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O'Hehirs Bakery web development

Reducing eCommerce friction: what it is and why it matters

Every retailer selling through an eCommerce website wants to increase conversions – but for your customers, it isn’t always as easy as click & purchase. When customers experience anything on your website that complicates the shopping and purchase process, we call this ‘friction’. 

Friction on eCommerce websites can show up in a lot of different ways. Maybe the bounce rate on your website is a lot higher than you’d like it to be. Or perhaps you’re seeing a lot of abandoned carts, or a high level of traffic with a low conversion rate. Any of this sounding familiar?

According to the Baymard Institute, it’s estimated that on average, shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.53%. A huge amount of revenue is lost this way each year, and a lot of it can be pinned down to website friction. 

So we know it’s bad: but what does website friction look like in action, and what can you do to reduce it for your customers?

Get your website up to speed 

We mean this quite literally – speed is essential! If your website lags – whether on desktop or on mobile – you’re going to lose people. An unfortunate reality of the eCommerce world is that it’s fast-paced and high-stakes. You have a relatively small window of time to grab your customers’ attention; Wolfgang Digital found that the average session on eCommerce sites is 3 minutes, 49 seconds. If each page takes more than a couple seconds to load, you’re losing out on crucial time. 

Smooth out the customer journey 

Putting user experience first is essential to any eCommerce website; it should be the underpinnings of your web design and development. Customers should be able to intuitively shop on your website, find the content they’re looking for, and make a purchase without feeling confused, or struggling to find what they’re looking for. 

If you’re not sure where to start, stay simple. Cluttered text, too much content, or a crowded navigation bar will all cause friction to the user experience. 

Align your advertising campaigns with your website 

All the marketing activity in the world isn’t going to make a difference if your customers clicks on an ad, and can’t find the product they wanted to buy. If your advertising campaigns are focused on a certain product, or a collection of products, be sure that those are made prominent on your website. Better yet – link your advertisements directly to the product you’re pushing. There’s nothing more frustrating for a consumer than falling in love with a product in an advertisement, only to be left sorting through dozens of unrelated items they’re not interested in – and it’s wasted advertising money for you, too. 

Simplify the shopping experience  

When it comes to shopping online, there are only so many decisions a customer will be willing to make before they become frustrated and opt out entirely. Group similar items together, so it’s easy for customers to compare. If you have variations of the same product, like different coloured T-shirts, try to keep them all within the same product. 

Make payment easy & offer options

Not every customer shops the same, and that’s okay! Offering a few payment options will help cast a wider net. Customers lose trust in a business – and interest in their shopping cart – when their preferred payment option isn’t available. Have a look at what payment options you’re offering and do some research to see what else you can provide your customers. 

Finally, it’s important to cut down on the amount of steps the check-out process takes. Avoid asking for unnecessary information, and try to keep it all within the same page if you can. Page reloading adds to user friction. 

That’s just the beginning. If your website performance isn’t living up to your expectations, don’t get discouraged. Get in touch for a free discovery call – we’re here to help!  

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