How to Reduce Friction in the Customer Journey

How to Reduce Friction in the Customer Journey

The primary goal of your CRO strategy is to create a smooth path from purchase intent to conversion action—which you can achieve by optimizing the entire customer journey. 

This journey starts from the moment you are successful at piquing your target audience’s interest and curiosity via an optimized, personalized ad. All messaging that follows needs to present a clear path to the user that keeps the momentum flowing until you catalyze a conversion. 

Achieving these goals requires constantly monitoring the health of your customer journey, experimenting with post-click landing page design elements, and staying up to date on your audience targeting by getting rid of friction-causing elements. 

Friction is the enemy of an optimized customer journey. It confuses your users and creates anxiety and frustration, which leads them to lose interest. 

It could be a small hiccup like a visitor unexpectedly landing on a 404 page after clicking a Facebook ad, or offering users a free trial but then asking them to put down their credit card information. 

So, what is friction, and how do you ensure your customer journey remains free from it? Let’s explore. 

What is friction? 

Friction is any element within your customer journey that causes a customer to give up before converting. It is psychological resistance to a given element in the sales or signup process. Think of it as the aggravation factor. 

Marketing psychology dictates that before a conversion happens on the page, it takes place in the user’s mind, so you must rid your customer experience of elements that cause any resistance, such as: 

  • Poor segmentation. Failing to segment your users leads to you showing them irrelevant messaging that fails to convert. A customer looking to gauge your product is unlikely to sign up for a monthly paid plan—you need to direct them to a free trial page first, or offer them a free resource that warms them up to your offer. 
  • Clutter on your post-click experience. Clutter distracts users from the conversion goal. Ensure your post-click experience includes only the elements necessary to move the user to the CTA button. That means no extra form fields, no cosmetic images, and content sections that don’t advance your conversion goal. 

Tips to avoid friction

If you want to reduce friction in your customer journey, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Map out the journey. Make sure you don’t have tunnel vision and are considering the journey holistically, from the customer’s perspective.
  • Stay relevant. Ensure your ad and post-click landing page are relevant. Ad-to-page relevancy helps you get advertising conversions by providing a positive user experience, reducing bounce rate, and increasing your ROAS
  • Provide clear, actionable content. From your headline to your CTA button, every element on your post-click landing page must have a purpose. Your content should highlight your unique value proposition and convince users your offer is beneficial. 
  • Keep your copy and design concise. Busy patterns, bright colors and other distracting design choices can be overwhelming. You need a calculated balance of content between copy and design elements to properly relay your value proposition. 
  • Pay attention to page layout. Most users’ eyes follow a natural pattern on a page that you can use to your advantage when deciding the design and layout. Eye-tracking studies help determine “hotspots,” or the areas of a page users’ eyes tend to focus on first and those that get the most attention. Choose between the F-pattern or Z-pattern based on your conversion goal. 

These tips will help you minimize friction. And, if you are currently facing bottlenecks in your marketing funnel, here’s everything you need to do to overcome this problem. 

Tips to resolve friction

Identifying and resolving sticking points along your customer experience comes down to testing. However, running random tests will only add to the existing conversion resistance. Follow these steps before running a test. 

  • Use heatmaps to collect data. Like Google Analytics, a heatmap tracks user activity on your post-click experience. However, its focus will be on your visitors’ movement through their mouse clicks and scroll activity via screen recording. So, while Google Analytics tells you what’s happening, heatmaps can show you why it’s happening. They help you measure user engagement, actions, and attention, which will help you with the next step. 
  • Create a hypothesis. Look back on your customer journey and analyze the decisions that led you to your current results. Look at the data to estimate what decisions may be a  factor in customer bounce rates, and formulate hypotheses around ways to improve it. While a thoroughly researched hypothesis may not guarantee a winning test, it’s a valuable learning opportunity, no matter the outcome.
  • A/B test. Now that you have an idea of what may be catalyzing friction, test your hypothesis out. Pick a few elements of your customer journey based on your hypothesis. Test them and see if that resolves the problem. Remember to let your tests reach statistical significance so you get enough results to ultimately alleviate your friction woes. 
  • Trust the experts. Don’t have a CRO team to pinpoint where the friction is coming from? Work with dedicated CRO practitioners and make use of their expertise across a broad spectrum of industries to help your brand get more frequent winners in tests. 

Don’t know where to get started when it comes to friction in the customer journey? Let Postclick help. 

Postclick is a tech-enabled service created to improve advertising conversion. It is the industry’s only Post-Click Automation solution run by an expert team. Together, we offer brands a way to boost campaign relevance better than any tool or service alone. Our proprietary software enables personalization at scale, and conversion experts optimize every message for advertising conversions.

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Fahad Muhammad
by Fahad Muhammad

Fahad is a Content Writer at Postclick, specializing in post-click experiences, advertising trends, and personalization. His expertise spans from advertising platforms to industry trends, optimization best practices to marketing psychology. In his spare time, Fahad loves playing “engineer” with his 6 year old—breaking apart and then fixing gadgets.

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