Unified Commerce: How to Reduce Friction for Customers (and Why)
Today’s consumers have dramatically different expectations than they did even five years ago. While the pandemic has certainly driven some of that shift, advancements in technology–particularly artificial intelligence–have also played an important role. People now expect a faster, more personalized purchasing experience.
It should come as no surprise, then, that companies delivering those experiences will improve their bottom line. In fact, according to Gartner,” By 2025, organizations offering unified commerce experience by frictionlessly moving customers through journeys will see at least a 20% uplift in total revenue."
In other words, it's in the best interest of businesses to make changes so that customers enjoy frictionless online experiences. This will not only generate greater revenue but will also ensure that customers remain loyal and content with the services being offered.
Here are 8 ways to reduce friction for customers (and why):
Faster Loading Speed
We have all been told that first impressions are extremely important to how other individuals perceive us. The same is true for a website which is why it's important to ensure a fast loading speed when it comes to a site's intro page. If a potential lead clicks on your website and it takes time to load, chances are that they will abandon the site before they even have a chance to view it.
In a digital age where everything is available at the tips of our fingertips, and within split seconds, it should come as little surprise that 53% of people will leave a mobile site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. If the loading time reaches 6 seconds, the bounce rate increases to 103%!
By prioritizing the speed at which a website loads, the first impression will be a positive one. The faster the loading speed, the lower the chances of a potential lead bouncing from the site before even seeing what it has to offer. Not only will this reduce friction but it also has the potential to increase revenue.
Decrease Clicks Per Page
Smart devices such as TVs, phones, watches, and even kitchen appliances have made the lives of individuals easier by decreasing the number of buttons and actions that they must go through to achieve the desired result. So when a potential lead comes across an eCommerce webpage, the same is expected.
Decreasing the number of clicks a lead must go through makes the buyer's journey convenient and concise. This not only reduces the friction for a customer but also increases the chances of conversion. The less amount of clicking around on a website, the lower the chances of a customer getting distracted and abandoning the website.
Make Your Site Smart-Device Friendly
In today's world, smartphones and other smart devices can be spotted in the hands of anyone between the ages of 0 and 100. Despite this, not every website is designed to fit these small handheld screens. Ensuring that a website is mobile-friendly can greatly reduce friction for customers as many are browsing the internet on their smartphones.
Another added feature that could be considered when making a website mobile-friendly is the ability to continue browsing on multiple devices. Some websites are compatible from screen to screen, reducing the friction and bounce rate when an individual decides to switch devices.
Personalize User Experience
In the past two years, many experiences that were once in-person have made the switch to online. Though this has brought a new level of convenience, the one thing that consumers miss the most is the personalized experience that they once received from an in-person service.
Personalizing a user experience can reduce friction and foster a long-term relationship with the customer. This can be done by personalizing a welcome email or making suggestions based on that individual's likes and dislikes. Not only will you generate a 15% boost in profits, but it will also keep your website relevant and standing out from the competition.
Support Multiple Currencies and Payment Options
As an eCommerce company, it's important to offer the prices of goods and services in multiple currencies. This not only eases customers' questions and concerns but it offers an added layer of transparency that is essential when it comes to eCommerce companies. Offering different payment options can also be beneficial to expanding the countries your business can sell to.
Not knowing how much something costs in the currency that someone is used to can be alarming and not worth the confusion that comes with converting currencies. However, if the price of the goods or services is already adjusted to showcase the currency from the country your customer is from then the initial reaction won't be to leave your website.
This takes away uncertainties and the hassle of having to convert the currency themselves, which can cause problems if not done correctly. Customers will find ease in browsing through the website as they can make an informed decision on what they wish to purchase, reducing friction and bounce rates.
Optimizing the checkout page to make the final step of the buying process frictionless should be considered. A single-page checkout can be simpler to use and seem more user-friendly. With less navigation between multiple pages, customers will feel more comfortable as they can see all of their information at once which can add a sense of security. This also minimizes distraction as a customer is imputing information, decreasing the chances of cart abandonment.
Another thing to consider on a checkout page is enabling smart form filling. Smart form filling uses a shipping address predictor tool as well as Google Autofill to insure fewer errors when inputting personal information. Enabling error notifications to spot errors on the go can also be beneficial in avoiding simple mistakes. Lastly, adding a small check-box to allow users to select the same address as the shipping address speeds up the checkout process while eliminating the chances of user errors. These tools make checkout an efficient, quick, and error-free activity, not only decreasing the chances of cart abandonment but increasing the chances of conversion as well
Offer Payment Plans
Depending on the products that an eCommerce site is selling, offering different payment plans could be beneficial in reducing friction and bounce rates. If a customer likes the products being offered, chances are that they will be happy to pay for them. Some individuals however may not have all the funds upfront to do so.
Offering payment plans that split up the cost of a product into multiple, smaller interest-free payments can be greatly beneficial for businesses and keep customers happy. There are multiple third-party businesses that one can partner with that will allow this frictionless process at checkout. This eases customers' financial concerns and allows them to access a product that may not have had access to previously.
Prioritize the Post-Purchase Experience
Last but certainly not least, prioritizing a customer post-purchase experience will add an extra personal touch to the overall experience and keep customers coming back. This is especially beneficial to an eCommerce website as it is cheaper to retain a satisfied customer than to find new ones. After all, a returning customer is 5 times more likely to purchase more products and 4 times more likely to refer a friend.
Prioritizing a customer's post-purchase experience doesn't have to include much. Simply sending a personalized thank you note can greatly increase the chances of a happy customer and reduce friction with your website in the future.
The switch from in-person to online was sudden and unexpected for individuals and businesses alike. However, customers in the past two years have provided an insight on what should be changed to reduce friction and keep them coming back. Hiring a company such as Fyorin can help do just that. Their services are designed to reduce the overall friction to make any customer experience a better one.