THE BLOG
07/27/2016 04:17 pm ET Updated Jul 28, 2017

4 Obstacles Preventing Conversions on Your E-Commerce Website

You could be attracting highly targeted website traffic, with buyer-intent, through SEO, social media and email marketing, but that doesn't guarantee it will convert into sales.

Why?

Sometimes a simple problem with your website will create an obstacle and kill your conversion rate. Here are four common obstacles that could be responsible for preventing your website from converting and generating revenue.

1. You don't offer any visible special offers.

More of your website visitors will convert if they feel like they are receiving a special offer, such as an instant discount or free shipping. Many websites offer these, but they don't make them visible. You need to make sure you place there directly where every single visitor will come in contact with them.

One of my consulting clients operates a fairly large e-commerce website and they were experiencing huge traffic numbers but low conversions. When I was hired, I created a two-step exit offer that presented visitors who were leaving the website with a discount code they could use for immediate savings.

Their conversion rates went through the roof with this one simple change. Without any other changes, the company's sales grew significantly larger.

2. You don't offer a pleasant mobile experience.

A mobile-friendly website is mandatory -- there's no way around it. Check to see if your website passes Google's mobile-friendly test here. It's important to understand that a passing grade alone won't necessarily guarantee that your website is going to provide a pleasant user experience.

There are many things to consider when optimizing a website for mobile traffic. Make sure you use text that's large and easy to read, have only one call-to-action for your visitors to focus on, avoid large paragraphs of text and make sure visitors can access every feature using just one finger.

There are plenty of pre-built solutions if you are on a limited budget or don't have access to an in-house developer. Shopify, for example, offers plenty of customizable e-commerce website templates that provide excellent mobile user experiences. Check out e-commerce website Chummy Tees for an example of how clean and responsive the software is.

3. Your website speed is incredibly slow.

If you visit a website and it doesn't load fast what do you do? You leave. I leave. We all leave. Your website visitors aren't any different, making it very important that your website speed is fully optimized.

Not only will someone leave your website because it loads slowly, but the will also never return, preventing future sales as well. There are several free tests you can run to audit your website speed and load time, like GTmetrix and Google's speed test. Consider upgrading your website hosting to a dedicated server or use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve your website performance.

4. You require customers to create an account to checkout.

I won't purchase from a website that requires me to create an account before checking out, and I can guarantee the majority of your visitors are the same way. Consumers want to complete the transaction as quickly as possible. If you require your visitors to create an account it makes the checkout process longer, while also acting as revenue repellant, pushing away visitors who refuse to create an account.

Don't entirely eliminate the ability to create an account; some visitors, specifically repeat ones, enjoy the convenience of stored information, such as a preferred payment method and shipping address. Simply make sure you offer a "guest" checkout option, as well, allowing visitors to quickly complete purchases and be on their way.

Jonathan Long is the Founder & CEO of Market Domination Media®, an online marketing agency that provides online marketing consulting. Jonathan also created EBOC (Entrepreneurs & Business Owners Community), a private business forum. Follow him on Twitter.