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UX Writer

Ewa Filipiak

UX Writer

16.5.2022
-
5
reading min.

5 reasons for low conversion in e-commerce

Sales in your online shop are doing poorly and you are worried because you don't know what to do about it? The products and prices are really okay, then why are so few people buying? For a start, check that the site is free of UX-related errors that can significantly reduce your conversions.

What will you learn from this article?

  1. What is conversion?
  2. A good conversion rate - what is it?
  3. The most common causes of low conversion in e-commerce

What is conversion?

When you operate online, the primary performance indicator of your business is the conversion rate. Conversion means that people visiting your website achieve the goals you set for them, e.g:

  • subscribe to the newsletter,
  • create an account,
  • download a free e-book or demo version of the product,
  • use a chatbot,
  • fill in the contact form.

In the case of an online shop, the most important goal (conversion) is the purchase of a product. The conversion rate, which you calculate for example from the formula:

(Users who achieved the target / All users in the period) x 100%

So it will tell you what percentage of all users become your customers.

If this score is too low (actually close to zero), it's a sign that it's high time to take a look at the site - identify problem areas and fix them.

How to do it?

Commission a UX study. Simply put.

"Research? Is that necessary? After all, my shop collects analytics data, I guess that's enough?"

Such data (e.g. information on user path or average time spent on a page) can be very valuable, but on one condition - if you know how to interpret it.

In any other case, you will need someone experienced in research. He or she will perform for you an analysis of the data you already have, as well as suggest (and conduct) other types of research that will allow you to:

  • identify the causes of problems,
  • see how users are using your platform,
  • find out how people evaluate the shop and what emotions accompany them.

Such research includes, for example: surveys or user tests.

A good conversion rate - what is it?

In the words of top usability expert Jakob Nielsen - "a good conversion for your site is a higher conversion than you have achieved previously". (translated by EF).

And he is right. In fact, there is no single answer to the question of what percentage can be considered good.

On the web, of course, you'll find sites and tools that try to give average conversion results for all e-commerce (usually fluctuating around 2%), but suggesting an average doesn't make any sense here.

The reason?

First of all, there is no single score for purchase conversion. You'll get different data depending on what information you take into account when measuring (e.g. what source users are coming from, what devices they're using).

In addition, conversion is influenced by several big factors, including:

  • cultural context and market (what and how often people buy in a country),
  • target customer (whether you are targeting other businesses or a mass audience with your products or services),
  • industry and product type (companies that sell cheaper necessities, such as food, will generally perform higher than those that offer luxury items or more expensive, specialised equipment)
  • brand image.

However, this (still questionable) 2% information gives you an idea of the scale of results you can expect.

"After all, it seems so little".

Remember, there is quite a long way from entering your shop to making a purchase. The user must:

  • determine what exactly he is looking for (maybe he is coming for something specific, or maybe he only has general criteria in mind and wants to see the range first),
  • find it efficiently,
  • decide whether the product is suitable for him (and, if necessary, compare it with other options),
  • fill in the order form,
  • and finally choose a shipping and payment method.

That is quite a lot. That's why most people give up somewhere along the way and that's quite normal.

After all, they may be at different levels of relationship with the brand - after all, before you buy from someone, you need to get to know them first, and then see if they offer you what you need and are trustworthy.

The most important thing for you, however, is that people who are initially ready to buy can do so smoothly and do not leave the shop because it has functional problems or arouses negative emotions in them.

Although you will learn specifically about what and how you should improve your shop through research and analysis, there are things that will almost always reflect negatively on your business performance. I have listed a few of them for you below.

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5 reasons for low conversion

Unintuitive way to search and browse products

I will share with you an anecdote from my life that captures the point quite well.

I went to the supermarket the other day and one of the things on my list was maple syrup. When it came to finding it, I had to really think hard about which aisle I should go to. Would it be by the 'Jams', the 'Health Food', or maybe the toppings on the ice cream stand?

Well - he was not in any of those places.

I managed to walk halfway around the shop, and if it weren't for the fact that I really cared about him, I would have left the shopping a long time ago (because I left myself a long time ago). Finally, I asked the market employee for help, who chuckled:

"Well, after all, it's obvious he's standing next to the flour".

