Have you ever bailed out on a purchase because the queue was too long or the checkout page asked too many questions? You are not alone. Friction is one of the leading causes for poor conversion for both online and offline businesses.

In this context, friction can mean any number of different things that prevent from the customer from having a smooth transaction. In addition to lengthy queues and long forms, this could also refer to poor sales support, lack of trust factors, and unexpected fees to mention a few others.

Long store queue

Unfortunately, it is not easy to list out all the potential friction factors in a transaction. Given that every business is unique in its own way, there is no one master list that comprehensively covers all the factors that can contribute to friction.

So how do you go about reducing friction in your sales process? Here are a few pointers.

Find why customers quit

Reducing friction in business is a continuous process. The best way to go about it is to look at your existing visitors and identifying the factors that prevent them from converting to paying customers.

For example, consider a business like CarReg that offers personalised car registrations and private number plates to their customers. This is a premium service and not all customers may have the funds to go for it. Such a business could eliminate friction by tying up with finance services that allow customers to pay for their purchase in monthly instalments.

It is a good idea to look into every little component in the sale process to identify factors that influence the buyers’ mindset. Knowing why customers quit can help you find solutions that may fix your conversion challenge.

What customers want

It is typical for a buyer to evaluate your product, and benchmark it against competition before making a purchase. The metrics and the marketing assets that a buyer looks at during purchase may however differ.

Some buyers look at video demos to understand how your product works while others demand free trials to evaluate your offering. Studies show that the average buyer looks at five different sources of information while evaluating a product. This includes product demos, user reviews, vendor website, free trials and analyst reports.

It is highly recommended that businesses survey their customers to identify the assets that help buyers the most in their decision making process and make this available. In the absence of such information sources, buyers do not feel confident and this hinders their purchasing decision.

Enhancing customer experience

Personalized communication

One of the biggest reasons why small businesses fail to reach customers with their marketing is the lack of personalized communication. Customers who fail to relate to a marketing communication hesitate to take the next step which impacts conversion rates. By focusing your communication on one client at a time, it is possible to establish better rapport which brings down friction in the business transaction.

Let us take the example of an agency pitching for a web development project. While it helps your credibility by showcasing your portfolio and past work, this may alone be inadequate. Such agencies may make communication more personal by producing a pitch targeted at your client. You may also enhance personalization by collaborating with them through the process. Not only does this help increase productivity, but also makes communication personal and engaging. This helps increase conversion rates to a great extent.

We have barely scratched the surface on this topic. As a general rule of thumb, it is important for a business or marketer to get into the mind of a prospective customer and identify the parameters and factors that they use to assess and make a purchasing decision. This is the most profitable way to reduce friction and increase conversion for your business.