One-click online ordering may soon become a lot more common.
Until Sept. 12 Amazon.com Inc. held a patent on the technology, which stores customers’ preferred payment and shipping information to enable them to complete a purchase with a single click. Since 1997, Amazon has been one of two major retailers to offer the service. Apple Inc. in 2000 entered an agreement with Amazon to license the technology for an undisclosed fee.
The patent’s expiration has opened the door for vendors and sellers to offer the service.
“One-click buy for B2B will be huge,” says Gene Alvarez, a vice president and e-commerce analyst at technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. “B2B is about being able to help people run their businesses faster and better. Saving time on ordering and reordering means more time to improve your business.”
Amazon’s one-click checkout has been a significant competitive advantage for its marketplace, providing an unparalleled customer experience and a near frictionless checkout experience, says Jimmy Duvall, chief product officer at e-commerce software provider BigCommerce Pty. Ltd.
Now that the patent has expired, some e-commerce platform providers say they plan soon to roll out one-click ordering, which could transform the technology from a competitive advantage into a tool that consumers and business buyers regularly encounter, experts say. As e-commerce platform vendors develop one-click ordering, B2B companies could embrace the feature as they move toward frictionless buying and take advantage of a concept Amazon introduced to consumers, who are after all B2B buyers and sellers as well.
Magento Commerce and BigCommerce say they will add one-click ordering to their respective platforms in the near future. A BigCommerce spokeswoman this week says the vendor will have one-click functionality available early next year. Magento vice president of strategy Peter Sheldon says his firm will incorporate the feature in its next platform release in early December. Magento recently launched a B2B version of its e-commerce software.
One-click ordering will help B2B buyers in certain scenarios, Sheldon says. One of the key differences with B2B buyers is that they use requisition lists and rapid order entry screens to be able to quickly place repeat orders on a very regular basis.
Depending on the size of company the buying process can be very different.
“Small and mid-sized firms are increasingly using credit cards to purchase, so for these firms ‘one-click’ will be very attractive as long as they always ship to the same location,” Sheldon says. “The problem is that many small businesses have multiple locations that orders are shipped to or even split-shipped to. In this case the buyer would need to pick their ‘preferred’ shipping location before hitting the one-click ordering button.”
But larger enterprises usually don’t allow buyers to order via credit card, he says. In these scenarios a purchase order is required and there is usually an approval process as part of the ordering process. “One-click ordering is likely less relevant for these enterprise buyers,” he says.
Magento’s one-click ordering tool, which is being reviewed by its research and development team, was developed by web development services provider Creatuity Corp. Creatuity CEO Joshua Warren says he saw mentions in the spring about Amazon’s one-click patent expiring, and he began working with a pair of software architects on his team to code the feature.
“We have a number of test instances and automated testing processes set up around all of the work we do on the Magento platform, so we leveraged those tools to test this out,” he says.
After testing the function, Warren and his team gave the code for one-click ordering to Magento through its open-source coded contribution community rather than selling it. Warren says Creatuity does some business with Magento as a Magento Enterprise Solutions Partner, but “it’s not a profit center” for the company.
As Magento integrates the code contributed by Creatuity into its 2.2.2 release it will support B2B ordering in its B2B module, supporting the scenario for SMB orders, Sheldon says.
The feature, once it becomes more mainstream, holds promise for online sellers, including retailers and B2B companies, experts say.
“For mobile users in particular, cart abandonment is one of the most prevalent challenges retailers face,” says Casey Gannon, vice president of marketing at mobile commerce platform provider Shopgate. Data from e-commerce personalization vendor Barilliance shows that in 2016, 85.65% of all global shoppers on mobile phones placed something in an online shopping cart and did not complete the purchase.
“Timeliness is the single-most vital aspect of the decision-making process, and mobile retailers should adopt one-click checkout processes, as well as leverage deep links, social login and other streamlined payment options to most effectively capture the mobile user in the right moment—the exact moment they’re browsing,” Gannon says.
One-click buying helps combat shopping cart abandonment by creating a seamless experience, says Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer at Kibo, an order management, e-commerce and omnichannel technology vendor. Kibo did not say if it plans to incorporate one-click ordering with its platform.
But just because any merchant or e-commerce platform provider can potentially offer the feature does not mean shoppers will see it become mainstream.
“Although this is cool, the adoption of this across merchants will take time,” Magento’s Sheldon says. “The vast majority of these merchants are using an underlying e-commerce platform and they’re going to have to wait until the vendor puts it in. It’s going to be way into next year before this becomes a standard out-of-the-box feature.”
One vendor that won’t immediately offer one-click ordering is Shopify Inc.
In April, Shopify rolled out Shopify Pay, an omnichannel tool similar to one-click ordering that allows shoppers to store payment information with any Shopify merchant and then pay without having to re-enter any of that data.
Shopify product manager Richard Btaiche says the one-click ordering patent hasn’t prevented other payment processors and e-commerce platform providers from minimizing checkout friction, but the expiration may accelerate new developments. “More innovation within the accelerated payments space will benefit the entire industry,” he says.
Click here for Matt Lindner’s article on this topic on InternetRetailer.com.
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