Reduce Friction, Increase Loyalty: Key Insights from Roger Dooley at #Pubcon Pro

Did you know, only 5% of our brain’s decision making is conscious? Leaving 95% for decisions made on a nonconscious level. As marketers, charged with increasing the quality and quantity of conversions (i.e. decisions), how do we address the 95%?

Roger Dooley, speaker and author of Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing, the popular blog Neuromarketing, and Brainy Marketing at Forbes, addressed this in his session at Pubcon pro.

Here are the top three takeaways to help you increase your conversions without much more than common sense — and a little user data.

1. Friction changes behavior
Momentum is what causes us to keep moving, like sliding down a slide. Friction is what stops us from completing that motion. When it comes to your digital properties, like your website, you likely have specific actions you want prospects and visitors to take.

In some cases, motivation can overcome friction. As an example, Roger told the story of how his dog (like most) is extremely motivated by food. He uses many ways to try to increase his dog’s friction while snarfing down his tasty dog food, but none have slowed him down to the point where he gives up. In this case, his motivation trumps friction.

However, as Roger points out, ‘your customers aren’t dogs.’ And according to Gartner, almost 98% of leads on site don’t convert. This means there is a significant amount of friction to overcome.

2. Lowering friction increases conversion
If you want your prospects to take action on your website, you must reduce friction. Since they’re not singularly motivated to convert on your site, you have to make the experience as easy and seamless as possible to help encourage the behavior you want. This friction can come in many ways, for example:

  • Do your prospects have to fill out a crazy-long form before they convert?
  • Is the CAPTCHA you’re using too hard to complete?
  • Do your auto-fill settings routinely malfunction or fill in the wrong information?
  • Does the actual information on your site take a long time to load, especially on mobile?

Roger encourages us to take a few steps to help increase conversions by reducing friction:

  • Test everything, as though you’ve never been to your own website – this is where you’ll find out if something is broken, providing a strange user experience, or unnecessary all together.
  • Reduce the complexity of your checkout or form fill process – Think critically about the data you’re collecting. If you don’t need to know that information immediately, don’t ask for it.
  • Evaluate whether or not it makes sense for users to need to register to check out – does that make sense for each interaction? Or is this something that can be circumvented and later replaced with a loyalty program, for example.
  • Look at user data – are your website users taking a long, winding path toward conversion? Are they giving up halfway, and usually around the same point? Use that data to investigate, evaluate, and fix the friction they’re encountering.

3. Low friction experiences increase loyalty
Loyalty programs, special deals and discounts, or even advanced benefits don’t increase loyalty in and of themselves. In fact, according to Accenture, 71% of loyalty programs do not increase loyalty. If someone shops with you or routinely visits your blog, that behavior can be stemming from convenience or habit.

Loyalty is emotional, not transactional. It’s the customer’s experience with your brand that encourages their loyalty. How easy can you make it for them to convert?

He used Amazon as an example here – their one-click buying option that shows shoppers exactly how and when they’ll receive their package, doesn’t require additional information, and can be completed in seconds. That’s the ultimate reduction in friction — and one of the reasons why in 2018 Amazon is projected to own 49% of online sales.

His advice is to focus on the outcome that’s most desired, and find out what the quickest and easiest approach is to taking that action. Make it easy for users to convert, and they’ll continue to return and do so. After all, according to Gartner, 94% of users that reported needing low effort to purchase repeated that behavior, compared to 4% with high effort.

For more insights from Pubcon, follow the TopRank Marketing team on the ground: @LaneREllis, @LeeOdden and @Tiffani_Allen. And, stay tuned for more insights over the next week on the TopRank Marketing blog.

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