Welcome to the mobile ubiquity decade.
This story first appeared in the June 30, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to Baris Cetinok, general manager of product management and marketing for Digital Goods and Services at Amazon Payments, the key for e-commerce and mobile devices is to streamline the shopping experience for the consumer.
“Devices are vessels to deliver experiences,” said Cetinok. “You shouldn’t get obsessed about the device or the operating system. Get obsessed about the customer experience you want to design. We design storyboard experiences, and then we worry about what the technologies are. We don’t let the engineers dictate what we should be building.”
Cetinok explained Amazon has been undergoing a transformation over the last five or six years. Its consumer business has 110 million active customer accounts worldwide shopping on the site. It also has third-party sellers that can sell their own merchandise, and Amazon offers fulfillment capabilities, data and storage centers and “one-click” payment systems to other merchants.
He said the goal of Amazon, which he described as a “customer company,” is to give consumers “whatever they want, whenever they want, how they want.”
Cetinok noted customers can experience Amazon.com several ways: Through a browser, via text messaging and through a Web-enabled site, as well as through apps on BlackBerrys, iPhones, Androids and iPads.
He noted the hardest thing on mobile, whether it be iPhones or other touch phones, is it’s not the smoothest typing experience. “Imagine trying to type a 16-digit credit card number without making an error, plus writing the password and the user name,” he said. Amazon’s goal is to streamline the process and to turn that specific phone or specific merchant experience into an open authorization for future purchases and basically have a “one-click experience.” Online, the consumer is excited about discovering and exploring products, buying them and having them delivered, but the payment part is uninteresting to them, he said. “That’s when you give people the chance to have a remorse moment and opt out,” he noted.
Companies can choose to put the one-click button on their product detail page. “It could be your high-velocity items. It can be a flash sale experience you want to design. It’s not all or nothing. Parcel things, target people, segment them,” he said.
He concluded, “Don’t look at big trends and make your bets on that. Look into your customer base and make a decision on that.”