Amazon Unified Financing Initiatives

Company:

Amazon

Project completion:

2021

Role:

UX Design & Research Lead

  • Design: Defining customer experience requirements; planning and execution of design workshops; design concepting; low fidelity design; high fidelity design; interactive prototyping
  • Research: Heuristic user research study; direct customer interviews; research data analysis; competitive analysis; usability studies

About this project:

During my time designing and conducting research within Amazon’s financing space, I repeatedly observed customers struggling to identify and understand which eligible offers applied to them. I brought this customer experience issue to the attention of my category team, who were unable to affect change at the systemic level due to various roadblocks in their road map and tech stack. I continued my customer advocacy efforts through partner design efforts and stakeholder conversations with different payment product teams at Amazon. 

After pitching and conducting an in-depth heuristic user research study, I was able to gather high-impact customer stories that elevated the importance of a unified payments experience for the millions of customers we serve. I led design unification efforts across the payments products, hardlines category, devices retail, and the global design system teams that resulted in what we now know as the Unified Payment Offers experience at Amazon.

The challenge:

Amazon customers were unable to identify and understand which eligible financing offers applied to them. We have various financing products offered through Amazon and third-party institutions: in-house installments, business pay-by-invoice, credit card based financing through the Amazon Store Card and/or Amazon Rewards VISA Card, global installments lending, and more. Financing offers ultimately hinge on customer eligibility through an assessment of individual factors, such as creditworthiness or account history. This unfortunately impacts the customer-facing experience as the ingress or opt-in mechanisms are highly dependent on individual circumstances. Bespoke opt-in and checkout experiences for incongruous payment products led to a proliferation of disjointed design patterns across the Amazon retail shopping experience. 

From the product side, it was imperative that the design accommodated any exclusivity clauses between institutions and honored prioritization of payment methods on the customer’s account. It was also important to:

  • Maintain transparency of the terms and conditions
  • Translate financial offerings in an easy-to-read format
  • Explain penalties or balloon payments associated with late payments
  • Ensure that the design complied with the Truth in Lending Act

The engineering effort for a project of this scale required the coordination and buy-in of teams across the world. It would require creating new systems to display financing offers previously merchandised by different teams in different parts of the shopping journey. It would require working with tech teams from multiple product categories, core shopping experiences, and consulting with external product partners.

In order to measure the success of this initiative, we pursued usage metrics of each of the product payments. We hypothesized that a higher conversion rate would reflect the customer’s increased understanding of financing products and how they work.

Solution:

This experience required that the customer be presented with all eligible financing offers up front. They should be able to compare monthly payment options and the length of terms. Customers should be able to replicate this experience while shopping. The information they need should be accessible from a consistent location.

In order to arrive at the optimal design solution, I gathered data through my previously conducted usability research and other secondary research conducted by core research teams across the company. I conducted a generative heuristic research study and shared my findings with multiple teams and stakeholders. The distribution of this report resulted in the tech roadmap pivot of a core shopping team. I provided conceptual designs and prototypes to facilitate cross-functional discussions, often using research citations or direct customer quotes and sentiments to guide our conversations. 

This eventually led to expanding the design team on this project. I onboarded and directed multiple designers who were brought on to continue developing the design. We continued to iterate the design until we arrived at a solution that would work for all contributing teams.

Results:

2 week post-launch snapshot:

  • 4.1% increase in financing using the private label credit card
  • 5.2% increase in financing using the co-branded credit card

Estimated 5M impressions each day since launch

Design framework is currently being scaled to other countries and retail businesses, such as bundle sales, warranties, and product configuration.

Mobile designs:

Monthly pricing in action

Additional process artifacts: