Unnecessary jargon. Confusing navigation. Irrelevant images. Hidden pricing. Long forms. Fluffy wording. Gated articles. Poor communication.
All those issues cause friction on your website. Friction stops people from wanting to buy from you.
Reduce friction on your website and you eliminate the need for people to buy from someone else.
Why we create friction in the buying process
So none of us intentionally make it hard for people to buy. But that’s why we need to be intentional about why we structure the buying process a certain way.
Usually we create friction when we require site visitors to do certain actions before they can buy. We want them to fill out a form, schedule a meeting, watch a demo… The list goes on.
In theory these things make someone better prepared to buy — aka they’re qualified. Really those steps represent friction points that make it harder for people to get what they need. They want the buying process to be convenient and fast.
That friction also creates doubt in what you sell. If buying is that hard, is using your product or service going to be the same way?
Ask questions like these when looking at your site and buying process to reduce the friction of buying and increase the likelihood of sales.
Can someone pretty much immediately understand what you sell AND why they might want to give you money for it?
People need to know what you sell and exactly what they get when they buy. That’s key to buying anything online.
That doesn’t mean sharing in exact detail all the features every product has. Feature dumping kills deals on demos and it definitely stops potential customers from going further when you do the same on your site. People don’t want to read a giant wall of text.
Instead, clearly outline the quantifiable benefits and qualitative value those products provide. It’s not just about what a solution does. People need to see that you’ll directly help them and that you understand the problems they face. The “why” of what you sell makes the sale.
Do you hide pricing and content, forcing people to forfeit their personal info to get information?
Gating pricing and content downloads on a website is a hot topic of debate in sales and marketing.
For years the norm has been requiring people to fill out a form to receive information. (Otherwise how will marketing deliver those sweet, sweet leads and hit their numbers for MQLs? How will sales know a lead is actually qualified?)
The argument boils down to the idea that only the people who really want to know something will fill out a form and that somehow makes them a more engaged and therefore more likely to convert customer.
This may be true to some degree, but really what you’re probably doing is pushing people to any competitor who gives them an easier, more convenient buying experience. It leaves people with questions and annoyance. It leaves you with fewer sales.
More and more companies now choose to un-gate pricing and other information, banking on transparency to win out.
How easy is it for someone to fill out your forms?
That last point is not to say that you shouldn’t have any forms at all on your site. Strategically placed forms do make it easier for people to get information.
Like if on your pricing page you show the price of every set plan or bundle but then also have a form to fill out to request pricing for a totally custom option, that’s a good use of a form.
But any form needs to be simple and fast to use. Making people fill out multiple multi-line text boxes or sorting through multiple dropdown menus significantly decreases form completion rates. That means losing out on sales.
Are your forms integrated properly with your CRM and other apps so people aren’t waiting ages for you to reach out?
At this point you’ve seen the old Harvard Business Review stat that waiting more than 5 minutes to engage a lead severely hurts the potential for purchase. That’s maybe not accurate anymore (there haven’t been any major research updates on that front) but it’s common sense that faster outreach = better customer experience = more likely to buy.
Though this isn’t a friction point that’s visible to buyers, broken workflows directly impact ease of buying. If you force people to fill out a form and then that information goes nowhere, there’s no point in having the form.
Regularly test and re-test your forms and check your integrations to make sure you’re getting contact info and then doing something with it.
When you do reach out, is what you’re saying relevant to the info they gave you in the form or do you make people repeat themselves?
Personalization matters. A lot. If you bother making people give you information about themselves, especially details beyond their name, email, and phone number, you’d better use it to make their experience specific to them.
All of your messaging, including emails, phone calls, and text messages, needs to feel relevant to the people you talk to. Impersonal, generic outreach and follow-up gets ignored and deleted.
Reducing friction is a process
Think about your experiences as a buyer. What stops you from pursuing a solution and buying from a company? If any of those roadblocks are present on your own site, it’s time to make some changes.
Then when you make those changes, track the outcomes and results. Use growth marketing tactics to guide your ultimate decisions on what the buying process should look like.