Top 3 E-Commerce Conversion Killers

Nov 16, 2022 9:15:00 AM
7 min read

When it comes to e-commerce, conversions are everything. And with more competition—there are now 9.1 Million online retailers worldwide—getting shoppers to buy from your site is more important than ever.

Man with shopping cart looking at various online product offeringsAccording to Baymard Institute, approximately 69% of visitors leave a site without completing a purchase. This can add up to millions of dollars in lost revenue each year. While it’s not easy to convert visitors into buyers (the average website conversion is 2.35 percent), it is possible. And that begins with finding out exactly what your customers’ primary pain points are.

If you have plenty of shoppers visiting your online store but leaving empty-handed, this article is a great starting point for discovering why and then making the necessary changes to increase conversions. Read on to learn three of the top reasons your shoppers might be leaving your site without buying anything—and what you can do to change their minds.  

Understanding Conversion Rates

Man shrugging as if confused

Conversion rates (CR) are the ratio of transactions to website sessions. For some online retailers, the conversion rate includes more than just purchases—such as email or newsletter subscriptions—which can also help increase sales. 

Knowing your conversion rate is valuable because it helps you determine how many people visiting your site are leaving with either a purchase or another measurable transaction of value. Your e-commerce conversion rate can be estimated using this formula:

(Total number of visitors who purchase / Total website visitors) x 100

So, for example, if your website has 250,000 visitors each month and 5,000 make a purchase, you’d get:

(5,000 / 250,000) x 100 = 2% conversion rate

Top Conversion Killers

Now that you know how to equate your CR, it’s time to find out the three main reasons for low conversions—and how to fix them.

Poor User Experience

Your website is the face of your brand, so if it doesn’t live up to your
visitors’ needs, it can easily leave a bad first impression. It also happens to be the most common reason why your online store’s traffic may be high, but your sales aren’t. 

Online customers want a simple and intuitive shopping experience that is both quick and efficient. Factors that can hinder this from happening include:

  • Poor site search that makes it challenging to locate an item and causes 21% of visitors to exit a website
  • Obscure navigation, which includes everything from menu placement and graphical elements to icons and visible links 
  • Slow loading times, which not only lower engagement and frustrate 52% of consumers, but also account for a 38% bounce rate, if a page load takes longer than five seconds 
  • Lacklustre product pages that present mediocre pictures and insufficient product details
  • Tedious checkout processes (more on this one later)

Related: 10 Ways to Enhance the E-Commerce Customer Experience  


Start by ensuring your search features and menu quickly categorize items to extract the right results. Web pages should be clutter-free and easy to navigate so shoppers can effortlessly find what they’re looking for. 

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Next, increase your site load speed so customers can access what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. To check your site speed, you’ll need to perform regular testing. If you find it’s taking longer than desired, dig deeper to determine the cause, which can range from issues like an abundance of third-party scripts to unnecessary large image sizes, and more. 

Finally, pay attention to the details on your product and landing pages. 85% of shoppers say product information and images are important to them, so make sure to provide SEO-optimized descriptions that accurately describe the product, with the added bonus of helping you improve your ranking on search engines. And don’t forget visible pricing and other valuable information like sizing or special shipping details. 

You’ll also want to include quality photos that capture products from every angle and in good lighting. A zoom option is also a valuable addition to each product page so visitors can examine products close-up.

Granify Tip: Adding product ratings and/or reviews can help gain shoppers’ trust, while providing product recommendations creates a more personalized user experience.

Complicated Checkout 

Man trapped in complicated checkout experience

There are several reasons why a shopper may leave your site without making a purchase, but a bad checkout experience is near the top. In fact, 87% of shoppers say they’ll abandon a shopping cart if the checkout process is too complex.

So, what causes customers to make a U-turn at checkout?  

