A feature in review — Express Checkout

It’s always good to take a step back and review what happened to ideas and their implementations. Some die almost instantly in meetings and brainstorming sessions, others perform for years.

Today, I’ll focus on the Express Checkout.


TL;DR
Express Checkout helped us to lose friction, type errors in the most essential part of our buying process. With this solution we keep a substantial part of users in the buying process until the end. We didn’t copycat Amazons one-click.

What is Express Checkout?

In late 2017, news came out that Amazon would lose its famous one-click patent and that the solution of a single-click checkout process could become accessible to any company interested for free.

So when I joined About You in September that same year one of my first pitches to the checkout team was to implement such a thing in our shop. It didn’t take long to convince, but a bit longer to find the right way to fit into our processes.

So we called our version of one-click the Express Checkout.

Our vision was to speed up the buying process as fast as one click for as many customers as possible.

Concept and Wireframes

We quickly came to realize that neither Amazon nor we could offer a one-click solution for everyone buying at our shop. Legal restrictions and the lack of data about the customer make this feature accessible only for customers that already registered and ordered successfully before.

The old User Flow consisting of 8 steps

That’s why we concentrated on app users because more of them are registered.

But on our mobile screens the user flow stood against an Amazon-copycat solution. When users enters an article detail page on the About You App they don’t see all the available sizes. They only appear when you hit the “Buy now”-button.

We didn’t want to throw everything away that was build already. Just for an idea that still needs business value prove.

So we stripped the one-click concept even further down. First, implementation with all payment methods went off the table of a proof of concept. We only went with the popular provider RatePAY. A downside of this is, that users would still always need to tick a legal checkbox with RatePAY.

But it would help a lot of customers to save time. And this approach saves users two clicks to complete the order. So we still complied with our goal.

Furthermore we asked us what would happen if put the Express Checkout directly in the basket? As a plus: it would still be faster than before and we would have more information about the user.

The new User Flow puts the speed where we need it most: in the basket.

In the basket our APIs check everything they need to decide, whether a user should see the Express Checkout option or not.

  • Log-in Status: do we know this user already?
  • Previous payment method: does it equal RatePAY?
  • Basket limit: is this order eligible for payment with RatePAY?
  • Addresses: do we have everything that we need here?

With this concept we started working. Our UI designer build it accordingly to the style guidelines and we handed the final design over to the dev team.

When you really need a football, but only have 10 seconds to order it.

Implementation & Stats

The feature was implemented on Android and iOS apps in April 2018. We started tracking KPIs immediately and were happily surprised of the high adoption rates from the start.

Within the first 3 weeks, almost 30% percent of the customers that saw the Express Checkout button used it.

Furthermore, Express Checkout outperforms the normal process by 10%
We’re pretty good already — Express closed that gap even further.

That’s exactly the friction we loose when users type in their address and select and submit their payment method. With Express Checkout, our existing customers jump right into what matters the most when your favorite piece is on sale: having your order placed.

The acceptance raised over time and in the last 12 months we saw around 40% of all customers successfully submitting their basket with Express Checkout.

Further Iterations and Implementations

Of course these numbers attracted interest within the other stakeholders. During the next 3 months all touch points of the About You Shop had Express Checkout implemented.

We designed more precise error states and animations were added while the devs erased some technical bugs.

Express Checkout in Review

More than a year ago we started just with the idea to use a fairly simple concept that in part made Amazon what it is to eCommerce today. I’m very happy what we’ve accomplished with way less manpower and time.

Today, Express Checkout its recognized by millions of customers. To summarize what it is good for:

  • More speed: Users can place their order in as fast as 10 seconds.
  • Less friction: It’s not one but two clicks to order without filling any forms again.
  • Fewer errors: The system only accepts validated addresses — so no more typos that can cost days in delivery.
  • Conversion increase: for those that use Express Checkout we see a 10% higher CR.

What I learned from this review

To date, we haven’t proactively asked users for feedback on our express checkout feature. Neither in conception nor in validation phase — I know that’s not the right way to do the job. Users always provide valuable feedback and enrich the product a lot. It’s in our backlog of features to be tested with users properly in the near future.

We should never settle with our accomplishments. The longer I write this review, new improvements come to my head. For now, we’ll leave it and see how the feature develops in the next months.

Finally I must say, that I’m very proud to be part of the great team at About You that made Express Checkout possible. Check out the members that made this project so successful across teams.

Shop Applications Team
Director: Chris Sachsenhausen
Lead Dev: Robert Merten
Project Management: Alexander Niepold

Checkout Team
Teamlead Checkout: Anna Fohlmeister
Lead Dev Checkout: Pedro Nogueira
Project Management: David Reiter

UI/UX Team
Project Management: Christopher Wölk, Carolin Opgen-Rhein
UI Design: Gören Kiziltas
UX Conception: Micha Wiebe


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