FRICTION - The Untapped Force That Can Be Your Most Powerful Advantage

The Untapped Force That Can Be Your Most Powerful Advantage
2. A brief history of friction
3. The science of friction
4. The "Big 4" types of friction
5. Friction in the broader world
6. How to minimize friction
1. Amazon and Friction
In 2016, e-commerce sales hit nearly $2 trillion. However, it is estimated there was around $4.6 trillion of merchandise left in abandoned e-commerce shopping carts that same year. On average, more than two out of every three e-commerce shopping carts are abandoned without consumers ever completing the checkout process.
Why? Studies have shown almost all the abandonments are due to "friction" – which can be defined as "the unnecessary expenditure of time, effort, or money in performing a task". If you can come up with practical and long-lasting ways to reduce or ideally eliminate friction, it can lead to a substantial boost in your company's revenues.
Amazon has built its business around the ideal of fighting consumer friction. This ethos has been one of the driving factors behind the company's stellar growth and will continue to be so in the future.
It's tempting to think reducing friction is a high-tech idea, but the reality is this approach has driven disruption in the retail, transportation and many other industries as well. The progress of commerce always comes down to making things simpler for customers.
The fundamental law of friction is simple to state but profound in its application. It is: Decreasing friction always increases action. Or put slightly more formally: The level of action is inversely proportional to the level of friction.
The "Big 4" when it comes to friction are:
1. Decision friction
2. Customer experience friction
3. Technical friction
4. Internal friction
Friction doesn't just affect businesses. When you start looking for it, you'll find friction everywhere, especially in laws and regulations. Be aware of that friction and find practical ways to reduce or eliminate it as far as it is humanly feasible.
In just the same way as adding or reducing friction can guide the behavior of others, you can also use friction to good effect in your own life and career as well. To change your own behaviors for the better, reduce friction. Add friction to bad habits and reduce friction for the good habits which will propel you in the right direction. This is a smart thing to do.
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