Whitepaper: Ecommerce Conversion Killers

Published on the 10/03/2017 | Written by Sharron Martin


This research paper identifies the six culprits that result in high bounce rates and abandoned shopping carts on ecommerce websites…

This research paper identifies the six culprits that result in high bounce rates and abandoned shopping carts on ecommerce websites. Sharron Martin presents findings from a breadth of industry surveys and empirical research to help you to avoid the common pitfalls.

After spending significant company resources on your ecommerce website, you want to make sure you get the best return on your investment. There are some common ecommerce mistakes that can kill your conversion rates. It is important to be aware of these, find them on your website and fix them as soon as you can. The purpose of this white paper is to provide you with a practical guide to help do exactly that.

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On an existing ecommerce website, this paper will tell you what to look out for. If you are in the process of building a new website, then this can be used as a guide for what not to do. The caveat to this is that every business is different and each of these points needs to be assessed within the context of your individual scenario. Depending on the nature of the products being sold, there may be a case to be argued in favour of some of the things mentioned in this paper. If the current settings are working for your business, then we are not suggesting you change them, but only that you consider the effectiveness for your individual website.

You probably already know it but if you don’t, the first thing to do is find out your abandoned cart rate. Google Analytics will tell you how many site visitors have abandoned carts or bounced out of the checkout page. You need to know this number of course, as painful as it is but once you know it then what can you do to reduce it? What changes can you make to prevent these last-minute abandonments and increase your online sales? Based on our experience and research we have identified the 6 top conversions killers and provided suggestions for how to fix them.

Conversion Killers whitepaper


The Six Killers are summarised below, or you can view the full whitepaper (no registration required) here: Ecommerce Conversion Killers and how to fix them.




The Six Ecommerce Conversion Killers

1)   Nasty Surprises
Be upfront about shipping, handling or any other costs associated with the purchase. Don’t try and slip them in at the end.

Figure 1: Reasons for abandoned carts

Figure 2: Shipping a tope reason for abandoned carts

Figure 3: What’s important for online shoppers

2)   Compulsory Account Creation
Forcing users to create accounts can be a barrier to purchase.

Figure 4: Login example

3)   Design Confusion
If the path to purchase is unclear and the user doesn’t know where to go then they will quickly bounce out of the site and on to your competitors.

4)   Poor Customer Service
Customer service is important before, during and after the sales process. If you want them to come back, then it is important to ensure the customer has a positive experience.

Figure 5: Example of great online service

Figure 6: “Sand cone” model of e-service

5)   Insufficient Information or Assurances
There are many different consumer purchasing models and the reasons why consumers buy certain products and not others, have been widely studied since the 1960’s. These studies are equally applicable to online retailers.

Figure 7: The 5 stages of the customer buying cycle

6)   One size fits all – (Not Really)
One size definitely does not fit all. Your online customers are unique and need to treated as such. Everybody likes to be recognized and to feel special. So how do you personalize a website users online experience?

Multiple references are cited and linked for further research.

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Sharron MartinSharron Martin is an Account Director & Digital Strategist at website and ecommerce integrator OneClick. Sharron has an extensive background in technology and has been the project lead in many successful digital projects. Sharron has experience in delivering websites, eCommerce, and digital marketing strategy plans for different sized projects for local and international organisations.

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