By Mark Gardner, CAN Network Director. Originally posted 8 June 2017

All of us make daily online transactions, whether booking a holiday, ordering a supermarket shop or requesting a too-big-for-the-bin waste collection.

When you make such transactions there is a process you have to follow: you register, then log in, make your selection, enter your card details, confirm delivery address and then…, finally complete the order. All very tedious.

When you use Amazon, you can just hit the 1-click button and it does it all for you, saving you a small, but very important, amount of time. You have probably asked yourself, why is it that other sites I use don’t have this magic button that does it all for me like Amazon? Surely, it can’t be that difficult to implement!

Well it isn’t. But what most of us don’t know is that Amazon owns the patent to the 1-Click technology so no other site can offer a one-click service. But all that is about to change…

The patented technology which is key to Amazon’s checkout process is about to expire so everyone will be able to use it for their own transactions. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is gathering a number of major tech companies to develop standards so that organisations can jump on the 1-Click bandwagon.

This change has the potential to be of real benefit to local authorities.

Councils constantly strive to make their transaction processes as simple as possible. They need to drive channel shift and reduce costs to avoid the more expensive call or face-to-face transaction.

Customers already have the option of a ‘My Account’ which does store basic details and allows request tracking. But there are still a large number of steps that have to be completed while making a transaction.

By adopting a 1-Click approach, customers will be able to login, choose their transaction and hit the order button. All the credentials including card details are already stored. Customers can just click and get on with their day. As more people shift to mobile devices this would make things much easier.

Of course, councils need to provide different information depending on the transaction. But how many of us actually need it? It could just as easily be emailed as part of the confirmation.

It is reported that Amazon’s sales increased by  5% to 10% when 1-Click was introduced. They are a multi-billion pound company, so any increase means an awful lot! But everything is relative; any increase in online use is going to benefit councils.

Councils have always had a challenge when adopting new technology because of legacy systems. But the new web sites that are being deployed by many in the sector are probably far more able to handle the 1-Click approach. So, why not stake your claim and aspire to be like Amazon? You now have the opportunity.