How Businesses Can Overcome The Tyranny Of Friction

Writing in the Finextra blog about the tyranny of friction, David Strachan provides a personal example of how Flippin’ Pizza lost his pizza order due to friction.

Kudos for providing exposure to friction, which, in my opinion, is a serious hurdle for success in any business. In our work around our EMAIL360 widget and other frictionless online solutions, we see tremendous scope for improvement in reducing transaction friction not only in financial services but also in IT, high tech and other sectors – online payment and electronic bill payment are just a couple of cases in point.
EMAIL360 helps you transform your website into a lead generation engine

EMAIL360 helps you to transform your website into a lead generation engine

Unfortunately, spotting revenue losses due to friction is very difficult. In your example, Flippin’ Pizza probably doesn’t even know that they lost your pizza order. The problem is compounded by facetious responses like “if somebody really wants to buy, they’ll take the trouble (to overcome friction)” that demonstrate absolute lack of understanding of the threat to their business from frictionless competitors.
I think we can see concrete improvement only when providers of frictionless solutions come up with innovative pricing models in which they offer their solutions at no cost and are willing to link their fees to incremental conversion brought about by their solutions.

Transaction friction is a highly underrated threat for any business. In our work around our EMAIL360 widget and other frictionless online solutions, we see tremendous scope for reducing friction not only in financial services but also in IT, high tech and other sectors. Friction in white paper download, webinar registration, online payment and electronic bill payment are but a few cases in point about which you can read more here and here.

Unfortunately, it’s very challenging for consumers and frictionless solutions providers to make merchants and service providers appreciate the amount of revenues they’re losing on account of friction. In Strachan’s case, for example, Flippin’ Pizza probably doesn’t even know that they lost his pizza order. The problem is compounded by the facetious attitude – “if somebody really wants to buy, they’ll take the trouble (to overcome friction)” – that blinds many business owners to the threat posed by frictionless competitors.

I think consumers can see a concrete improvement in this area only when providers of frictionless solutions come up with innovative pricing models in which they offer their technology for free and link their fees to incremental revenues enabled by their solutions. This is what we’ve done in the case of EMAIL360 where merchants, service providers and other website publishers get the widget and up to three leads for free, and pay us only if EMAIL360 delivers more leads.

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