Amazon, the company famous for its effortless customer experience, curiously does this a bit. More strong for people to buy things through the website. But their madness has a method.
On many product pages, the online seller now displays a checkbox that the user must click to apply an existing coupon (in the example below, an additional $30.00 off the already discounted $149.99 price).
Let’s not forget that this is a retail myth that ruthlessly removes friction in the buying experience. This is the company that pioneered (and patented) the One-Click Buy Button, initiating voice-activated purchases (via Alexa), and launching a sensor-equipped grocery store (Amazon Go) that completely eliminates the need for customers to pay.
So why would Amazon want to inject it into Earth? more effort With these coupon checkboxes to make the purchase? Why not automatically include the coupon in the published price?
The answer is that Amazon has a very nuanced understanding of all the ingredients that go into creating an engaging customer experience.
Yes, effortless interactions are important and customers appreciate convenience. But that’s not the only way to the consumer’s heart. In fact, there are separate strategies that beloved businesses use to turn more sales leads into customers and more customers into lifetime fans. Making the experience “effortless” describes only one of them. With the curious coupon checkbox, Amazon leverages a few others I’ve written about in the past:
Give a Perception of Control
It’s human nature to be control freaks. what’s going on around us (or at least perception that we are in command). And so, when you make a customer feel like they’re controlling an experience – that they can influence it, that they can shape it – then they’re much more likely to feel good about the whole encounter.
Checking a box to apply a coupon gives the Amazon consumer that sense of control, creating a more engaging buying experience that helps convert browsers into buyers (thus avoiding the catastrophe of all online retailers – cart abandonment).
With the coupon checkbox, Amazon essentially encourages its customers to feel more investment in the purchasing process by providing greater perceived impact on
As the famous social psychologist (and NYU professor) Jonathan Haidt once said: “The emotional tail wags the logical dog.” Customers’ impressions of an experience will be largely influenced by their emotional resonance, not their logical evaluation of the encounter. Simply put – how did it make the customer feel?
When a consumer feels that a product is highly rated, it evokes positive emotions. And this feeling is accentuated when the consumer has to put in some effort to earn the reward. (Getting too attached to a product feels so much more refreshing when you have to hunt for it a bit.)
The coupon checkbox serves to reinforce the positive emotion an Amazon consumer feels when making a purchase, creating an additional behavioral impulse to complete the transaction and view their Amazon experience in a positive way.
Amazon (like all myths in the customer experience space) does nothing by accident. Customer experiences have been carefully and thoughtfully created right down to the presence of a coupon checkbox. The absence of the checkbox is a strong indication that Amazon has made a significant, positive difference in purchasing behavior and consumer sentiment in real-world testing.
It’s also worth noting that this isn’t just a website UI trick. The idea of balancing customer convenience with other (sometimes more powerful) experience design considerations has long been a strategy adopted by successful companies like Costco, IKEA, and Aldi.
Think about it: Shopping in Costco’s large warehouses (they all lack any aisle signage) is nearly effortless. But Costco’s target market loves this shopping experience, in part because it evokes positive emotions. It gives them the thrill of the hunt – wandering the aisles, discovering great deals, and proudly collecting their impressive (and social media shareable) “Costco haul”.
However, despite Amazon’s highlighted example, achieving excellence in customer experience is never a rote “tick the box” practice. There’s a separate science to turning casual shoppers into brand advocates, and Amazon’s simple little checkbox speaks volumes about how to do it.
He is the author of Jon Picoult. FROM INFLUENCED TO OBSERVANT: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifetime Fans. Sign up for the monthly Customer Experience and Leadership e-Newsletter here.