eBay and frictionless buying

The dock I bought in under a minute, for less than A$20, including shipping.

Came into the office today after being out for a few days and decided the desk needed a clean – you know, clear desk, clear mind, etc.

In the process of tidying up the mess of cables you’ll find on any self respecting geek’s desk, I got to thinking: wouldn’t it be better if I had a dock for my new Nexus One? I’d be able to put it somewhere and tuck that cable away. Like the Big Lebowski, I was thinking this was the bit I needed to hold things together.

I had a look at the different reviews of the official US$45 dock online. It sure looked sweet if I wanted to play music from my Nexus One, like you’d want in your bedroom. But on your desk at work? Not so much.

So, I fired up eBay, logged in, and did a search for “Nexus One Dock”. Dozens of results. Pricing was right – under A$20 including shipping to my office here in Australia (mostly from Hong Kong).

The time from start of the search on eBay, to paying for the dock, was well under 60 seconds.

Then it hit me. This is truly frictionless shopping. No friction at all: I was able to sit at my desk, realise I had a need, and then purchase a product to satisfy that need in a matter of seconds.

Pretty impressive. If this kind of frictionless shopping comes to other areas of the retail experience, our retailers are in a lot of trouble.

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