Getting a customer to complete a purchase online is a fragile process with lots of opportunities for friction to occur. How well can they find the product they are looking for? Is it in stock or sold out? Can they checkout using their preferred payment method? What about warranty or the return policy?
Resolving the friction
Anything you can do to take away this friction will smoothen the process for your customers. And you will benefit from that too. This article gives examples of companies that resolved friction in an extraordinary way and provide useful tips for reducing friction in your online store.
Friction is not just an online issue
While we focus on reducing friction in your online platforms, we’re aware that friction is not just an online platform issue. Here are some ways your physical location can suffer from friction that’s worth taking a closer look at:
- Your shop closes at 5pm while most surrounding stores don’t close until 5:30pm
- Your shop is located at a busy mall with not enough parking spaces
- Your shop has no insight into whether or not a desired product is in stock
Nowadays more and more companies resolve friction in a way that sets them apart from the rest, turning a common point of friction into a unique selling point. Take Amazon’s Dash button
. Running low on a specific item? With a single push of a button, the Wi-Fi connected Dash button orders and delivers more of that product to your doorstep. In this way, Amazon eliminates the friction of having to go to the store.
takes away the friction of effort with just a few clicks. Getting a ride is done simply by opening the app and pushing a button. No need to call and provide your current location. And you know exactly how long it’s going to take before your ride is there to pick you up. At your destination payment is done automatically through the app, allowing you to travel problem free and without requiring cash in your pocket.
Improving your e-commerce
With a few examples of points of friction and their creative fixes, it’s time to take a closer look at your e-commerce solution. Explore the following on your platform:
- How easy is it to find a specific product on your site?
- Is your product information really sufficient enough to make the purchase?
- Are the photos of your products detailed and sharp enough?
- Do you provide correct and sufficient information on delivery times and options?
- Is your return policy easy to find and clearly expressed?
- How clear is your pricing information?
- Does your site load fast enough?
By tackling the above list you have already come a long way in improving your online store. But your search for friction points doesn’t end there. Expand your search to the complaints you receive through customer service and on social media. Social media is an especially great source for tracking down those friction points experienced by your visitors.
After the order
What happens after your customer completes checkout
is just as critical. Keep your customer feeling good about their purchase and your brand by checking the following:
- Do you offer your customer a delivery date and choice of time frame?
- Can they choose for same day, Sunday or evening delivery?
- Is there a physical location where customers can pick up their order?
- Do you display inventory numbers for a specific location?
Low hanging fruit
By now you should have a pretty extensive list of friction points requiring your attention. Now it’s time to decide what to focus on first. Prioritizing your list based on estimated value of the improvement will help you determine what frictions to resolve first. Make sure to measure your estimated value after the fix to establish its success. If the numbers don’t exceed your estimate it’s probably best to find another way of resolving that friction point.