition efforts.
In other words, an integrated check drives higher subscription enrollment.
An integrated checkout also eliminates resource-heavy operational issues. Brands that use a separate checkout process for subscription purchases are forced to duplicate and manage two distinct checkouts, their own checkout, and their subscription platform’s checkout.
This results in:
- Duplicate or separate payment processors
- Replication of all promotional and marketing programs
- Product catalog duplication
- Loss of conversion funnel tracking and analytics
Managing the above not only diverts resources from other initiatives but also drives up the cost of running a subscription program.
Conversely, an integrated checkout frees up operations and development resources because merchants only need to manage one checkout. What’s more, an integrated check allows merchants to control their entire customer experience and associated data.
Ordergroove’s Integrated Checkout
While having an integrated checkout has always been important, it’s become increasingly so for Shopify merchants.
In November 2020, Shopify introduced Shopify Subscription APIs. This development enabled brands to build a subscription experience directly within Shopify Checkout and showed that the eCommerce platform favored an integrated checkout experience. This change was seismic.
The new APIs forced most subscription platforms to rebuild their Shopify apps from the ground up to support an integrated checkout. This adds risk to using these subscription platforms because their technology isn’t battle-tested or as advanced as the current subscription environment demands.
Ordergroove’s subscription platform has always offered an integrated checkout, regardless of the eCommerce platform. We prioritize the subscriber experience across the entire buying journey, from enrollment through subscription management.
While other subscription platforms are rushing to implement an integrated checkout, we have years of experience with the feature, making our subscription solution more reliable than subscription platforms that were forced to adapt.
An integrated checkout is an important but overlooked aspect of every subscription offering. Incorporating an integrated checkout keeps consumers from abandoning their carts and eliminates resource issues caused by a hijacked checkout. When evaluating a subscription platform, it’s crucial to ask not only whether they support an integrated checkout, but also their experience with the feature.