When brands use a single frontend checkout experience, all shoppers, regardless of their individual needs, proceed through the same flow. When merchants elect to instead provide a variety of checkout experiences, they gain opportunities to optimize checkout, creating the potential for higher conversion.
A checkout flow (Patent Pending) is an optimized checkout experience designed to serve a specific set of shoppers based on a set of criteria, such as the type of device they're interacting with, their screen size, or the items in the cart.
Each brand may have one or multiple checkout flows. The following diagram shows an example of some various flows a brand might have:
A frontend is any interface a user interacts with that collects the information required by the backend to process an order. For instance, a frontend can be:
- An online form a shopper fills out.
- The interface an employee uses during an in-store purchase.
- The voice prompts a person replies to when placing an order with a virtual assistant.
Checkout templates can also be used as a base for a custom frontend. Custom frontends must be accompanied by a custom backend and must be self-hosted. Brands can create any number of their own self-hosted checkout flows to meet their particular customer needs.
A flow identifier is the unique string used to label a specific checkout flow and distinguishes it from other checkout flows.
The flow identifier is found in the
flow_id field of each order's
application_state. You can also find the
flow_id on each order's Order details page in the Bold Checkout admin.
By setting the
flow_id field on the order, a brand can determine whether a particular checkout experience performs better than others. Filtering metrics by
flow_id enables brands to compare performance based on the checkout flow.
flow_id is an arbitrary string, and it is up to the brand to choose particular values related to any individual checkout experiences offered.
If you do not set a
flow_id, it defaults to
null and is displayed as "Unassigned" in the Checkout admin.
Types of flows
With Bold Checkout, you can choose between three types of flows: Bold-hosted, custom, and partner flows. The following table outlines each flow type:
|Flow Type||Description||Hosting Location||Frontend Options|
|Bold-hosted flows||Standard and optimized flows created by Bold.||Hosted by Bold.||One page or three page.|
|Custom flows||Bespoke flows created by a merchant (or a development agency on behalf of a merchant).||Hosted by merchant.||Start out with the one page or three page template, or create a flow from scratch.|
|Partner flows||Flows created by a partner for a specific platform, technology partner, or other use case.||Hosted by Bold or partner.||For example, a social media partner or payment partner.|
If a store has more than one flow, a developer can implement flow logic — functionality that enables a store to evaluate the conditions of the checkout, choose which flow would be most appropriate, and display that flow to the user.
Bold does not provide flow logic capabilities, so implementing it is the responsibility of the developer.