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Review: Amazon Prime Now’s User Experience

Amazon Prime Now is a New Yorker’s dream; thousands of products available at a moment’s notice, hand-delivered to your expectant arms. Need K-Cups delivered to the office in Gramercy? Easy. Need a whistling foam football sent to Murray Hill? Consider it done. But any new service, even one founded by the largest online retailer in the nation, is still expected to create a top notch mobile user experience.

I decided to see how Amazon’s mobile experience stacks up to their position in the marketplace as a company which did $88.99 billion in sales last year.

Here’s what I found:

Signing into Amazon Prime Now is pretty painless, after which you immediately notice the search functionality, front and center. This is the single most important step in the user’s journey toward completing a purchase. Unlike other retail sites/apps, most users will not be using Prime Now to browse. It is safe to say Prime Now’s primary use is getting very specific items delivered quickly. The search bar placement makes it easy for visitors to complete a search quickly. The copy employed by Amazon really could not be better. Amazon populates the search bar with “What do you need today?” This again feeds into the app's main purpose; to get people the things that they need…almost immediately. Amazon, at least up front, understands the needs and intentions of the users of this specific product and (at least initially) makes it relatively frictionless for them to complete certain actions.

Searching & Shopping

I performed a search for “pants” to test a purchase that might be carried out by Prime Now users. The search results page is what you’d expect it to be: scrollable results stacked vertically. This is where I ran into some trouble. I found a hindrance navigating from the search results page to the product detail page. Clicking the image or product name, which the majority of visitors are accustomed to doing in this situation, does not bring the visitor to the product’s detail page. Instead, it functions not unlike how a quick view modal works on a desktop site. The only problem with this is that the small amount of information being presented isn’t enough to enable the visitor to make a decision. Even if it is, the visitor still has to click one more time to reach the page where they can add to the product to their cart; making it an unnecessary stop on the way to purchase. Each stop creating greater opportunity for visitors to abandon ship (or rather, shop).

The product detail page and cart page are very straightforward and allow the visitor navigate through without a hiccup. CTAs stand out from other content, and are placed where they are most accessible to the user. Both are crucial in convincing visitors to add products to their carts.

The checkout funnel is about as seamless as you can ask for, allowing you to use your existing Amazon payment method. The user then selects the delivery time frame from the list of available times, inputs the desired delivery address and taps “Place Order.” The only thing left to do is to sit back and wait for those sweet sweatpants to arrive… Just try to stay out of sight until then.

As a leader in offering an optimized customer experience across channels, Amazon sets the bar for many retailers. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Optimization is an iterative process that even the world’s top retailer needs to apply in order to continue to increase purchase conversions and inspire lifelong customer loyalty.

If you’re working towards a leading customer experience, read our guidelines for success with testing and personalization.

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