Rue La La and Expedia are testing the new Android app checkout feature.
Katie Evans , Senior Editor
Two clicks is all it takes. That’s how quickly Google Inc. says shoppers can now checkout in an Android app with the Instant Buy Application Programming Interface, or API, it has added to its Google Wallet payments service.
Consumers who have signed up for Google Wallet can now check out in Android apps without having to manually enter their billing or shipping information, whittling the checkout process in many cases to as little as two clicks, Google says on its blog. Google Wallet stores the consumer’s payment data and sends it to the app developer with the consumer’s permission at checkout.
The Instant Buy API is designed for merchants and app developers selling physical goods and services, who already have a payment processor and are looking to simplify the mobile checkout experience for customers using their apps, Google says.
Flash-sale site Rue La La and travel sites Booking.com and Expedia.com are a few of the e-commerce companies testing the feature in their Android apps, Google says. They are likely trying to reduce the 97% mobile shopping cart abandonment rate, according to 2012 research from web marketing and analytics vendor SeeWhy.
Because Google is not processing payments or managing fulfillment, the service is free for Android app developers, Google says. The payment API follows Google’s launch in October of a similar Google Wallet API that helped speed up payments on mobile sites.
Apps integrated with Google Wallet will require the latest version of Google Play Services, which Google says it is rolling out to all Android devices in the next day or so. Google Play Services enables Android app developers to include such Google features as the Google + social network and Google Maps in their apps, as well as to get access to automatic Google platform updates via the Google Play store.
Other retailers are using a variety of methods to speed up mobile checkouts. For example, Abt Inc. is using the advanced HTML5 programming language to help shoppers more easily enter their ZIP codes, says Dan Laabs a developer at Abt.
“When you add a product to the cart, if you are a new customer we ask for your delivery ZIP code,” Laabs says. “When you click on the input box, we use an HTML5 input type so the numeral pad shows up on your phone. This makes it easier for customers because they get the more focused number pad rather than having the full keyboard pop up, and as a result they get a bigger box to type in their ZIP code.”