As far as consumer interactions and payments are concerned, friction simply slows processes which should be straightforward and efficient by adding seemingly unnecessary steps.
Reducing friction increases both customer conversion and satisfaction leading to quicker transactions.
The dilemma faced is epitomised by three separate findings made by Experian.
First, online customer will generally tolerate no more than four minutes of checks before abandoning their transaction and, despite the channel’s relative convenience, it is estimated that more than £1 billion worth of online transactions are abandoned by customers frustrated by needless delays.
It also emerges that one in five of these abandoned transactions are not taken elsewhere as individuals cancelled their shopping attempt altogether – equating to around £214 million worth of net lost revenue.
But there are clear variances in tolerance times by sector and the challenge for industry, commerce and government is to ensure online transactions are always as fast, seamless and ‘friction-free’ as possible.
Convenience is also critical.
But at the same time, online retailers are obliged to balance the risk of shoppers’ impatience against the need for validation.
There’s a huge benefit to e-commerce sites that are using less efficient identity checks to upgrade to newer tools, which enable improvements in security levels and faster, less onerous checks – and reduced friction.
Operators will not only be protecting their cash-flow and online sales, more importantly they will be helping protect their customers from fraud which will underpin their reputations among shoppers and peers alike.
Considering the value of abandoned transactions, using up-to-date technology that enables extremely robust identity checks, which are completed almost instantly, makes the investment worth every penny.