Five tips for reducing friction in the e-commerce sales process
Buying online is almost second nature for many of today's consumers, but there are still some common friction points that make online shoppers feel uncomfortable. From an e-commerce business perspective, removing these points of friction will lead to better sales numbers.
Five ways to remove friction
Think about the last few times you’ve been through the drive-through at a fast-food restaurant. We’ve all had good and bad experiences. Some drive-through windows are fast and efficient, while others take forever. Next time you choose to grab a quick bite to eat, you’re probably going to go to the drive-through window that was smooth. The same is true in e-commerce. Customers want frictionless purchase decisions and will do business with sites that are easy to use.
Most e-commerce websites experience the same points of friction. If you’re looking to smooth things over for your customers, you’ll find the following tips helpful.
1. Offer perks and rewards
Conscientious people naturally think things through prior to purchase. They weigh the pros and cons and ultimately reach one decision or another. You want to provide consumers with as many pros as you can. One way to do this is by offering perks and rewards like free shipping, bonus gifts, or added warranties. The more perceived value you can create before the purchase, the less friction the customer will experience.
2. Create a loyalty programme
Repeat customers tend to experience far less friction than first-time customers. They have been through the process before and know what to expect. (They’re also more cost-effective in the long run.)
One way to drive repeat purchases is to create a loyalty programme that encourages customers to come back. You can see an example of what a good loyalty programme looks like from Wholesale Marine. Brainstorm some ways you can set up a similar programme that your customers will respond to.
3. Streamline the checkout process
Cumbersome checkout processes are a pain. If you have high shopping cart abandonment, then you’re probably forcing your buyers to go through too many pages and forms before purchase. Streamline the checkout process and try to condense it down into just one or two pages for best results.
4. Use better visuals
Pictures speak louder than words, which is all the more reason to incorporate better visuals into your website. High-quality visuals make your site look better and reduce the overall “busyness” of your pages. This gives shoppers the chance to really focus in on your products.
5. Implement social proof
Nothing makes a customer feel more at peace with a purchase decision than knowing that other people approve. Whether it’s a close friend or a favourite celebrity, the approval of others is magnetising when it comes to buying a product or service online.
Part of reducing friction on your e-commerce site is putting customers at ease. Elements of social proof – such as reviews, ratings, and endorsements – go a long way towards calming your audience. Look for opportunities to integrate social proof on product pages and throughout checkout. Little details can have a very positive impact.
Make e-commerce feel natural
For consumers who have spent the majority of their lives walking into stores, physically putting items in their cart, and purchasing with cash, the idea of buying something online without ever touching or feeling the product obviously feels different. You can’t expect an e-commerce purchase experience to directly mimic an in-store buying experience. You need to make it feel as natural as possible, though. Start by removing obvious points of friction and proceed from there.
About Boris Dzhingarov
Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as Tech.co, Semrush.com, Tweakyourbiz.com, Socialnomics.net. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary.com and cryptoext.com.
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