Delight and remove friction

Cover Image for Delight and remove friction

My partner recently had to return some online shopping that turned out not to be a good fit. We went through the returns process, and it couldn't have been easier. Go to a set of parcel lockers a few blocks away, drop the items off in their original conveniently resealable packaging, scan a QR code, and get a receipt. This experience reminded me of an incredibly influential element of the customer experience that is easy to overlook.


My partner was so happy with this returns process that she immediately planned to shop at this site more often. What may have been a negative connotation with the company for clothes not fitting quite right became a positive because of the joy brought on by the ease at which she could return the items. The key here is that the company is perceived as going out of its way to make something easier for customers, going above and beyond expectations.

Reduce friction.

By removing the negatives, the company incentivised spending. A short term view of an approach like this would show that the cost of returns will increase. However, a holistic overview would identify the real reason the company does this, in that the increase in profit from sales that wouldn't have happened without this policy more than makes up for the cost.

This approach is similar to Apple's forgiving retail return policies. By ensuring that the risk of you not liking the product and wanting to return it is low, they can incentivincredibly influential element of the customer experience that is easy to overlook.e every customer for whom this was their only barrier to purchase.

Are there ways that I can apply this approach to my apps? I already try to inspire delight from users, and I'll stay on the lookout for ways to reduce friction and encourage purchases.


Cover image by freestocks on Unsplash