Thoughts on friction from 2019 and 2022

I’ve been going through some of my other blogs and finding things that I forgot I wrote. For example, I wrote something on my Empoprise-BI blog entitled “When retailers INTRODUCE friction.”

It’s not surprising that I was writing about frictionless experiences in 2019. After all, my then-employer IDEMIA was promoting the touchless fingerprint reader MorphoWave and its use in places like dining halls.

By Tim Reckmann from Hamm, Deutschland – Frau mit Einkaufswagen, CC BY 2.0,

But I was surprised that my Empoprise-BI 2019 post started with a discussion on online shopping cart abandonment.

And there’s a dramatic financial incentive to make shopping frictionless – roughly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned without the customer purchasing anything, a potential loss of revenue for the company. The same thing can happen at old-fashioned physical stores, except that in this case the abandoned shopping carts are real shopping carts – and if there’s frozen food sitting in an abandoned shopping cart, you have to deal with both lost revenue and lost inventory.


Why was I surprised? Because three years later Allen Ganz (a now-former coworker at my current company) discussed shopping cart abandonment, emphasizing the need for a frictionless experience.

In identity proofing, friction results when it takes significant effort for a person to prove who they are. If it takes a user too long to prove their identity, the user may become frustrated and give up. This hurts businesses that depend upon digital onboarding for their customers.


Whether you conduct business online or in-person, it’s wise to take an audit of your business practices to make sure you’re not throwing up roadblocks that keep your customers away. And not just the identity stuff; are there other things that make it hard for customers to buy from you?

Maybe your business hours aren’t convenient for people, like the restaurant that wasn’t open during breakfast and dinner hours, or…

…or the business consultant that wasn’t open weekdays.

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