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The troubles of online conversion

Author's avatar By Content Partner 06 Nov, 2018
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The growing demands of the online visitor

As reported by Internet Retailer, the projected online global consumer spending by 2019 will more than double the $3.551 trillion of the global spending in 2015, accounting for 12.4% of the total retail sales.  It is also forecast that retail giants Amazon, Alibaba and eBay will by 2023 account for 40% of retail sales.

These numbers show that consumer inclination toward online shopping is increasing. However, the gap between what consumers want and what they get is also widening.

Online retailers are having to think outside of the box to differentiate and meet the expectations of their online customers.  What was deemed a ‘point of difference’ and ‘cutting edge’ three years ago is now the expected norm. What was once seen as a retailer going the extra mile is now taken for granted. With the emerging new technologies being adopted by businesses Amazon has always led the way – visitors want a frictionless experience.

The key challenges facing e-commerce and marketing departments today is twofold. First, you have to try to deliver a personalized interaction to customers across all channels. Second, you must consolidate fragmented data from a range of sources across your businesses.

Any business who trades online will have several key measures that are used to report on online sales performance. These will include online conversion rate, average order value (AOV), repeat visitors’ rate, bounce rate and time spent on site.

Your online conversion rate is however usually the primary indicator used to measure success. So how is this defined? A conversion is when a web visitor completes a desired action, and the conversion rate is the percentage of total web visitors who took that action.

Typical e-commerce conversions include adding items to a shopping cart, completing a purchase or saving items to buy later. If enough of your site visitors aren’t doing those things, then you could have a problem with your online shopping experience.


There isn’t a magic number that qualifies a good conversion rate as they differ massively between industries. For example, for retail businesses a good conversion rate average out between 3 and 5%. According to Smart Insights not only do conversion rates differ between industries but it also differs between devices used and source of traffic to your website.

Even though conversion rates have on average increase by 50% regardless of the device used, desktop users will always have a better online conversion that those using a smartphone to browse and buy. Visitors who come to your website from emails are three times more likely to covert than those coming from social networks, followed by visitors coming in from a search engine.

Conversion rates

Interestingly though, even though visitor’s propensity to covert may differ by how they have come to your website and by what device they are using at the time, it’s how visitors can interact with your site and find what they need that matters the most. The online usability of your website will be the biggest factor that can be influenced and addressed to increase your online sales. 

12 Reasons for poor online conversion

  1. Gone should be the days where businesses have one version of their website for all their visitors. Presenting the same products and the same offers to all customers will fall flat. Providing a flat vanilla experience causes quite an annoyance to visitors as they expect to see products that are relevant to them and be offered rewards for revisiting the site or becoming a loyal customer.  There is an expectation to be rewarded for brand loyalty. Lack of recognition when landing on a site will be off-putting.
  2. With the growth of the public voice across social media and website brands, customers expect to be able to leave feedback and see genuine product reviews. By not integrating an authentic product review system on to your site, you’re ignoring a vital part of your customers' shopping journey. Reviews are part of the decision-making process. Remember, not all negative reviews are bad. What doesn’t work for one customer will work for another.
  3. Price consistency is an important factor for visitors looking to buy. If your visitors can find your products cheaper on other websites whether through your trade customers sites or from resellers, the chance of you converting that product will be low. Ensure you keep a vigilant eye on who is selling your products and at what cost.
  4. People will interact with your site in many ways. There are some visitors who will go straight to your search bar and others that will use your primary navigation. For those who use the search bar, make sure that you present back products relevant to their search, allowing for synonyms and misspells. There is nothing more irritating than getting a ‘No Matching Results Found’ message or products that are irrelevant to what you were looking for. Equally, ensure your filters and sort by functions work correctly.
  5. Visitors usually have an idea of what they are looking for when arriving at your site but don’t always know exactly what they want. By not providing product recommendations based on your previous interactions on the site best sellers and what’s trending online at that time, you are missing a huge opportunity to upsell, cross-sell and increase your visitors' average order value.
  6. Visitors use their shopping carts not only for making a purchase but as a place to store items that they quite like to refer to at the end. Data on what is held in the shopping cart is extremely valuable for future retargeting. Not only has the customer told you directly the types of products they like but also gives you an idea of the price range they are prepared to pay. The typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varies between 60% and 80%, with an average of 91%. This data should be used not only for a cart abandonment email program but also to present on site when they return later.
  7. One of the consistent friction points on a website is poor product content on site – poor and inaccurate product descriptions and typographical errors. Visitors want as much information about the product itself from composition, materials, dimensions and accurate sizing. Typographical errors will indicate a lack of care and build distrust.
  8. To expand on the point above, it’s important that when you are making product recommendations and offers to your visitor that they are completely relevant. If you want to cross-sell items that help a visitor to complete the look, make sure you present the right products.Online shopping
  9. The old adage that Content is King still very much stands – guides, recipes, stories, lifestyle and workstyle content, blogs and reviews all support and endorse the need for products to be bought.Picture1
  10. Data comes in from many sources but how can you use this to build a clear picture of your customers likes and dislikes? Growth of social media sites is starting to dominate how brands perform. The fact is that likes and dislikes reflect the swayed public opinion, the public, through reviews and social media, blogs and online feedback forums have been given a voice and they are not afraid to use it. All this data is valuable to any organization to gauge the measure of their customers' appetite for their brand.
  11. Not recognizing your customers as individuals when arriving on your site is today a big no-no. Whether a first-time visitor, a second-time visitor or a loyal repeat purchaser you should have a marketing strategy for each of your website customer segments.
  12. Lack of data insight is very much the foundation cause of providing a poor website experience. Not knowing how your campaigns are working on your site doesn’t allow you to optimize your website performance. Don’t let campaign materials become black boxes, where you can see the input – your creative masterpiece – and you can see the outcome – a campaign that performs a little better than usual – but you can’t see the  Data insight is vital to improving your online conversion.


So what can you do?

There are many ways of addressing the issues outlined above all of which can greatly help you reduce the amount of friction that a visitor experiences when they’re on your website.

PureClarity have created a free webinar that highlights the key conversion issues facing marketing and e-commerce teams today. The webinar shows the different ways that e-commerce team can address these friction areas.  but also demonstrates how E-commerce Personalisation addresses many of these issues using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

We at PureClarity understand that your time is of a premium and that the thought of juggling all these strategies can be overwhelming. Why not watch our webinar today to see what possible solutions you can apply and find out more about the features which PureClarity provides.

As a business PureClarity has helped their clients increase their online conversion rated by an average of 26%.

E-commerce personalization software solutions such as PureClarity increases engagement, on-site stickiness and a provides a much higher change of interaction and conversion.


 Click here to watch

Author's avatar

By Content Partner

This article is contributed by a Smart Insights Content Partner. To find out how you can become a regular contributor and share your knowledge and experience with our readers, please see our Content Partnership options.

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