Having a one-click checkout provider for your online store just makes sense. Shoppers hate slogging through a long checkout process to get that bauble that caught their eye – and ecommerce merchants hate losing sales to abandoned shopping carts.
Enter a deluge of checkout platforms that tout a one-click checkout experience to solve these problems. Among them are five prominent options – Apple, Bolt, Fast, PayPal and Shopify – changing the way people shop. But each company offers vastly different experiences for shoppers and merchants. How many clicks does it actually take to complete checkout with these platforms? How fast is the overall experience?
Below, each platform is put to the test, comparing number of clicks, speed, reliability and customer convenience. Each test is based on a consumer already having done the one-time account setup with each of the providers that unlocks express checkout for all subsequent purchases.
Who Is This For?
This in-depth comparison is for merchants who sell online. Many companies are now offering services to expedite the checkout process to increase revenue and reduce cart abandonment for your business.
Four major areas set these checkout platforms apart:
- Number of clicks: How many clicks does it take to check out, from seeing the item to completing payment?
- Speed: How long does it take from the time the purchase process begins to the time the sale is completed?
- Reliability: How does it actually work? Is it buggy or smooth as butter?
- Customer convenience: how easily can customers use the platform? Where are the barriers of entry or specific requirements?
Winner: Fast Checkout
Second place: PayPal One Touch
Third place: Apple Pay
Also tested: Shopify Shop Pay, Bolt One Click
Fast (Fast Checkout)
- Store tested: Revolution Beauty
- Number of clicks to complete purchase: 1
- Speed: 2 seconds (mobile), 4 seconds (desktop)
Fast is built for speed. The platform completes orders with one-click checkout. Fast is available to any merchant and works across all devices, platforms, and browsers.
Without requiring any major changes to a website’s front end or backend to get started, merchants can utilize a simple API to enable a frictionless buying experience. Merchants also gain access to Fast’s batch ordering, which combines multiple transactions into one sale. This saves merchants additional processing fees and shipping costs while increasing revenue.
Using Fast on beauty company Revolution Beauty’s website, checkout took one click. It takes 2 seconds on mobile and 4 seconds on desktop for an order to be completed. Other checkout providers tested took much longer in comparison. The next fastest checkout option is PayPal, which took 13 times longer than Fast.
PayPal (PayPal One Touch)
- Store tested: GNC
- Number of clicks to complete purchase: 3
- Speed: 26 seconds (mobile), 33 seconds (desktop)
PayPal is a legacy payment processor that holds a healthy share of the checkout space. PayPal’s One Touch feature reduces the checkout process to “one touch” by keeping its customers logged in so that they don’t have to enter their account and billing information each time they’re ready to buy something with PayPal.
Put to the test, though, PayPal’s One Touch takes a few more touches to complete an order.
Testing out PayPal One Touch on GNC, which sells health and wellness products, shows its checkout is consistently quicker than traditional processes. Across devices, the process is the same. When checking out with PayPal, shoppers click the PayPal button, agree & pay in a new window, and then place order back on the GNC checkout page. On mobile, it takes 26 seconds to complete a purchase, compared to 33 seconds on desktop.
Apple (Apple Pay)
- Store tested: PacSun
- Number of clicks to complete purchase: 2
- Speed: 10 seconds (mobile), 21 seconds (Safari browser)
Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile wallet that only works on Macs, iPhones and other Apple devices, so it’s a solid option for merchants targeting their customers. On Macs, however, shoppers can only use Apple Pay in the Safari browser.
Testing Apple Pay on the California lifestyle clothing site PacSun reveals that the checkout experience differs slightly depending on whether it’s on a Mac or an iPhone. On the Mac, shoppers click the Apple Pay button, double click Touch ID, and enter a password to confirm payment. That process takes 21 seconds.
On an iPhone, shoppers click the Apple Pay button, then have to confirm payment by double clicking the side button and looking at the device to activate facial recognition. There’s also an option to just enter a passcode. Depending on the Apple device, a shopper could also tap the Apple Pay button, then complete payment with Touch ID or by entering a passcode. That process takes 10 seconds, five times longer than Fast.
Note: If a shopper uses Google Chrome as their default browser, they’ll have to switch over to Safari if they want to use Apple Pay, which extends the time it takes to check out.
Shopify (Shop Pay)
- Store tested: ColourPop
- Number of clicks to complete purchase: 4
- Speed: 48 seconds
Shop Pay is a checkout experience available through the Shop app, which is a platform for shopping at Shopify-powered stores. Shop Pay is only available to merchants that use Shopify to host their stores. That means if a merchant isn’t already using Shopify, it would have to re-platform to benefit from the checkout product.
Using Shop Pay on the make-up store ColourPop, shoppers click buy now, continue to checkout, continue to payment then pay now. All in all, it takes 48 seconds to complete a purchase with Shop Pay, 24 times longer than Fast.
Bolt (Bolt One Click)
- Store tested: Tees2UrDoor
- Number of clicks to complete purchase: 5
- Speed: 43 seconds (desktop), 49 seconds (mobile)
Bolt is a checkout platform for high-revenue merchants only that uses its payment button to create a store account for new and returning customers. The platform uses that information and its roster of merchants to power a network of online stores. This network allows shoppers to check out faster on any store that uses Bolt. Bolt calls this experience Bolt One Click. The service is not available to small businesses.
Using Bolt One Click on clothing retailer Tees2UrDoor takes 43 seconds on desktop and 49 seconds on mobile, more than 21 times as long as Fast.
On desktop, it takes five clicks to complete a purchase: checkout; adding the shopper’s address (prompting Bolt to locate the shopper’s account); retrieving and submitting a verification code Bolt sends via text message; then pay. On mobile, shoppers click checkout, add their address (prompting Bolt to autofill other information), retrieve a verification code via text message, enter and submit it, then click pay.
Which one-click checkout platform should I choose?
Fast excels on multiple fronts. The platform completes orders with true one-click checkout and in 2 seconds, works on all devices and platforms, serves businesses of all sizes and works well with any merchant’s tech stack.
Jason Boyd is a freelance writer based in Plano, TX