Noticed something strange with the Amazon.com buying flow. Even after a recent sign-in (within the last 5 minutes), the flow prompts you to sign-in again before completing your payment. Let’s go through the flow…
Step 1: Come to the Amazon.com home page.
Step 2: Hover the mouse over Sign In and click on the Sign In button.
Step 3: Enter email address and password, click on button to proceed.
Step 4: Click on a product to view product details.
Step 6: Click on Proceed to checkout.
Step 7: The user is asked to Sign In again?!?
Step 8: User is brought to the final step to pay.
The fact that the user is asked to sign-in again after a very recent sign-in seems a bit strange and superfluous. While this may be a bug, it is most likely a conscious product decision in order to ensure a higher level of account security in the end-to-end flow. However, since other major e-commerce sites, such as eBay, do not require this extra sign-in step after the user has recently established the correct credentials, Amazon may be able to remove this extra step. The advantage of removing this step is that any extra step in a buying flow is a point of friction for the user and may lead to user drop-off. By removing this step, more users will buy more items — ideally without a sacrifice to account security.