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Understanding Checkout Links and How to Use Them

Learn the best practices of how to make and use checkout links to increase your conversion rates.

Harrison Oztemel

In DTC checkout flows, convenience converts. According to Shopify’s merchant data, 26% of abandoned carts on Shopify stores are because the checkout process is too long. That’s a lot of potential customers who would appreciate the convenience of a checkout link.

Checkout links are URLs that send a customer directly to a checkout page with a pre-loaded shopping cart. Marketers can design their checkout links to include specific information such as the product variant, quantity, desired currency, if there is a promo or voucher attached, and if it is a single sale or subscription.

Here is an example checkout link:

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From a marketing perspective, checkout links are a convenient customer-first tool that performance marketers can use to drive up conversion rates across their different campaigns. You can use checkout links for:

  • Direct response marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Remarketing campaigns
  • Customer service

Many marketers might have access to building checkout links already, but may not be familiar with the best practices or what some of the benefits are in terms of collecting sales data. Let’s look at how 29 Next merchants are creating and deploying checkout links to reduce abandoned carts and increase conversion rates.

Checkout links are useful because they fast-track the customer to the checkout rather than require them to navigate through product pages and manually load a cart. More web pages means more friction, and more friction leads to the customer abandoning the purchase. Checkout links shortcut the customer through the funnel and reduce the opportunities to walk away from the purchase.

Marketers can also use checkout links to create carts that have bundles or promotional items that are not searchable or found elsewhere on the site. This can be helpful in a performance marketing campaign where sales through a specific channel partner offer a promotional item. They can also be built to collect multiple sales data points to make A/B testing more thorough.

29 Next merchants can further enhance their customers’ experience by directing them to a branded and/or customized checkout page via a checkout link. Customers will be more inclined to complete their sales on a branded and well-designed page with a range of their preferred payment options.

Brands that leverage performance marketing strategies such as working with affiliates or influencers can increase their conversion rates by giving their partner marketers distinct checkout links for each campaign with attribution parameters attached. Instead of having the partner share a coupon code and send customers to a product page or landing page, the checkout link will send the customer to the checkout with a pre-loaded cart and the discount code already applied.

Similarly, marketers can share checkout links in content such as social media posts and newsletters, particularly if the post or content block is advertising a specific product or set. This makes the sale easier for a customer to commit to - all they have to do is click the link.

Properly Attribute Sales

Marketers are always interested in sales attribution metrics because they paint the story of the customer journey and identify where their future marketing funds will be best spent. While consumer behavior cloudies up most attribution metrics, you can get a much clearer idea of a customer’s journey if they complete the sale from a checkout link.

Here is an example checkout link with some attribution parameters:

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Sales generated through checkout links that include attribution parameters will be recorded with the right attribution in the sales reports in your 29 Next dashboard. With more complete tracking data, you can gain a clearer understanding of where your customers are coming from, which campaigns are converting, or which affiliate channels show higher performance for certain products. The more you understand your customer journey, the better you can allocate your marketing budget and drive up your ROAS.

Customer service staff play a vital role in the sales process because they are in direct contact with customers. Because of that access, you can dramatically enhance your customer service team’s sales potential by having them share checkout links in some of their interactions.

For example, a customer service agent who helps a customer choose the right product can send that customer a personalized checkout link for that product, and include a voucher code, to make the sale easier for the customer to complete. Likewise, agents can send checkout links to customers who were interested in products that were out of stock or who wanted a different variant.

It’s never a bad time to give your marketing and sales strategies an audit and try using checkout links in a few campaigns to see how they improve your key sales metrics. They are easy to build and make a significant impact on the customer experience, thus driving up your ROAS and lowering your abandoned cart rate.

To learn more about checkout links and to find all of the supported cart and attribution parameters, head over to our docs.

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