I recently wrote an article addressing Google Trusted Store. Since then we have received more questions from our clients regarding Amazon Payments.
In this article I will address the basics of Amazon Payments and what the potential positives and negatives are for your eCommerce platform.

What is it?

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 11.10.23 AMAmazon Payment’s name says it all. It is a payment platform for your desktop and mobile websites. Users will see the Amazon Payment logo and be able to login to their Amazon account to access their payment and shipping information from their Amazon account right on your site. This information is then used to create their account on your website where they can access their purchase history, shipping information and account details for transactions conducted on your site.
Many people have become accustomed to logging in with Facebook to sign up for new sites. I think there is a cross benefit for Amazon because people are more likely to feel comfortable using a third party system like Amazon Payment to register and pay through your site. I would argue people are far more likely to register with your site if they can use an account they already have rather than generate one more account they have to remember.
The two direct competitors to Amazon payment are Google Wallet and PayPal. The fee structure for all three payment processing methods is slightly different. The cost effectiveness of each option will depend on the volume of transactions and/or your average cart size. You can expect to pay both transaction fees based on total dollar amount as well as a per transaction fee with all three platforms.
Installation of the platform is rather straight forward and will be similar to that of its competitors.

What isn’t it?

It is not a robust sales tool like Google Trusted Stores. This is a payment platform. While there are a couple of bells and whistles that you might not get with other Google Trusted Storepayment systems, it is still mostly a payment platform. With Google Trusted Store you can wrap in Google Wallet and your customers can get a satisfaction guarantee from Google. The plus side with Amazon Payment is that you don’t have to share critical data with Amazon as you would for Google Trusted Store. Though, in all fairness, you wouldn’t have to give all that data to Google if you used only Google Wallet. Amazon Payment is also not a highly customizable payment solution. While there are options, the ability to customize the platform to meet your specific needs will not be as robust as other payment solutions that you would host directly on your servers.

What is the upside?

There is one huge upside to using Amazon Payment and that is the potential of increased conversions. The reason for increased conversions is straight forward enough. The more simple a transaction, the more likely the shopping cart won’t be abandoned. Since pretty much every person with an internet connection has used Amazon at some point (a bit of an exaggeration, but not much), pretty much everyone has an Amazon account. When they login to your site with this information it makes their life easier because they don’t have to enter all of their information again. This is particularly handy when your customers are on their mobile device where the data entry process can be cumbersome. Not to mention, Amazon is one of the most trusted names in commerce, which should lend some credibility to your site.
The other upside here is that Amazon is taking care of security for you. Your life becomes easier because you don’t have to worry about protecting credit card data since that information stays with Amazon. You are essentially using one of the most robust and secure payment processing systems on the planet to sell your products. It just sounds easier, doesn’t it?
74662356a042bfcf5f7b850d56c66ef6There is one unique benefit you get with Amazon Payments if you sell a lot of products on Amazon.com. One of our favorite aspects of Google Trusted Store is that it helps to set your site apart from others who sell the same product on Google’s shopping feed. Amazon offers a similar benefit to those that use Amazon Payments. Amazon product ads are ads on Amazon that are offered as secondary buying options. Your ads are listed below the fold with several other competitors. It is typically very hard to set yourself apart from the competition with these ads. However, if you use Amazon Payments you will have an “accepts amazon payments” icon right below your ad. This should lead to additional conversions through Amazon.

What is the Downside?

There are no huge downsides, but their are several things worth thinking through before you go with Amazon Payments. First, consider that you will be required to have Amazon branding. This is a plus and minus. The plus is that you are getting the trust and name recognition of Amazon and the downside is that your visitors are now thinking about Amazon as well as your business. Some users might also wonder why you have to use a third party to process payments, but I doubt that would lead to lost conversions. Especially, if you have a robust and well maintained site.
While I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, I assume that there is an inherent risk every time you use a third party system for any of your business operations. What would you do if Amazon chose to no longer support the platform? What if they gave you little to no notice? Granted, the likelihood of that happening is slim to none, but it is a risk none the less. Amazon is also a big target, what if they have a data breech? Again, not likely, but possible. You can cover yourself here by also utilizing other payment options.
The biggest annoyance to me is that you don’t get all the customer data for those that use Amazon Payment on your site. You will collect the email address, names, zip code and order information of each customer, but that’s it. You will not be able to keep any of the payment information or other important information from your new customer.

Should I use it?

Maybe?!? Helpful, huh? If you are deciding between using Google Wallet, PayPal or Amazon Payment I would tend to lean towards Amazon Payment. That is, unless you are going to be signing up as a Google Trusted Store. In that case you would of course utilize Google Wallet.
Amazon is known for one thing and that is selling products online. It can’t hurt to have that type of association on your site. It should add to the credibility of your site from a security standpoint and can certainly make it a faster checkout experience for your customers which leads to increased conversions. If you already use Amazon product ads to sell your products then Amazon Payments is a no-brainer. You can build deeper relationships with those that are already finding you on Amazon. Plus, you already have a relationship with Amazon which should make things even easier.
If you have had any experiences with Amazon Payment, Google Wallet or PayPal that you would like to share, please leave us a comment. We would love to hear your thoughts.