Reasons for low conversion of an online store

Published in Website Design2022-01-227 min read
Graph showing low conversion rate

What are the most specific reasons for low conversion of an online store and what to do to eliminate problems on the site and increase turnover: we analyze point by point

You invest in advertising, maintain interesting content on social networks and get great results when you view website traffic. However, this does not bring the expected financial results: the conversion in the online store is very low.

Why do people come to the store but don't buy? We will try to find the answer to the question.

What are the reasons for low conversion?

Problems that cause a user to leave your site without making a purchase can occur at different times. But the reasons are similar. Certain aspects of interaction with the store have become a problem for your buyer, who will solve it in the most radical way – they will change the online store.

Let's analyze the actions that your buyer can take and possible obstacles that reduce the conversion of an online store.

The main functionality of an online store: in order to buy something, you first need to find it. Make sure you don't complicate your client's task. Otherwise, instead of searching the site, it will return to Google, and the profits will go to another store.

Sophisticated search engine

The non-intuitive operation of a search engine can manifest itself in different ways:

  1. You enter the exact name, but you get a lot of unrelated results.
  2. When you enter a product name, offers are not displayed.
  3. each product can only be found under one name.

All of the above makes the purchase difficult or impossible, which negatively affects the conversion. The last points are particularly important. If the product does not appear after the search, the buyer will not see it. Improving the search engine will remove obstacles and in some cases significantly increase the turnover of the online store.

Incomprehensible product categories

The second search option that your customers can use when browsing an online store offer is to search by product category. The key here is to use a clear way to assign elements. Do not impose your own criteria: they should be understandable to the user.

Unattractive presentation of goods

Your online store does not allow you to view the appearance and exact characteristics of the product? Then the reason for the low conversion is found. In the process of purchase, an important role is played by the description of the product, photos and other materials. If the descriptions on your site are missing or non-unique (copied from the manufacturer's website) and the photos are missing or of poor quality, this deters you from buying.

Comparison with competitors

The Internet allows you to quickly get acquainted with the offer of many stores. This means that if your offer is worse than that of competitors, buyers will quickly leave.

Shipping Method

Competitive stores tend to adapt to customers, that is, to choose the most convenient models for the delivery of goods. In our era of parcel machines, you should not limit yourself to courier companies.

One payment method

The lack of convenient payment methods can be another reason for the low conversion of an online store. If you offer a single payment method, especially if it is a traditional transfer to a card, you complicate the life of buyers.

Online payments are becoming diverse. Electronic wallets, fast payment systems and even cryptocurrencies – Russians are increasingly using these tools.

It is also worth considering cash on delivery or the ability to pick up the order and pay for it in a stationary store, if your company works not only on the Internet.

Non-competitive offer

Overall, this is the biggest reason for low conversions that will require extensive action. Before you start changing price tags, looking for new suppliers, or implementing other revolutions, fix current problems — sometimes it doesn't take extraordinary effort.

Buying Process

Make making a purchase in the online store as easy as possible. Each regular difficulty of your buyer increases the likelihood of leaving the store. Try to limit the number of steps and the amount of data entered.

Registration is required for purchase

For you, this may be a way to get contact information, but it's a very serious mistake. Requesting registration before purchasing has more serious consequences than just reducing conversions. Many people are suspicious of such requests.

However, how do I encourage a user to voluntarily create an account? You should think about the correct registration. Tell your customer about the benefits of creating an account in your store and simplify the data form as much as possible.

Bad contact page

If a customer decides to buy but can't find certain information, they'll probably want to contact an online store. Your job is to facilitate this process. Offer several channels of communication with the company and provide prompt and professional resolution of any customer questions.

No clear communication

For activities like online payments, trust in a website is crucial. You can increase conversions not only by placing certificates or using secure protocols, but also by providing clarity of language.

For example, replace "Next" on the form with the name of a specific activity, such as "Enter Shipping Information." You will inform the client about the next step of the transaction.

Another important aspect of communication with the client on the site is error information. Make sure that the location where the customer made the mistake is clearly marked, and that improperly providing information will not result in a complete clearing of the form.

Interaction with the site

The problem of low conversion of an online store can also be associated with the unprofessional design of the site and its behavior on different devices.

Non-functional website

This is a common problem for small businesses. Your online store should be, first of all, easy to use, and then aesthetically pleasing. If you use an unreadable font, a beautiful background takes a long time to load, and the main functions such as the search engine, categories and basket are not clearly marked, the user is unlikely to appreciate the idea.

Sometimes the problem is the incompatibility of the site with different browsers. Here, too, don't expect the average customer to install another program for the sake of your store.

Non-functional mobile version

More and more customers are buying directly from the phone. If you don't notice this trend, it's possible the website isn't adapted to display on a phone or tablet.

How do I know what's reducing conversions?

After reading the list of reasons above, you may have a few things to check for first. Even a brief analysis will help to find errors and increase conversions of an online store without unnecessary costs.

User behavior

A better understanding of how your customers actually behave on the site will allow you to identify potential issues. You can start with google analytics results, paying special attention to the specified metrics.

Exit pages

When you know at what stage users leave your site, you can draw conclusions about potential difficulties. It is especially worth paying attention to the individual stages from adding products to the cart to the checkout page. This will help you identify bottlenecks and issues that require the most urgent response.

Mobile Devices

A report on your customers' devices can provide additional valuable data. If you see a bounce rate dependency on a particular mobile device, it's likely that the site isn't optimized and displaying properly.


The most logical metric for measuring engagement may seem to be the time spent on the site. However, Google Analytics measures this in a rather complex way, so for the correct interpretation of user behavior, it is worth comparing the time spent on the site with the page/session metric.

The user's interest is demonstrated over a longer time along with more pages in the session. However, when a shopper views a lot of pages in a short time, it may indicate a problem navigating the site.

Download Speed

17% of your users will leave the site if it takes more than three seconds to load. It took you the same amount of time to read the previous sentence. You can check the performance of your site thanks to Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool will tell you how you can reduce load time by increasing conversions.


As you can see, many factors contribute to reducing the conversion of an online store. Analyze the site on each item and create a list of problems with the proposed solutions. They should be evaluated in terms of ease of implementation of the solution and the potential impact on conversion. Start with the ones that require the least effort and can cause the biggest changes.

The process of optimizing an online store will require patience, observation of the results and adaptation to reality. This will allow you to take full advantage of the work you have put into attracting customers to your website.