All Things Shipping | Aug 28, 2017

How to Implement 1-Click Ordering like Amazon

Mikhail Ledvich

It’s easy to forget what ecommerce checkout was like 20 years ago. Multiple steps, hidden surcharges and lack of visibility into when orders would ship were the normal experience. So when Amazon came out with its 1-Click checkout experience, while widely ridiculed for the patent, it began the evolution towards transparency and customer focus in the checkout experience.

With Amazon’s 1-Click patent expiring in September, it can be tempting to rush out and build the same functionality for your store. Allowing customers to make purchases directly from the product page, bypassing the checkout flow, is a clear way to decrease cart abandonment and increase purchases.  If you are looking to add 1-Click purchase functionality to your own store, there are three key considerations to evaluate when determining the potential of this new feature and maximizing its effectiveness.

1. Customer accounts and repeat buyers

Having repeat buyers is the basic requirement to take advantage of 1-Click checkout flow. Most shopping carts support creation of user accounts and storing personal information.

If you have been pushing your customers to create customer accounts, analyze how many user accounts with shipping addresses and payment details you have. The shoppers that will take advantage of the 1-click buying will be a subset of this group.

If you have been pushing buyers into having accounts, look at your repeat purchase trends to see what the average number of repeat purchases per buyer is and how often a customer buys from you. These metrics should give you a clear baseline for measuring the impact of this change.

If you haven’t been nudging your customers into creating accounts in your store, this is the first action you want to take.

2. Surfacing delivery and shipping information

Consider what information a customer looks for when making a purchase. Of course, there is the product information, pricing, photos, and, oftentimes, other customer reviews. According to Shippo research, two more pieces of information items are key: expected arrival date and exact shipping cost. However, only 33% of merchants are able to forecast the delivery date and only 64% show the item’s shipping cost right on the product page.

What allowed Amazon to reap value from the 1-click patent was the execution on the total customer experience. If you evaluate the Amazon product page, there is absolutely nothing hidden.

Amazon Product Page Screenshot

As customers are browsing through the products, they see the specific date the item will arrive. In fact, Amazon will push customers into purchasing within a certain time limit to guarantee the delivery date of the item.

Amazon doesn’t let the customer wonder about anything when they are looking at the product page. They don’t say “Two Day Shipping” and let the customer guess when it actually arrives – does it ship today or tomorrow, if today is Friday, does that mean it ships Monday? They provide the expected delivery date and cost. Having all information available on the product page is what allowed them to be successful with the 1-click shopping experience.

3. Self-service customer support tools

One of the features that allowed Amazon to roll out the 1-click purchasing experience was their self-service customer service tools. Customers are given a 15 minutes window to login into their Amazon account and cancel or modify their orders. As you are considering adding the 1-click functionality, evaluate how your customers are able to modify their orders. If canceling or modifying orders requires a customer support contact, the cost of the increased support burden may eat up the profit of additional purchases. Giving customers the ability to make changes to the orders themselves is a great way to remove the hesitation from the 1-click checkout flow.

Amazon’s success was not a result of just one of its efforts. It’s much more than just Prime Shipping or the 1-Click patent. Amazon won the hearts of consumers through truly optimizing the customer shopping experience. If you have repeat, registered buyers, you are able to surface shipping details on the product page, and give customers the tools to manage their own orders, than you should absolutely consider offering the one click purchase experience. It will be another tool you can use to differentiate and grow your business.

Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.

Mikhail Ledvich was VP of Marketing at Shippo

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