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What is Bolt?

When we talk about Bolt as a cohesive product experience, it’s important to understand all of the separate technical pieces that must be implemented to use Bolt with a custom cart platform. Those pieces are the following:

  • The Checkout Modal
  • The Bolt API
  • The Merchant API
  • Transaction Status Webhooks

If you are using an eCommerce platform that supports a Bolt Plugin, we strongly suggest using that implementation approach instead of building your own. See our Plugin Implementation Guides.

The Checkout Modal

The checkout modal drives all of the storefront functionality that your shopper experiences when adding an item to their cart and checking out. It generally includes:

  1. Two javascript installations.
  2. A fast-loading SVG checkout button.
  3. Your Merchant Division’s publishable key.
  4. A call to BoltCheckout.configure.

The modal can be installed either page-by-page or across the site depending on your preference. See our Bolt Integration Checkout Guide for more information.

The Bolt API

The Bolt API is a series of endpoints you can make requests to either during order handling, transaction processing, or when pulling statements for your records and reconciliation.

  • Orders: Create an order token used in the Checkout Modal to reference the cart generated in your storefront.
  • Transactions: Authorize, capture, refund, review, view, or void a given transaction.
  • Statements: View a statement for your merchant account division by specifying a timeframe.

See our Bolt API reference for a list of endpoints and methods.

The Merchant API

The Merchant API is a custom implementation that you must build on your cart platform that Bolt can send requests to in relation to order processes. When a shopper interacts with the Checkout Modal, requests are sent to your Merchant API to obtain shipping options, pickup locations, tax calculations, acceptable discount codes and values, etc. Bolt has included the data structure required as part of our API reference.

  1. Inspect and understand the expected JSON structure for each endpoint.
    • Discounts
    • Order Creation
    • Shipping
    • Tax
  2. Build endpoints that can send requests and accept responses using the same pattern.
  3. Share the endpoint URLs with the Bolt team so they can be implemented in the back-end.

See our Merchant API reference for a list of endpoints and methods.

Transaction Status Webhooks

Transaction Status Webhooks enable merchants to handle the payment authorization lifecycle according to the business rules of their unique eCommerce platform. You must build a webhook endpoint for your store that handles the POST requests sent by Bolt.

See our Webhook reference for examples of webhook events and responses.

Summary

The Checkout Modal handles the shopper’s experience and first contacts the Bolt API to generate a unique order token. It then passes order information back and forth to your Merchant API endpoints, checking for discount codes, shipping options, and tax rates that you’ve defined. The modal finally initiates a payment authorization process using transaction status webhooks, which are sent to your store’s dedicated webhook endpoint. More webhooks are sent as the transaction changes statuses.

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