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With the ever-increasing popularity of social commerce, brands can easily connect with prospects and customers as they browse their favorite feeds. However, in this high-touch environment, even minor snags in the purchase process create barriers to conversion. By reducing friction, you can significantly decrease how often prospects abandon their customer journey in favor of your competitors. Lower friction also boosts brand loyalty and improves the rate of valuable return customers. 

In a 2018 study by Salesforce and Deloitte Digital, 70% of respondents said that it's easier than ever to take their business elsewhere in the technological landscape. Protect your business from this phenomenon with these six smart strategies.  

Find friction

Tackle the technicalities of your brand's customer journey by viewing your own online media as a consumer. What gives you pause as you navigate your social stream, product catalog, and shopping cart? Do you notice the urge to click away during a slow page load or feel frustrated with a cluttered ad that has multiple calls to action? Eliminating these issues can substantially improve conversion. 

Make detailed notes as you browse so you can take action later. If possible, rally team members, stakeholders, or even some of your best customers to go through this process so you can draw from multiple perspectives. 

Remove roadblocks

The nuts and bolts of a positive user experience will depend on what the customer expects from your brand. Regardless of your target audience and chosen channel, any UX element that blocks the customer journey and prevents conversion constitutes friction. Use this checklist to quickly detect common pain points from both the qualitative data you gathered in Step 1 and the quantitative data available about your website visitors:

  • Out-of-stock catalog items
  • Long wait times for product delivery
  • Poor website design
  • Costly delivery fees
  • Negative online reputation or perception
  • High bounce rates
  • High drop-off rates
  • Few repeat visitors
  • Limited response to CTAs and forms
  • Slow page load times
  • Short site visits

Create shortcuts

Most people don't want to spend time completing an arduous enrollment or purchase process. In one case study reported by AdWeek, a STEM toy brand increased conversions by 56% after shortening its subscription process to just one page. 

Limiting the number of pages on your website also makes it easier for customers to learn to navigate your site. If a buyer remembers that they got what they needed from you in just a few clicks, they are more likely to become brand-loyal.

Embrace social commerce

Americans are spending more time online than ever before. According to the industry blog Marketing Dive, the number of minutes spent engaging with marketing content from brands rose by 15% during the first half of 2020. This effect was even pronounced among people who never shopped online prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. People of all ages are purchasing products and services through social media channels at a record rate, which means you risk getting left behind without an effective digital marketing e-commerce strategy.

Stick to proven navigation patterns

While eye-catching, unique design can get your brand noticed, maintaining a recognizable framework across platforms shields new users from possible frustration. Examples of key landmarks to maintain include:

  • Clear buttons and links. Anything clickable should be conspicuous. 
  • Logo placement. Keep your branding in the upper left, where users tend to look for it.
  • Readable contrast between text and background color. Online tools can help you check the readability of your design. 
  • Spacing. Lots of white space guides the reader's eye and keeps them from accidentally clicking on the wrong button or link.

Clarify checkout

The journey hasn't ended yet when customers fill their carts. According to data from the Mouseflow blog, almost 70% of users abandon their online shopping carts after selecting their products. While about half of those people report cost as the biggest factor in this decision, friction commonly accounts for failed purchases:

  • 24% didn't want to create an account to complete checkout
  • 19% wanted faster product delivery
  • 18% said the checkout process was too long
  • 17% said they did not want to enter financial information as the site seemed untrustworthy

If you're ready to start the conversation about improving customer conversion through your social commerce efforts, it's time to connect with Code3. As a digital-first marketing leader for more than a decade, we have a deep understanding of user experience that can help your brand develop a friction-free customer journey across the world’s largest platforms.


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