LVMH’s Benefit Cosmetics is revamping its checkout experience with a new partner.
Benefit Cosmetics announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with checkout and shopper network company Bolt for its U.S., U.K., France and Germany e-commerce sites. This marks U.S.-based Bolt’s foray into Europe as third-party checkout competition heats up. Benefit Cosmetics is the first LVMH brand to use a third-party checkout service, opening the possibility for more brands in the conglomerate to adopt the practice in the future. On Monday, Bolt also announced that it is partnering with Shopify competitor PrestaShop, allowing shoppers to check out in one step across PrestaShop sites in the U.S., U.K., France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Already active on these sites since October 14, the new checkout system requires users to register with Bolt in order to access one-click checkout on any site using the platform.
“Benefit has built and maintained our own checkout experience for years, but it’s super complex and there’s always so much to do. Our checkout roadmap was never-ending,” said Cindy Shen, vp of global e-commerce and CRM at Benefit Cosmetics. The brand decided to go with a third party “who could offer a seamless experience, preferred payment methods and a global footprint.”
Setting up checkout in Europe is typically more complex than in the U.S. market due to compliance with GDPR, 3D Secure to verify identity, and adjustments for language and currency.
“[It takes] a lot to launch a full, European-ready checkout,” said Ryan Breslow, founder and CEO of Bolt.
Higher conversion and lower cart abandonment are some of the biggest goals for brands hoping to optimize their checkout systems. Bolt claims its one-click checkout can reduce cart abandonment by 50%. According to Breslow, some of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment include being required to set up passwords or being prompted to register.
“Asking for users to save a password is high friction,” said Breslow. “The average site loses 70% of their customers at the last step of checkout. After they paid all this money and created ads for marketing brand awareness, to lose them in the last step is a tragedy.”
“It’s been a few weeks post-launch, and we’ve already seen significant gains in conversion across all our websites, with the biggest uplift from our U.S. website,” said Shen. In Europe, she said Benefit’s Germany site is seeing the strongest increases from the new checkout system, due to a more seamless PayPal and Klarna integration.
“Checkout is both an art and a science. There are so many intricate details and [a lot of] technical work that need to happen on the back end, but to a shopper, it just needs to be fast and easy,” said Shen.
Bolt is in talks with other LVMH brands, which would allow users to have one-click checkout across the LVMH portfolio.
“We’re having a lot of success with portfolio groups because their accounts are disparate,” said Breslow. The company also works with beauty brands including Milk Makeup, Bliss Beauty, Osmotics Skincare, SkinMedix, Rescue Spa and The Hair Factory. Bolt has 10 million users and announced $393 million in series D funding in October, giving it a valuation of $6 billion.
For premium and luxury brands, Bolt is differentiating itself with more freedom in checkout design than the standard Shopify checkout. According to Breslow, Bolt is “working with them on stylization options for checkout customization, and allowing our checkout to be designed to every brand’s own look and feel.” Brands under the LVMH umbrella are “obviously quite opinionated about design,” he said.