Amazon’s one-click buying process, patented by the Seattle-based company back in the heady days of 1999, expired on Tuesday. And retailers, which until now have either had to not use one-click buying or pay Amazon licensing fees to do so, might be looking to capitalize. patent application is widly.
The Amazon 1-Click button lets customers buy things with just one click without having to enter and re-enter billing, payment or shipping information. In the last couple of decades, it has become a major part of Amazon’s checkout process, being extended to other Amazon products like Dash, which was essentially one_click ordering via a small button, and Echo, where customers can buy things with one voice command.
Amazon was very protective of its signature purchase-streamlining feature, famously suing Barnes and Noble when the latter put a similar one-click shopping option on its website back in 1999 — a month after Amazon was granted the patent, CNET points out. Thereafter, companies took the option to license the tech from the online shopping titan. One-click has become an increasingly important part of Amazon's streamlined purchasing experience, powering its Dash buttons and voice ordering on Echo devices (and even a gimmicky promotion with Italian automaker Fiat).
But now that the patent's expired, there's nothing stopping competitors from integrating "one-click" purchasing on their own sites. Many retail executives also say one-click payments could be especially beneficial for retailers that sell slightly smaller-ticket items, like in online grocery. “It could potentially be beneficial in online grocery, where consumers are pantry loading and buying things they need every week instead of browsing for product info,” said Angela Edwards, vp of marketing and client services at conversion marketing agency Catapult.