Tag Archives | Online Shopping

Stores Form an Anti-Amazon Alliance With ShopRunner

In what world does Barnes & Noble join forces with Borders, and Dick’s Sporting Goods team up with Sports Authority? The one in which Amazon.com has 8 percent of the U.S. e-commerce market. You know what they say about desperate times.

A new service called Shoprunner is a direct challenge to Amazon Prime. For $79 per year, members get free two-day shipping on orders from 15 online retailers, with another 27 retailers coming soon. Other perks include free returns and members-only offers. There’s also a universal marketplace, which is open to non-members as well.

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Amazon’s PayPhrase to Speed Checkout

amazonlogoAmazon on Wednesday rolled out its latest effort to simplify shopping on its site with a service called PayPhrase. Essentially, customers would set up a specific phrase and PIN which would be linked to shipping and billing information on Amazon. When used, the checkout process could potentially be shortened to a matter of seconds.

PayPhrase won’t be limited to just the online retailer. It plans to offer the service to other retailers as well. So far DKNY, Jockey, Patagonia, Buy.com, J&R, and Car-Toys have signed on with the service. Other sites that use Checkout by Amazon would also be able to employ the PayPhrase service, it said.

The nation’s largest online retailer sees this as a big boon for the holidays, where speed is a benefit for shoppers with long Christmas lists.

Is Amazon on to something however with PayPhrase? I think so. Even online methods of payment like PayPal still require several steps to complete a transaction. This requires only two steps: entering the phrase, click, enter PIN, click, done. You can’t get much easier than that while still staying secure.

What remains to be seen however is whether Amazon can drum up more support for this platform. Besides itself, the only other partner with significant market share is Buy.com: that’s way too little reach. If it can manage to snag say two or three more big name partners, PayPhrase may become the next big thing in online payments.