E-commerce: Being frictionless is key

The customer should be able to come in, find what he or she wants, buy it and be done in just a couple of minutes. Ordering online should be a SNAP! One of the greatest exponents of frictionless shopping is Amazon. Way back in 1997, Amazon filed a patent application for 1-Click, which lets registered customers buy with just a single click of the mouse. 

A customer merely has to click a button to add products to his or her shopping basket. If you change your mind, you can easily remove a product from your basket prior to making the final purchase, just as you can in a bricks-and-mortar store. When the customer has finished shopping, one merely has to click on the ?buy? button, provide the payment information and select from a menu of delivery services and featured options, such as gift wrapping. 

The execution of your e-commerce website is key. The presentation of your pages and products should be clear, concise, and unfussy. Maximise the freedom to browse among the alternative selections and highlight the opportunities to purchase your current best sellers.

Follow up the customer purchase instantly with an e-mail message confirming all the previously mentioned (order) details. Where appropriate, alert the customer by e-mail when his or her order has been shipped.

Frictionless e-commerce is about exceeding the expectations of your shoppers. It is NOT about fancy graphics or having the lowest prices on the web. Do not create unnecessary friction by forcing your customers to jump through hoops or go around in circles, chasing their tail to make a purchase!

In the perfect online retail experience of the near future, less will indeed be more.

Paul Brewster is a proprietor eapb Marketing Consultancy.

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