Today, September 12, Amazon’s 1-Click “business method” patent finally expires.  This means that anyone will soon be able to duplicate the functionality on any e-commerce site and across the internet.

The patent was issued back in 1997, and was subject to controversy and litigation at the time.  This is basically how Amazon’s 1-Click works:


When you place your first order and enter a payment method and shipping address, 1-Click ordering is automatically enabled. When you click Buy now with 1-Click on any product page, your order will be automatically charged to the payment method and shipped to the address associated with your 1-Click settings.

Back in the late 90’s when it first came out, it was pretty novel.  but now, many legal experts now feel the patent shouldn’t have been issued in the first place.  But, according to the patent, it seems more credible than the current consensus suggests.

Today, Google Facebook, Apple (which licensed 1-Click) or any other company or brand will have the ability to implement the same type of simplified purchasing.  GeekWire joked that people will be placing accidental orders all over the internet.  But what’s not a joke is the removal of payment-related friction from e-commerce transactions.  That was one of the great things about Amazon, before Prime, was the simplicity of checking out.

There were estimates saying that shopping cart abandonment was worth over $4 trillion in lost sales last year.

W3C “payment-handler” API

Source: W3C

When it comes to shopping cart abandonment, it is a a pretty big problem on both desktop and mobile, especially on mobile.  There was a study that argues shopping abandonment is almost 80 percent.  Even though not every time somebody puts an item in the shopping cart will just leave it there permanently, it’s undeniable that the problem is pretty large.

Most abandoned item in a cart is based on additional costs, like fees, taxes and shipping.  User experience is next in order.  Making slow and clunky checkout processes faster and less painful could mean billions of dollars of additional online transactions would be completed.

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