  • Shipping costs, which cause 60% of abandoned carts and are the number one reason why people exit the checkout process
  • Being required to create an account before purchasing a product, which has caused 37% of shoppers to abandon their cart
  • Having to enter the same information, like credit card numbers over and over again, which Statista found makes 30% of shoppers bail before buying 

Related: Top 5 Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment  


Improving your checkout flow only takes a few steps. First and foremost: if possible, lower shipping costs or offer shipping free of charge, when customers meet a certain spend threshold. Often, customers will be willing to add more to their carts to get free shipping, so this strategy is a double win since more people will complete their purchases and your average order value (AVO) could increase significantly.

Your shipping cost could also be included in your product cost, which means you’d be covering any expenses you’d incur, while also eliminating additional charges during checkout. And if you happen to have at least one brick-and-mortar, consider offering Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store, which eliminates shipping costs altogether by allowing your customers to have the option of picking up their order in person.  

Once your shipping cost solutions have been resolved, it’s time to narrow down the overall checkout process to just the essentials. Start by making account creation optional and offering guest checkout. This stops shoppers from giving up on the purchase in the face of forced account creation and still gives you the required info you need for other interactions, such as providing offers through follow-up emails. 

You can also add Autofill to your checkout fields, which saves customers plenty of time having to fill everything out manually. Do these things, and you could increase your conversions by nearly 36%!

Lacking Mobile Optimization

5 phones of all different sizesOver half of all internet traffic shopping is done from a mobile device, and mobile shopping accounts for 40 percent of all e-commerce traffic and sales. Despite this, the abandonment rate for mobile users is a whopping 85.65%, meaning many retailers have a long way to go to improve their mobile shopping experiences.

Key reasons many mobile users ditch their carts include:

  • Bad loading speed—often from excessive site elements—that slow down mobile sites and discourage shoppers from continuing on their shopper journey
  • Poor visual design features like tiny buttons, excessive copy, and other elements that may work for desktop but are a nuisance for mobile users
  • Mobile app performance issues caused by factors like screen size, time lapses, problematic app updates, and device compatibility
  • Lengthy checkouts that duplicate desktop versions and annoy tech-savvy smartphone shoppers by having too many fields and requirements


With 59% of shoppers saying that being able to shop on their mobile devices matters when deciding where to shop, ensuring your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly is vital.

Shoppers want a seamless mobile experience, and that begins with a fast loading time. Run cross-device and browser tests to confirm your online store performs properly (and quickly), and remove any unnecessary fields to save time and screen space.

You can also resolve performance and functionality issues by implementing a responsive design that incorporates a fixed navigation bar, appropriately sized photos, and succinct messaging. Keeping important features above the fold—in the upper half of your mobile website or app—can also enhance the user experience by preventing shoppers from having to scroll aimlessly to locate valuable information.

Surprised man looking at notification on phone

Lastly, scale down your mobile checkout process to the least number of required fields so mobile shoppers can complete their purchases quickly and efficiently. Reducing undesirable impediments will help create a welcoming platform that encourages more shoppers and leaves them with a positive mobile experience.

Tip: Offering third-party payment integrations, such as PayPal, is a great way to reduce checkout times and increase conversion rates.

Final Words

Getting people onto your e-commerce site is a lot easier than converting them into paying customers. If your conversion rate isn’t where you want it to be, it’s time to figure out why. 

Knowing the reasons your visitors aren’t buying can help improve your online store’s conversion rate by allowing you to rectify the issues hindering more sales. A poor user experience, complicated checkout processes, and a lack of mobile optimization are three of the top reasons why many online shoppers abandon their carts. By correcting these problems on your site, you’ll be one step closer to attaining a higher CR, while also providing your customers with a more seamless, and delightful, buying experience.

Higher CRO, Less Hassle

Two women shaking hands while surrounded by various math symbols and tools

Looking for other ways to take a low—or even good—conversion rate and make it great? Granify understands what it takes to convert website traffic into sales while enhancing the customer experience. Our experts work with you to take a detailed look at your website and provide tangible solutions to immediately improve your conversion rates.

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