What is frictionless ecommerce?
Frictionless e-commerce is defined by creating a streamlined path-to-purchase experience for customers on your website. The first step in identifying what adjustments to make to your site is to understand how customers are currently engaging. You can analyze behavioral data to glean insights into their preferences, high vs low engagement areas and where they are dropping off. Once the data is assessed, it can inform the best roadmap to create personalized, efficient, and hassle-free buying experiences.
As the emphasis on ecommerce continues to grow, and the Amazons of the world become increasingly optimized, customers’ expectations will continue to become more and more demanding. If they cannot find exactly what they are looking for, with speed, ease --and of course free shipping-- the likelihood that they will leave your site in favor of a competitor is higher than ever before. So, if you aren’t Amazon, how can your business compete? Below are 4 best practices you can apply to your site immediately to ensure you are meeting and exceeding your customer’s needs and fostering loyalty that keeps them coming back.
Optimize your best performing units
It’s always wise to start with the low-hanging fruit. Once you have identified the areas on your site where you are getting the highest engagement, you can strategize methods to streamline and amplify those engagements. For example, if users are gravitating toward an area of your site that isn’t clickable, add a link to a PDP to drive them further down the funnel. If you see they are heading to a specific section in your nav bar, display a CTA about that section prominently on your home page. The fewer clicks it takes for customers to reach the information they are seeking, the smoother their experience.
Increase your page speed
Did you know that a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions? And with core web vitals becoming a higher priority in Google’s search ranking algorithm, load time is now more critical than ever. A quick win would be to leverage one of the many free diagnostic tools for website response and performance. We like Google Page Speed Insights. One thing to keep in mind though is not to panic when reading your results. Many of the issues these tools will identify are quite common to the vast majority of websites- especially when their main function is ecommerce. Minor tweaks to optimize web page performance can go a long way in eliminating friction points.
Make it personal
A huge contributor to success in creating a frictionless ecommerce experience, is the ability to personalize the shopping session to the individual user. Tactics such as recommending product categories based on browsing behavior or showing personalized offers to returning users are proven strategies to move the conversion needle. Even the ability to customize the offerings based on geographic location through weather sensitive personalization can resonate with your customer and address a very relevant need-state at the exact time they want the product. When thinking about b2b ecommerce personalization, creating a sense of efficiency for users is even more important as they are likely looking to move quickly through the buying process.
Don’t surprise them at checkout
There are three main considerations when it comes to ecommerce checkout best practices.
Shipping Costs: don’t wait until checkout to spring shipping costs on your customer. Apps like Vanilla Free Shipping Bar will provide a dynamic notification bar that shows users how close they are to free shipping as they add items to their cart (bonus points for encouraging increased order value).
Payment Options: ensure all payment options are available. Not only will this increase conversion rates but it also builds trust and credibility with first-time customers.
Security: Show a secure payment trust badge. If you are a company that may not have a high level of brand recognition, customers may be apprehensive about your credibility. The secure checkout badge is the seal given when you sign up with a company that provides an SSL certificate. This badge indicates that your checkout process can be trusted: the information is encrypted, and your customer's credit card information is safe and secure.
Remember, an intuitive and seamless ecommerce experience is no longer a nice-to-have. In today's landscape, it's an absolute must in order to remain competitive and relevant with your customer base.