Amazon Prime is the best thing in online shopping, in my opinion. I use it to buy stuff all the time and have for many years — free two-day shipping on Amazon-stocked items (which covers a lot of stuff), Amazon’s reviews, and an inventory of almost everything makes Amazon Prime work really well.
But in the past couple of months, maybe because I’m cheap, I think I’ve discovered the second best thing for online shopping (and it’s not Amazon): Google Checkout. When I want to price shop something, I use Google’s shopping search engine (formerly known as Froogle, now listed in their menu bar under the header of “Shopping”), I filter the results to only show me merchants that support Google Checkout and I pretty quickly have not only the best deal on whatever I’m trying to buy, but 1) I trust that my money and credit card is safe and 2) checkout is really fast. In fact, Google’s checkout process is faster and more user friendly than Amazon’s. For example, if I change my credit card (which I often do depending on whether I’m buying something for the office or whether I’m buying something for home), I don’t separately have to change my billing address, as I do on amazon.com. And many times, on Amazon, when I change the credit card and billing address, it makes me enter my shipping address from scratch — I suspect Amazon does this when it encounters a combination of credit card, billing address, and shipping address that it hasn’t seen before.
What I want to see next? A touchscreen kiosk interface for my house that I can use to easily buy household supplies like lightbulbs, cleaning agents, shampoo, and other sundries. Who wants to go to the store to buy that stuff? And the only reason I ever end up going to the store to buy sundries is because at the moment that I realized that I needed to replenish something (which is normally at least once before I actually run out), there wasn’t a way for me to quickly satisfy that impulse.
I think there’s a big future in products that satisfy people’s impulses.