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Commerce ConversationFriction

Two (Clean) “F” Words

By June 22, 2023No Comments

On the buying journey, there’s a fine line between Friction and Fun

This week I’ve had conversations with several DCA members as we work together to identify and reduce or eliminate friction in the buyer’s journey.  This issue was raised by Dfinitiv in a session at the DCA Summit this March, and last month I wrote that sometimes friction is a positive thing.

Gamifying friction away

When buyers experience negative friction, it’s usually because the seller wants the buyer to supply more information or do more work.  Multiple clicks, manual data entry, manual data entry again, scrolling, acknowledging.  Sellers can get rid of those steps, but then they won’t know who they’re selling to, unless they already know the buyer by name.

But there’s another approach to friction: get rid of it by making it fun, like McDonald’s Monopoly.  If tracking your McDonald’s purchases to get a reward felt like filling out a golf card, it would be friction.  Reformatted as a Monopoly game, it’s fun.

Asking for your input

We’re mapping buyer friction so the industry can improve, and I’d love your help.  Below are three lists: potential friction moments on the buyer’s journey, potential sources of friction, and potential sources of fun (ant-friction).  They are just a first draft, so I’d love your ideas for edits, additions, modifications.  Take a look, and please drop me a line at [email protected].

Buyer’s Journey – moments when friction can arise

  • Discovery
  • Learning
  • Registration
  • Transaction
  • Reward
  • Redemption

Potential Sources of Friction

  • Complexity – “There’s a lot going on here.”
  • Opacity – “I can’t tell what’s underneath this.”
  • Tracking – “Where did I put that information?”
  • Remembering – “Did I already sign up for that program?”
  • Number of Actions – “This is the sixth click and I’m still not there.”
  • Data Entry – “Didn’t I already provide this information?”
  • Acknowledgement – “I have no idea what I just agreed to.”

Potential Sources of Fun (“Anti-Friction”)

  • Anticipation – “Can’t wait to see what’s underneath.”
  • Experience/look and feel – “This is a super cool design.”
  • Entertainment – “I love the little jingle/haptic it does when you _______.”
  • Challenge – “Just going to solve one more of these little puzzles.”
  • Status – “I’ve just been promoted to Platinum for completing my profile.”

Reach out to Dan Currell

I’d love your thoughts – ping me at [email protected].