Monday, December 07, 2009

2 Click Buying - Innovation In An Unexpected Place

While shopping for Shira's birthday, I noticed Amazon now had this strange PayPhrase thing near the checkout button. And what's PayPhrase?

PayPhrase is an easy-to-remember shortcut to shipping and payment information in your account. Use it for Express Checkout at and across the web.
Why Should I Use a PayPhrase?
* Privacy: Shop securely across the web without sharing your credit card.
* Express Checkout: Speed through checkout without having to sign in.
* Parental controls: Let teens shop online within limits you set.

Apparently buying something with PayPhrase is as easy as entering the phrase and typing in your pin. And that's it. It's not quite 1 click, but allows you to route the package to a series of different addresses.

Like 1-Click buying, in hindsight the concept is obvious. But it's powerful stuff, and a technique that folks clearly overlooked.

To me, this is an excellent reminder about innovation. It's precisely the boring, easily ignored, must-do-it-the-way-we've-always-done-it tasks like checking-out, that appear to have no room for innovation. Yet, as Amazon shows here, it's these exact processes that can make for the best innovations.

Or, to put it more bluntly, which sacred cows should you turn into hamburger today?.

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