We had a chat with Roger Dooley at the neuromarketing world forum in Berlin for our podcast. He’s a well known author, Forbes columnist, podcaster and big advocate of friction reduction. He wrote a book on the subject called ‘Friction the untapped force that can be your most powerful advantage’. You might ask yourself, why is friction reduction so important? Well, it turns out that 80% of online shopping cart abandonment is related to friction.
Zoom’s mission statement is: ‘make communications frictionless’. When the pandemic started, their frictionless approach turned them into the obvious choice. It shows the potential success that comes with less friction. However, a lot of companies are not doing well in the battle against friction.
For example, a big hotel chain requires customers to solve multiple captchas before booking, which is suboptimal from a customer experience level which leads to lower conversions. People underestimate and don't put enough thought into the consequences of extra effort.
Another example is United Airlines, which requires customers to set up 5 security questions for their account. That in itself is annoying but it gets worse, you can only choose an answer from a preselected list. Surprisingly United still haven't solved this and thus people are still complaining, have a look at some of the angry Tweets we found below, some stating they didn’t want to sign up anymore which clearly demonstrates how friction impacts conversions.
Amazon is one of the few companies in the Netherlands that will not require you to authenticate your payment, they’re taking the risk if things go wrong, but they’re willing to take that risk because they believe that the reduction in friction will bring more conversions which will make up for the loss of security.
This exact problem is occurring to the business executives, with a lack of knowledge of each specific department to make a calculated decision. If we would only follow the advice of lawyers, nothing would get done because it’s their job to cover all possible risks. The reality is that compromises have to be made to reduce friction.