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A One-Click Game Changer for Online Retail?

Written by Gavin Masters, Head of eCommerce Consulting at Maginus.


With the expiry of Amazon’s one-click patent many online retailers are excitedly trying to understand how they can implement one-click style technologies on their sites.


Tread Lightly

In the rush of excitement, some retailers and UX specialists may fall into the trap of focusing on one- click technologies to the detriment of other usability improvements. This may be especially true in areas where one-click is not appropriate. It may also set an expectation for another standard in online retail, which forces eCommerce businesses into changes to their checkout that they cannot afford to, or are not in a technological position to do.


The Benefits of Amazon’s One-Click Approach

With a new raft of improvements from retailers looking to capitalise on the opportunity to copy Amazon’s One-Click techniques, consumers will only benefit from the expiry of Amazon’s one- click patent.

Some retailers will receive an improvement in conversion and revenue off the back of any innovation, with significant increases in impulse purchases and overall conversion. If the analysts are to be believed – this could be a 5% uplift in some cases.


Always One-Step Ahead

Amazon will have been expecting this development for several years, and one can guarantee that they have more innovations – particularly around their Echo products and voice-activated buying – to ensure they remain way ahead of any perceived competition.

One of the main reasons Amazon’s One-Click was so successful was its combination with Amazon’s sheer volume of products. It enables impulse buying on a huge scale, and the nature of the Amazon purchaser, browsing anything and everything from books to movies, food and toys, meant that analysts estimate it made the business around $2bn in additional sales annually. Whilst Amazon deny that figure, it is obvious the technology provides great value to them, which is why they have fought for it so hard over the years.


Not the Game-Changer it Once Was

With stored card details, Apple Pay technology, mobile and other improvements in the industry over the past decade, “one-click” is not the game changer it once was from a frictionless checkout perspective, but one can’t deny that any reduction in checkout complexity is a good thing.

It’s hard to see this being the game-changing development for online retail that it was back in 1999, and most retailers have found their own methods for optimising checkout journeys without infringing on One-Click patents where they are held. This may, however inspire some innovation from UX designers and retailers where they are not working with the fear of infringing on Amazon’s copyright.



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