In an age of ever-growing digital convenience, it’s hard to remember a time before virtual browsing and purchasing. However, only two decades ago, customers were much more leery of ecommerce—and especially of providing their personal payment information online. Then in 1997, Amazon was issued a patent for one-click ordering, thus revolutionizing the online shopping experience that would lead to their growing success in the years thereafter. One-click ordering helps to decrease cart abandonment by eliminating the steps to purchase, as well as increases security by providing valid payment information up front.
Now that the patent has expired, however, businesses no longer need to license the technology from Amazon, potentially opening the door to new marketing opportunities as they incorporate one-click ordering into their own buy flow.
But technology is quickly changing, and when 20 years ago people were skeptical of online ordering, we’re now moving into an age of voice ordering, dash buttons, etc. Which begs the question: could the release of one-click ordering still be relevant to ecommerce brands moving forward, or is the technology now too outdated to be useful? We provide our point of view on opportunities where tech could evolve, and how these evolutions might help brands down the line.
Ross Briggs: SEO Strategist
The challenge for e-tailers looking to introduce their customers to one-click ordering is two-fold. First, before making a purchase, the customer must feel secure enough with the site to share their financial information. Second, in order to find value in one-click ordering, a customer would need to purchase frequently enough to be inconvenienced by the traditional checkout process. Shipping and billing data can already be saved by the merchant—one-click ordering would just remove the step of confirming your details every time.
From an SEO perspective, what would make one-click ordering really useful is if a third party like Google aggregated all purchase options into one view, and allowed users to buy directly from their search results. In this way, Google would act as the sole keeper of financial information, so users wouldn’t have to provide their credit card to a variety of e-tailers, and could also potentially regain market share of ecommerce searches that had been overtaken by Amazon in 2015.
Kevin Aron: Manager, Paid Search
Even beyond the realm of Google, Paid Search and Display Advertising have always been a crucial part of a successful ecommerce marketing plan. Ultimately, this comes down to a discussion of Conversion Rate Optimization.
Many studies have proven that less steps in a transaction process lead to higher conversion rates. One estimate, reported by Digiday, stated one-click ordering could have netted Amazon $2.4 billion dollars per year by improving conversion rates an estimated 5%. That figure is considered conservative by some experts who estimate an impact in the low double-digits.
A conversation on Quora found estimates of improvement for reducing checkouts to one-click anywhere from 15% to 100%. That impact is greater than having a top-notch mobile experience, which is an area companies typically invest heavily in.
For example, Uber’s one-click booking has made it safer for many passengers to travel. Imagine having to add CC and billing info every time you ordered an Uber—it would be a difficult challenge for many ride-share consumers, most of which are leaving social scenes.
Consider this hypothetical scenario. A shopper could come across something interesting in a post, Pin, Tweet, etc. They are then instantly able to select a product they like to find out where to buy it. The complete price, including related tax and shipping costs, is fully available with nothing hidden that would create an abandonment opportunity. All the shopper has do is click their preferred store or go with the best price, and the transaction is complete.
On the other side, the social media platform on which the shopper saw the product can take cut of the sale (much like Amazon does), or market this as a new advertising technology.
All in all, one-click ordering will vastly improve your conversion rates. This means significant improvement in revenue from every ad dollar spent. In addition, one-click ordering is sure to open a vast array of new and improved opportunities to sell your goods or services where your consumers spend most of their time.
What it all comes back to, then, is trust. Enabling one-click ordering may benefit your business by improving conversion rates and opening doors to future opportunities, but you still need to establish brand trust to get consumers to buy in. If you need help determining if one-click ordering is a viable option for you, feel free to drop us a line.