One of the reasons I like buying from Amazon is because they've simplified my life. OK, maybe not my entire life, but they've definitely made book buying easier. Aside from Amazon Prime - which I love for its free 2-day shipping - the 1-Click Ordering gives me a huge shortcut when I'm in a hurry.
What the 1-Click Ordering does is take me right from the Book Page to the Order Confirmation Page. It skips the Shipping Address selection page, and it skips the Payment Method Page. Skipping those pages saves me a lot of extra clicks - and the mental energy of reviewing the page, and making the selections.
One of the reasons I like shopping at Apple Stores is that I never have to wait in line to pay for my stuff. Every salesperson on the floor is equipped to accpet payment using an iPhone or iPad , so the customer can completely bypass the check-out process. Think about that for a minute - arguably the most arduous step - waiting in line at the cash registers - has been removed from the shopping experience, so that all that's left is the fun part - browsing among cool products, and deciding which ones to take home.
Both of those experiences - Amazon 1-Click Ordering, and Apple's Easy Pay have a powerful "experience lever" in common. They make the buying process a lot easier by removing an arduous step from the process. For Amazon, that step is completing additional pages of information. For Apple Stores, it's waiting in line. Both take time, and both consume some level of cognitive energy. And taking them out of the shopping experience make the experience some much more delightful.
The point is this:
If you want to improve your customer experience, look for ways to eliminate steps from the process - steps that the typical customer doesn't enjoy - steps that take time, and steps that consume mental energy. By doing so, all that would remain would be the enjoyable steps. And enjoyable steps add up to an enjoyable experience.
How many steps do your customers have to go through, to make a purchase?
Which of those steps are the least desirable to the customer?