Checkout by Amazon: To use or not to use

© mendhak

It’s been almost a year since Amazon Checkout has rolled out in the UK but strangely enough is still hardly used by our E-commerce players. For sure, i don’t have any precise data on the usage within the industry (any links are highly welcome) but based on a simple old school observation technique we can conclude that it’s not even close to the results it was expected to reach. How many UK Ecom sites using amazon checkout you actually saw? Then compare that to the Paypal or Worldpay.

Why should we use it anyway?

The benefits of using the amazon checkout are quite obvious but for the point of clarity I’ll try to list them here. It’s important to mention that we are talking about providing benefits to users of the eCommerce site which in the end will benefit the shop owner with a solid increase in conversion rate.

Saving time

Let’s face it. No matter on the industry or the product types, quite a few of your customers (in some industries even all) would have an amazon account. In this case, both delivery and  payment information can be prepopulated enabling your customers to checkout in literally couple of clicks. Reduced friction is almost always the right path to the conversion increase. Additionally, everything is happening without a user leaving your site so no weird domain redirects are involved.

Increasing Trust

Again, no need to argue that amazon is one of the most trustworthy brands in the current web. Even the most paranoid potential customer would feel secure enough about the transaction with Amazon. So just by implementing the amazon checkout you will gain much more credibility than all those utterly overpriced trust marks (*cough McAfee *cough). Please note that any site using amazon checkout is suppose to follow the “Amazon A-to-Z Guarantee”. Make sure you are able to deliver all of the Amazon promises before involving.

There are plenty of other benefits available on the amazon site but I’m not really interested in comparing the cost or ease of implementation (honestly, it’s about the same for all of the checkout/payments providers so only thing you can compare is the talent of the in-house copywriters)

Wait a second…

Another very important question is How actually should we implement it? You can’t just drop it on your cart page and wait for the millions. I think there are at least 2 important factors to consider:

It should be noticeable

There is no point of having an Amazon checkout if non of your users are actually seeing it. You logically don’t want it to be the most prominent element but it should look as an alternative you are offering to your customers not some useless secondary feature like your local chamber of commerce logo.

It should intuitively explain the benefits

Well, it’s great it’s “Now Available”. Pretty happy about you. But what does it mean to the user and why should they care? It’s not so complicated to add couple of lines of the descriptive copy just next to the actual button. Just a line about saving time, no need to register and all the fancy security promises Amazon has covered for you. Simply let your customers know don’t make them assume.

So does that mean go for it?

Definitely not. The eCommerce field allows you to test any single pixel on your site so implementing entire checkout system without reliable data is a suicide. Funny enough, but all of the reviews I found online are either recommending to go for it or never try. It’s just plain stupid. What about split testing and measuring the exact increase (or decrease) in you conversion rate and then simply comparing with the costs associated with implementation. Simple math – Simple decisions.

Happy testing!

Update: After finishing writing this post I stumbled on this discussion. It’s not the actual post but the comments which made me come back and write this update. There were 2 main issues raised:

1. “Amazon will steal my data”

This is the funniest thing I heard this week (believe me we hear quite a few at Attacat on the daily basis). Amazon has more than 80 million active customers and more than $10bn  revenue per quarter, so do you think they really care about the dozen vintage hats you sell per month? If you are not zappos, or other giant (and i hardly believe they read our blog) you can be completely sure that amazon will leave your data to you. If one day  they will need it – they will just buy it from Google (my hello to the conspiracy freaks out there)

2. “The A-to-Z guarantee is heavily weighted toward the end customer”

Are you bloody serious? OMG!!!!1 An ecommerce site is heavily focused on the needs of the end user. What a shame!


Maybe that’s why they are the most successful eCommerce site on this planet? If you are looking for the less end user weighted industry then maybe eCommerce is not for you? There are always job opportunities in the public sector. That’s the place where the end user benefits are never raised out loud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like the Brain? Sign up for the packed-full-of-tips monthly newsletter