Amazon Business Multi-address Ordering
Ship to Multiple Addresses is a feature on Amazon.com where
Amazon customers can ship items to multiple addresses
through a single order.
The goal of this project is to redesign the multiple address ordering experience to reduce friction and empower customers with an intuitive and flexible tool to make complex business purchases.
UX Design Lead
Amazon Business Purchase Experience
Features being rolled out in 2022
$150MM+ WW GMS uplift(projected)
Amazon Business Customers typically place orders to multiple locations within their organization. With the onset of the pandemic, it became even more important for businesses to be able to ship items to employees’ homes for business continuity. From organizations sending IT equipment to employees’ homes to enable WFH to educational institutions sending essential school supplies to teachers’ and students’ homes, Amazon Business saw a considerable increase in businesses placing multi-address orders. The current CX posed challenges in handling these complex purchases and as a result, there was an increase in cart abandonment.
I joined the project in the early stages of defining the core customer problem. I collaborated closely with Product, Research and Tech to identify & prioritize UX paths; design, test & validate designs, and plan development phases to create maximum CX impact.
Some of my key achievements include:
• Implemented a new address management flow. I designed and implemented a new address management flow within the checkout process that enabled customers to manage addresses quickly and efficiently and helped reduce checkout abandonment rate.
• Improved usability across the ordering flow. I identified critical pain points in the ordering flow for multi-address orders and designed a solution that improved the usability and reduced known CX issues.
• Collaborated on user research. I partnered with UX Research team to develop and conduct user studies with business users to test and iterate on the multi-address ordering experience and uncover opportunities.
• Established design patterns and strategy. I developed new interaction patterns within the ordering experience to simplify and delight users. I also worked closely with the Product team to define the strategy for future enhancements of the multi-address ordering experience.
Understanding the problem
I started my work with researching the problem space. My research encompassed:
- Determining the success of the tasks measured
- ‘Ship to multiple addresses’ purchases are high value actions (Avg Value of $246 vs $127 for non-multiaddress orders in US 2021) for Amazon Business.
- ‘Ship to multiple addresses’ purchases total up to 450.5K completed purchases in 2021.
I looked at customer data from the current Ship to Multiple Addresses experience. I discovered that due to the complex nature of the business, large enterprises require a robust ordering experience that can serve as their primary procurement tool. Below as some of the user scenarios studied:
A drug distributor company tried to purchase 240 sets of teleconference related products such as cables, web cameras, and speakers, and deliver them to 240 different locations. Because the multi-address selection CX is not fit for handling many shipping addresses, the buyer spent 5 hours to process 1 ASIN and more than 48 hours for a total 5 ASINs.
In light of the Corona virus concerns, the new WFH guideline across companies, is driving an uptick in urgent bulk orders for multi-location deliveries, as follows: A Banking enterprise has just reached out for 3000 laptops and headsets to be delivered Pan-India (within the next 10 days), accounting for OPS of INR 75MM.
This feature is common for both retail and business customers and presents a few challenges:
- The feature is not easily discoverable
- Addresses can only be added to each item individually
- Distributing items across addresses is a very manual process
A deficient Ship to multiple address CX creates friction in checkout and ordering flows for customers who wanted to ship products from a single order to multiple locations while accounting for their delivery preferences.
Users find it difficult to
Select multiple addresses at the same time
Send required qty of items to selected addresses
Add a new address to send items to
Users basically resort to
Manually adding addresses to each item in the cart
Editing qty for each address the item needs to be sent to
Abandoning experience to add address to the address book
UX Deep dive
I did a deep dive into the UX for Ship to Multiple Address feature within Amazon. My goal was to understand different CX approaches and identify usage patterns. This helped me make some key assumptions.
Past experiments from US, EU marketplaces include a multi page checkout experience that allows customers to view all the items and addresses in a dedicated page with ability to edit qty and addresses through dropdowns.
The current retail experience utilizes a single page checkout experience where customers can click on a link to open a dedicated Ship to multiple addresses widget. The widget allows customers to view and add addresses from the address book directly against each item.
• 🔍 Discoverability was a key issue. Customers were not able to easily discover the feature to Ship to multiple addresses.
• 📪 Address management had poor CX. Customers struggled to add a large no. of addresses within the ordering flow.
• 📦 Item distribution was manual & time-consuming. Customers had no way to easily distribute the items in the cart to the addresses they wanted to send them to.
• 🛒 Order Review & Confirmation was not intuitive. Customers were not able to review and confirm their selections leading to errors, incomplete orders and abandoned carts.
During the research phase, I also studied other e-commerce & procurement experiences to benchmark features and identify common pain points.
Add address to each item separately
Cannot add new address
Can change item quantity against each address
Add items to each address separately
Send identical cart to multiple addresses
Cannot add new address
Defining the North Star
The new multi address ordering experience is business centric and highly configurable. I developed the vision and product tenets for the new Ship to Multiple Addresses experience. This formed part of the North Star vision for the Ship to Multiple Addresses feature.
Prioritizing the UX
Based on the research and customer data, I teamed up with the Product team to identify key use cases and prioritize UX requirements. 3 key areas were identified to focus on.
Allow customers to add multiple addresses in one go
Provide options to add/edit/remove addresses for each item
Simplify the item distribution view for easy verification
Enable customers to identify and correct
Enable users to easily distribute items in the cart across different addresses
Enable users to manually adjust quantities for items in the cart
Setting experience goals
I defined experience goals to help guide design decisions. To enable business users to select, configure and place large scale purchases through a single order, I focused on the following CX improvements:
Simplify address selection to enable efficient flows
Empower users with smart mapping features for quick & intuitive item distribution
Allow users to manipulate item quantities and addresses easily to unlock quantity benefits
I explored multiple approaches to improve discoverability, selection flow, and content design to surface smart mapping options. Considerations were made for various order configurations including single item-multiple addresses i.e. in WFH scenarios, multiple items-multiple addresses, and bulk orders.
I then developed high fidelity designs were produced based on product inputs.
User testing & validation
I collaborated with the UX Research team to develop the research hypothesis and testing plan. I designed experiments which were tested with customers in the US marketplace in Q4 2021. Multiple scenarios were evaluated based on usability factors: accessibility, understandability, learn ability, operability, attractiveness, and navigability.
Through the user testing sessions, we were able to test many hypotheses regarding the STMA experience and business customer needs when shipping items to multiple addresses in the same order. The design explorations helped validate some of the decisions while also giving key insights on customer behavior and expectations. As a result, I iterated on the core flow of the process with focus on improving overall CX and reducing friction.
• ✅ Customers found the 2 step process easy to use and intuitive.
• ✅ Customers were able to understand how to navigate the features to add/edit/remove addresses.
• ✅ Customers found the ability to split items in cart across addresses useful as they typically add all the required quantity to the cart.
• ❌ Customers did not understand and use the ‘Multiply’ smart mapping to map identical carts to multiple addresses.
Based on these observations, I prioritized a simplified smart mapping experience with Split mapping. Additionally, I iterated on a unified Addresses selection experience for both single address and multiple address orders with a multi-select CX.
Outcome & Next steps
The Ship to Multiple Addresses experience is being rolled out in all marketplaces in 2022-23. The overall engagement with the feature has seen an uplift with projected gains.
• Projected Annualized WW uplift of $150MM+ in GMS
• Projected Reduction in abandonment rate by ~1.2%
For confidentiality reasons I have omitted the actual values for these metrics.
As part of the next step, I am working on enhancements to the experience to enable collaboration & cart saving features for distributed businesses. I am also working on the next iteration of the ordering experience – a unified single & multi address ordering experience for Amazon Business.