First Amazon made purchasing quick years ago with its 1-Click Ordering, and now PayPal has its own Express Checkout button. The trend is expanding fast across e-commerce sites during this just begun year.

The reason is clear: PayPal reports that 83 percent of merchants using the Express Checkout button who participated in a survey had an eighteen percent increase in sales. Furthermore, merchants say that since they began to allow payments through PayPal, 22 percent of their total revenue comes from the Express Checkout button. In addition to that, Amazon reported similar numbers from its 1-Click button.

The typical online purchase process starts with shopping cart checkout, then entering shipping information, choosing a payment method, reviewing the order, paying and finally the order confirmation. With Express Checkout, you only need to log into your PayPal (or Amazon) account, review the transaction, pay the transaction, and get the order confirmation.

How does it work? Pretty simple: PayPal and Amazon use the information (Name, Address, Phone Number, Credit Card…) that was entered when previous items were purchased. That is the only tricky part - customers have to have in mind that they are going to receive the package at their account’s address and are going to pay using the default credit card, otherwise they cannot click to the Express button. Instead they must pay the regular way. 

Across all the studies talking about e-commerce and payments, one of the key problems that merchants face to increase and retain customers is the time that they spend filling out forms. In fact, the more time a customer must spend to fill out a form, the less likely it is that the customer will finish the transaction or return to make another purchase. Experts agree that the purchasing process should take less than three minutes. During this time the customer must be able to choose the product, review the characteristics and pay for it. 

In the following months we will see more examples of express checkout. For the moment PayPal has plans to export its Express Checkout Button to its iPhone App. This kind of product could perfectly match with NFC technologies that are about to pop up, especially in mobile e-commerce, where the purchase time is so critical.

By Sergi Herrero
Directeur général de L'Atelier BNP Paribas US