Nowadays, the customer’s expectations have never been higher. Customers got accustomed to companies like Amazon and Walmart, where frictionless customer experience is a golden standard.
What’s more, the rise in technologies has created new customer touchpoints, enabling the customer to interact with businesses through a complex network of platforms. While this shift represents greater convenience for the customer, it also made a frictionless customer experience a focal point for any e-commerce store.
Frictionless is effortless, and customers seek to make a purchase as easy and as quickly as possible; they don’t want to deal with businesses that build uncertain complexity before, during, and after the purchase. That’s why, everywhere you look, organizations, regardless of their size, try to reduce friction and stay competitive.
This blog post will look at the importance of achieving a frictionless customer journey for your e-commerce store and how you can effortlessly create it by following six simple yet effective steps.
Friction is any hurdle that can slow or prevent the customer from completing a purchase in your store. Friction might happen either because the customer is unclear how to proceed or what’s expected from them might be too time-consuming (like account creation, for instance).
Why should you aim for frictionless?
Ok, now that you understand what friction is, you might wonder why you should bother making your customer journey as frictionless as possible?
To answer that question, let’s, first, take a quick look at the numbers…
A human attention span is 8 seconds! 8 seconds – that’s all you got to get your customer’s attention. On the other hand, a study proved that people make a purchasing decision in about 90 seconds.
With that difference in numbers, it’s not a surprise that the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is a whopping 69.57%! E-commerce brands lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of cart abandonment! That is $18 billion in potential sales!
All of the above statistics prove the frictionless e-commerce is not a luxury but a necessity. And most marketers and business owners make a mistake in thinking about removing the friction during the purchase.
The truth is, friction should be removed before, during, and after the purchase. To succeed in today’s highly demanding market, your store should deliver the most positive customer experience you can. Let’s take a look at some effective strategies that will help you create a seamless buying journey, minimize (or better – completely remove) friction, and increase overall customer satisfaction with your brand.
How to achieve a frictionless journey
The buying process should be a straightforward process. Any extra unnecessary steps are an obstacle to completing the purchase and must be removed. Remember that 70% abandonment rate, right? So, let’s take at some ways to avoid that and make your customer journey as delightful as possible:
1) Make your website accessible.
Slow websites cost money. So, if your website or content is loading slow, this is friction that should be removed immediately. Buyers don’t have the patience to wait for your website to load, so if it’s not loading fast, they will end up purchasing from your competitors.
Similarly, if your website is confusing to your customers, has inconsistent messaging, or makes it challenging for your customers to navigate and take action, it will drive them away from your store way before they have become customers.
The Internet has spoiled shoppers, and they are expecting an immediate and frictionless experience. Here are some ways to ensure your store is providing a seamless experience to your customers:
- Invest in good UX design to make sure that your website is user-friendly and tailored to your audience.
- Invest in a skilled web developer to ensure your website is fast and runs optimally.
- Make your branding consistent across all platforms.
Remember, the first interaction with your brand is your website. If you don’t give your customers an effortless experience, they will not reach the checkout.
2) Help your customers find what they are looking for.
Customers arrive at your website with different intents – some are just browsing your inventory, others have come with a clear picture of what they need. Regardless of the intent, you must ensure that your customers find what they are looking for fast and effortlessly without digging. To deliver such an experience, you might want to take a look at some solutions that improve customer search and deliver a personalized experience.
3) Improve the checkout process.
Many reasons lead to cart abandonment, but the long and complicated checkout process is among the top ones. Checkout is a key place to remove friction, and there are different tools to achieve that.
Be vary mindful about your payment provider. Trustful payment providers like Stripe will enable you to offer different payment options for your global and local customers. Adding a digital wallet can also make the process easier for your customers.
Be careful, though – you don’t want to add too many payment options and confuse your shoppers – the goal is creating a simple and easy checkout experience.
4) Offer top-notch shipping
Another big reason for cart abandonment is the unexpected shipping cost. To remove that hurdle, you should give your customers accurate shipping rates and an estimated delivery time frame. Shipping should be as frictionless as possible, and in this step, you have a chance to make a lasting impression on your customers.
Research any logistics solutions that will enable you to deliver your customer’s goods faster. Offer your customers to track their orders. You can also go one step further and send them status updates anytime the order is ready for shipment, shipped, and delivered.
5) Make the returns easy
A 92% of shoppers participating in a survey said they would buy again from the brand if the product return process is easy. So, providing a frictionless return process can lead to happy customers and give you repeated customers.
Ask your customers for honest feedback so that you can solve any issues related to your products as soon as possible. Make returns as effortless to the shoppers as possible.
Remember that most shoppers would expect an “Amazon-like” return policy. Reduce or altogether remove printing and packing the product they are returning. Make it easy for customers to receive their funds back asap.
6) Nurture the relationship
The only best thing about a one-time customer is a repeated customer. A customer that comes back increases your brand affinity over time.
Depending on what you are selling, there are different ways to nurture the relationship with your customers. Include them in your marketing campaigns, don’t forget to offer them personalized offers tailored to what they previously have purchased from you, reward them by including them in a loyalty program, surprise them with small gifts and discounts.
People love to feel treated well, so if you want repeated customers make them feel special and let them know you care about them.
Bonus Step) Have a reliable and lightning fast hosting provider
No matter if you are using an on-premise solution such (Magento, WP/Woo), or SaaS (Shopify, BigCommerce) you want to want to have web hosting that is fast and reliable. This is essential so your website can offer a quality service to your target audience. You need to vet different things like security, speed, and reliability to ensure maximum uptime.
In a nutshell
In the end, you and your customers want the same thing – getting the products you are offering as quickly and effortlessly as possible in the customer’s hands. Each e-commerce store is different, and you should test and see which approach works best for your brand. Still, the six strategies above work well for any e-commerce business.
A frictionless customer journey should always be your ultimate goal, and if you have any questions or difficulty achieving it for your store, we are here for you. You can contact us here.