This is true - obvious to someone who knows the product range and its layout inside out. But for me as a customer, there was no logic to it.

It is the same with online shops. If e-commerce has:

  • badly named main categories and unintuitive division into subcategories,
  • uninformative product names (e.g. including or consisting of codes only),
  • a poorly functioning search engine,
  • incomplete filters that do not help to sift products effectively,

Users are forced to search for a very long time, which strongly influences their dissatisfaction.

And in such a situation they are likely to do one of two:

  1. They will choose another shop - unlike the situation in the example they have access to other options at their fingertips.
  2. They will be determined and complete the task, but it will be more likely to be their last purchase.

You think to yourself, "Okay, but what does bad or poor actually mean?"

Incompatible with the mindset or needs of potential customers.

It is not for them to learn how to use the service, but it is the service (in this case your shop) that should reflect their way of thinking - by the structure and naming of individual elements.

Shop not adapted to mobile devices

Let me present some figures that may be of interest to you.

According to Gemius report for e-Commerce Poland of 2020, the most popular device for online shopping remains the laptop, with 80% of respondents buying this way, among others. At the same time, 69% of respondents (compared to 61% in 2019) buy using a smartphone. This percentage is even higher among the 15-24 age group and is as high as 92%.

On top of this, more than half of online shoppers start a transaction on a mobile device and complete it on a computer, and 71% use their phone to browse and compare offers.

What does this mean in practice?

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular with users when it comes to e-commerce buying. But, as it turns out, not all businesses are keeping up with this change.

The same study reveals that over 80% of mobile shoppers have encountered problems in the process. People include among others:

  • inconvenient forms to fill in,
  • page loading too slow,
  • for small letters in the interface,
  • difficulties in making payments.

So make sure they do not encounter these obstacles when they visit your shop.

By investing in a mobile-friendly design, you are not only responding to the real needs of your audience, but also keeping yourself open to the interest and profits from this sales channel.

CONTACT US

Want to increase conversions in your app or online shop? Let's work out how to achieve this.

Questions? Get in touch with us!

Book a free consultationLet's talk
Hola, hola, this is not the end! The rest of the article is under the banner.

3. poorly prepared product sheets

The task of a product card seems simple - it should provide enough information so that the recipient can confidently decide: "I buy". After all, he or she can neither try out the item before buying, nor ask the salesperson about interesting issues.

In practice, however, it is still possible to find shops that are struggling with any of these problems.

Product descriptions that are too brief, overly elaborate or incomprehensible

How detailed the descriptions should be obviously depends on the type of product. Users expect more information from a description of a home cinema than of milk in an online grocery shop.

Make sure you give them the most important information - concretely and in plain language. The latter criterion is always important, but especially if you offer more complex/advanced products.

When you present in an understandable way:

  • what the product is and what features it has,
  • what it is for and how it works,
  • what you will gain if you decide to buy,

you help people decide whether they are looking at the right thing, and you open yourself up to a larger audience (after all, you are understood not only by specialists but also by people with a little less knowledge).

Underdone photos

The photos on a product page should complement the description. Just like text - they are an important information carrier for customers. And often they simply show what would be difficult or ineffective to convey in words.

So stick to a few rules:

  • Make sure your photos are good quality - blurry photos or photos with distracting backgrounds will appear unprofessional.
  • Make sure you have more than one shot (from different perspectives and in context) - this obviously depends on the type of product, but more often than not, one shot doesn't answer all your customers' questions.
  • Give the opportunity to zoom in - customers are worried about poor choices or the prospect of making returns - ease their doubts and let them look at every detail.
Backpack description from scalnik.pl
"Uneven" product photos in the scalnik.pl shop. The model on the left has only 2 shots, which is a pity, because as the description states, the backpack has a useful, separate compartment inside and a pocket for documents, which would be worth showing to users. The model on the right has 8 shots (general, detail and in context), of which one with a description of the purpose of individual elements - definitely more informative. Source: screen from sklalnik.pl

Incorrect hierarchy of information

There are actually quite a few items on the product sheet, just take a look:

  • product name,
  • product image,
  • information on price, time and method of delivery,
  • description,
  • product options (e.g. choice of size, colour, quantity),
  • buttons allowing you to buy or add to cart,
  • additional information,
  • feedback from other buyers,
  • related products.

