THE BLOG
05/09/2014 12:32 pm ET Updated Jul 09, 2014

The 5 Main Reasons Why Shoppers Leave Your Website Without Buying

Your website has been built. You've sorted your online marketing and you're getting traffic. But you're losing sales. Why? I've compiled a list of the five main reason shoppers leave websites without buying, as well as what you can do about it.

1. Poor User Experience

Twenty-five percent of shoppers leave websites without buying simply because the website is too difficult to use (study by Statistia). Websites that are too complicated, require forced registrations, serve disruptive advertising, or have lengthy check out procedures can turn shoppers off and send them to your competitors.

To solve the problem, you first need to look at when your visitors are leaving. If your website analytics show that most your website visitors are never getting to your shopping cart you can conduct user experience studies to identify where the roadblocks are. When you make the shopping experience easy, intuitive and enjoyable you are well on your way to increasing your sales.

One of the most common reasons people leave a website after they get to the shopping cart is that the checkout process is too complicated. Too many steps, long forms, and repetitive tasks can all make a simple process too complicated for your shoppers. Shortening forms, and simplifying your checkout process can considerably decrease your cart abandonment rate and increase sales.

2. Price

Fifty-six percent of the shoppers in the Statistia study left a website without paying because they were presented with unexpected costs. Thirty-six percent said that they left because they found a better price elsewhere, and 32 percent mentioned that high prices were the reason for them leaving without making a purchase.

That doesn't mean if you're a price leader in your market that you won't have successful online sales. However, it does mean that you need to ensure your products premium value is clearly and quickly communicated, and that you need to be aware of focusing your marketing to attract and engage shoppers who are less price conscious.

3. Browsers Not Shoppers

Attracting people who are at the very beginning of their buying cycle is inevitable. These visitors will not convert to buyers simply because they are not ready. You can still leverage their visit by giving them information to educate them about their choices and encouraging them to leave their email address in exchange for something of value. If you send them automated emails reminding them to buy, and implement a lead management program, you can convert top of the funnel browsers into buyers when they're ready to buy.

4. Security

According to an online survey by Forrester Research, only 16 percent of people believe that online merchants are trustworthy when it comes to protecting their personal information, and more than half of consumers are concerned about identity theft. Ecommerce providers can build trust in their services by developing and openly promoting their system security features, ensuring that security certifications are prominently displayed.

5. Delivery and Shipping

If all other things are equal, people will look for the best shipping rates possible. Think that an extra shipping charge won't matter? Take note, the Statista study reported that 16 percent of shoppers left websites because the shipping options were not suitable, and recent Comscore study found that 61 percent of shoppers would leave a website that didn't offer free shipping.

Even if your shipping rates are competitive you need to be aware of your delivery time frames. As far as online shopping goes we live in an impatient world. Shoppers may look for better delivery choices if they feel that it will take several weeks before they will get their product(s), and they may not re-order if delivery takes too long. Check your competitors. If your shipping options are limited or expensive investigate lower cost options. If you find that delivery times are growing, look for expedited delivery options.

Remember, shoppers will make a decision whether or not to stay on your website within the first 5-10 seconds of visiting. Ensure your website analytics are setup and that you understand where and when your customers are leaving. Then start testing the issues I have described here. You may surprise yourself with how quickly you can increase your sales and reduce the number of visitors who leave without buying. For more information on what you should and shouldn't be doing with your ecommerce website, check out this comprehensive ecommerce website set up checklist.

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