How one click checkout is revolutionizing e-commerce

In the realm of e-commerce, a tipping point has arrived, spurring a revolution of sorts, where innovations re-invent workflows, like customer checkout. Traditional online shopping and checkout processes can test the patience of even the most casual shopper.

Enter one click checkout: a transformative solution that can help address these concerns. By distilling the checkout process into a single click after authentication, this technology doesn’t just enhance the shopping experience, it's at the forefront of e-commerce trends.

But how can businesses leverage one click checkout as part of their customer retention strategies? In this article, we’ll explore how the checkout flow transformed from a conversion blocker into an asset, how it can impact loyalty, and how one click checkout can impact e-commerce.

What does one click checkout mean to customers?

One click checkout has evolved from a novel e-commerce feature to a standard customer expectation, streamlining the once laborious multi-step journey of payment processing into a better experience. As trends have moved towards maximizing efficiency, this technology uses stored payment methods to facilitate faster transactions that require no repetitive input of details with each purchase.

It's not just about saving time – it's about creating a frictionless path that boosts their satisfaction in a way that may encourage customers to return for more.

Take a brand loyalist, for example, who values consistency and efficiency. One reason this shopper frequents her favorite online stores is because one click checkout allows her to make repeat purchases without re-entering her payment and shipping details. By reducing the checkout process to a single step, this feature also accommodates her potential impulse purchases — on average, US shoppers spent $150 a month on impulse buys in 2023.1

Then there's the time-strapped shopper. For the busy parent, shopping online is a task squeezed into brief pockets of free time, typically on a smartphone while on the go. As of August 2023, 60% of all e-commerce sales took place on mobile devices.2 One click checkout means shoppers can swiftly complete their purchases in the few minutes they have between meetings, or during their train commute, or while waiting in line at the store. With this feature, there’s reduced risk of them entering the wrong address or having to fish for a credit card, not only saving precious time but also boosting confidence in each purchase. It’s a convenience that’s not just appreciated, but necessary for the busy shopper’s lifestyle.

For these customer personas, one click checkout isn't just a feature — it’s a significant enhancement to their online shopping experience, aligning with their needs and expectations.

To foster loyalty, customer experience is more important than ever

Retaining loyal customers is increasingly challenging, driven by factors such as heightened competition and evolving customer behaviors, especially among younger shoppers. In one survey of Gen Zers in the US and UK, 62% said they explore alternatives when shopping online — even if they have a favorite brand.3 Overall, the United States witnessed approximately a 14% decrease in customer loyalty across demographics from 2022 to 2023, underscoring the volatility of today’s market.4

Today, ensuring the quality of products or the reach of marketing campaigns is no longer enough. In response to decreasing customer loyalty, brands must find new ways to optimize the customer experience for satisfaction and ease. This requires a holistic approach, embracing everything from user-friendly website design to personalized product recommendations.

A critical element of customer experience optimization is the checkout process. Regardless of how effective a company's product development, marketing, or customer relationship management may be, these efforts can be undermined by a cumbersome checkout process. A Baymard study found that 22% of respondents who abandoned their shopping carts did so because they found checkout to be too complex or long a process.5

Often, the successful and growing companies are the ones that lead with building superior journeys that drive customer retention. Major e-commerce leaders like Amazon have implemented user-friendly features to simplify the transition from browsing to buying, including one click “Buy Now” buttons.

Streamlining the checkout process is not just an improvement but a necessity. It may prevent the positive impacts of other customer experience strategies from being lost at the final hurdle, maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty in an era where both are hard to secure.

Brands should ensure checkout flow is an asset, not a blocker

Over the years, amid shifting customer expectations for speed and ease, today’s best practices involve simplifying checkout flows to reduce friction.

This shift underscores the need for brands to ensure their checkout process is an asset rather than a blocker. A poorly designed checkout flow is more than just a nuisance, it may be a significant barrier to sales.

Speed and efficiency aren’t just the only reason for abandonment — additional common frustrations include a lack of customer-preferred payment methods. In fact, the Baymard Institute reported that 13% of shoppers leave if their preferred payment methods are not available.5

For each of these audiences, every extra click or required field can potentially be a barrier between them and their purchase. Such barriers may slow down the transaction and increase the likelihood of cart abandonment.

By implementing a streamlined checkout flow using PayPal, brands’ checkouts may transform into a powerful opportunity that can help enhance customer satisfaction, increase sales, and build loyalty.

Improving checkout flow as part of the customer retention strategy

By reducing the barriers to purchase, one click checkout stands out as a particularly effective tool in this strategy for simplifying the buying journey and encouraging repeat business. The impact of this technology is not just theoretical, it is measurable and significant. New research from Cornell indicates that customers who have registered for a retailer’s one click checkout service tend to increase their spending by an average of 28.5% from their previous buying levels over time.6 These customers also engage more with retailers’ websites, visiting the sites 7% more often.6

Beyond one click checkout, consider streamlining the purchasing process even further by integrating “Buy Now” buttons on product pages. These buttons allow customers to bypass the shopping cart entirely, leading directly to a faster checkout experience that complements the one click setup.

Leveraging PayPal one click checkout as part of your customer experience revolution

To lead in the customer experience revolution, you’ll need to continue to innovate. Central to this strategic shift is the revamp of checkout processes, a potentially decisive factor in whether shoppers successfully complete their purchases — and, more importantly, transform from one-off customers to loyal repeat purchasers who advocate for your brand.

PayPal has further revolutionized one click checkout with its new guest checkout experience, Fastlane by PayPal. Once customers log in to Fastlane and save their information, they can checkout in as little as one tap.

By implementing PayPal’s comprehensive checkout solutions, enterprises can capture the attention and wallets of both impulsive and deliberate shoppers, helping them transition from browsing to buying. This technology also may allow businesses to effectively address the diverse needs of various customer personas — from the brand loyalist and the time-strapped parent to the eco-conscious shopper — each of whom benefits from a seamless, secure, and expedient transactional experience.

Moving forward, the importance of exploring new checkout innovations and adapting to evolving customer trends cannot be overstated. By providing a checkout experience that is convenient, businesses can grow their revenue and maintain an edge in the ongoing revolution in customer experience.

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