This list is obviously not exhaustive of all the options you can include on a product page, but you'll admit that even in this version it's already a few things you need to think about in terms of layout and size.

Is the pricing clear and highly visible? Do you use headings that allow the user to easily scan the text and guide them around the page? Do you try to show the most important information so that the viewer only needs to take a glance?

The hierarchy and order of the elements displayed matter.

For example: It's great if you give users other things they might like. However, it's just as important where you place them - placed higher up and making it difficult for customers to get to the important information will be distracting and discouraging.

Too many pop-ups

As she rightly says UX expert Anna KaleyIf you want to use pop-ups, do so sparingly and with respect for your customers' needs.

Unfortunately, pop-ups are mainly associated with problems because they are not uncommon:

  • appear at the wrong moment (e.g. before the page loads or before the first interaction with it),
  • interrupt users to perform tasks,
  • use embarrassing, rude language (e.g. "I don't want the newsletter, I'd rather overpay" or "No, thanks. I'd rather let the opportunity pass me by").
Wittchen - subscribing to the newsletter
Wittchen offers a discount on first purchases for new newsletter subscribers. It is a nice, but far too quick offer, as the pop-up appears as soon as the page loads. The user has not had time to look at anything yet - how is he supposed to know whether he will buy something at all and whether it is worth giving his e-mail? Source: screen shot from wittchen.com

Such elements distract and annoy users, which has a negative impact on the perception of the shop and can lead to interrupted shopping.

If the thought crossed your mind, "No exaggeration, many companies use such windows, that means they must work".

Perhaps, but if you do - it's for the short term. You get more benefit when you reserve pop-ups for only the necessary information that supports the user's goal.

In this way, you will begin to consciously create an experience that will make people associate well with the shop and be more likely to return.

5. insufficient adaptation to users' preferences

If you want to build success and regularly increase your conversion rate, there is only one way to go.

Your solution should neatly combine your business goals and the needs and likes of your audience.

The latter you will know best if you commission researchHowever, there are generally known motives that annoy and effectively draw users away from shopping. Here are two examples.

Need to create an account to do shopping

People don't always buy from a shop often enough to create an account there. Maybe they are just testing a new place? Or maybe they are buying for someone and know in advance that they won't be coming back?

Creating an account takes time and gives customers another password to remember, so if your business doesn't require it, don't force them to create an account.

And when an account is necessary - say why and inform them of the benefits of being a registered customer.

Insufficient number of payment or delivery methods

Choosing delivery and payment methods are actually the last steps before clicking "Order".

Your customer has already put a lot of effort into browsing, comparing and choosing products, so if at the end of the road they find they can't choose the most convenient options for them, the whole mission will end in frustration at best.

So make sure you support the most popular payment methods (including those for convenient mobile shopping), and inform about delivery methods and times already on the product card.

Pillow with buckwheat hull
The Plantule brand provides detailed information on the products on offer and their care recommendations - but there is no mention of the delivery method (courier only) or delivery time on the product card. The customer only finds out about these at a later stage, which can cause dissatisfaction.
Shipping options - check out
Source: screen shots from plantulepillows.com (excerpt from product sheet and checkout)

Summary

You have an online shop - you want it to make you a profit and you want your customers to leave happy, that goes without saying.

When you're planning to optimise your conversion rate (and therefore increase your profits), remember that a key driver of user completion is shop design.

After reading this article you already know to pay special attention to:

  • intuitive product search,
  • ensuring a mobile version,
  • the proper preparation of product information,
  • limiting pop-ups,
  • finding out the needs and preferences of your audience.

This is a good introduction. I leave it in your hands to decide what to do with this knowledge.

At Mobee Dick's, figuring out UX issues is a daily occurrence and a pleasure for us, so if you find that you could use a knowledgeable partner in the work of making your shop even better, let us know.

Finally, you already know where to look 😉

CONTACT US

Are you worried about low conversion? Let's figure out how we can improve it together.

Questions? Get in touch with us!

Let's talkBook a free consultation