December 15, 2009, 12:00 AM

King Arthur Flour cooks up higher checkout conversion rates

With a checkout process streamlined by its in-house technology team, the retailer of baking products has boosted the number of customers who complete the checkout process after adding items to a cart, director of online services Halley Silver says.

Baking products retailer King Arthur Flour Co. Inc.`s in-house technology team has streamlined the checkout process on and in the process boosted the percentage of customers who complete a purchase after adding items to a cart, director of online services Halley Silver says.

The retailer, working in a Java-based technology environment, reduced the number of steps to complete checkout to three from four; it deleted the requirement for shoppers to choose between registered user and guest; and it added instant confirmations of shipping address information, which uses pop-up windows to prompt customers to insert their correct ZIP codes.

In addition, the checkout page now immediately applies the value of gift cards and promotions to orders, enabling shoppers to see the final purchase price. It also inserted a “buy more, save more” message on the cart page to let shoppers know the dollar value of merchandise they need to add to their cart to qualify for special offers.


To help plan the improvements, King Arthur Flour worked closely with the head of its customer service team to identify where customers were having problems with the prior checkout process, Silver says.

Overall, the changes resulted in 55% of shoppers completing the checkout process after having put items into a shopping cart during a review period of early October through early November, up from 38% in the same period last year, the retailer says.

King Arthur Flour also notes that completed checkouts during the October-November review period rose 17% when compared to a one-month period this past summer.

The streamlined checkout process, implemented by the in-house technology team, also resulted in fewer calls to customer service, the retailer says.

“Changing any part of the checkout process is always something that makes us a bit nervous,” Silver says. “To completely overhaul it and see such huge benefits from the start-we’re all immensely pleased.”

King Arthur Flour, is No. 458 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name).

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