Is your Website Losing You Money? These Conversion Killers could be to blame. Wednesday 12 February 2014

When you’ve done the hard work to drive visitors to your website and helped them find the items that they want, the last thing you want to do is lose them at the last hurdle – the checkout. Yet this final piece of the puzzle is a big problem for many websites. There will always be people who are ‘just browsing’ and some who want to save items in a cart for later, but The Baymard Institute found on average a whopping 67.89% of shopping carts are abandoned!

With over £1 billion of online transactions being lost a year in the UK, retailers are desperately seeking answers to cart abandonment and ways to improve conversion rates. A great deal of research has been undertaken to look into some of the biggest factors affecting conversions and we’ve summarised some of the most interesting findings in this infographic. Underneath the infographic you’ll find some of the key issues outlined and plenty of advice to help you steer clear of these dreaded Conversion Killers!

Conversion Killers – Is your Website Losing you Money? – An infographic by the team at CWCS

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Unexpected costs

Customers being presented with unexpected costs during the checkout process was the biggest cause of abandoned purchases with over half of users surveyed having abandoned a sale for this reason.  Hidden high shipping costs, handling costs and credit card usage charges are big culprits here.


Many retailers are overcoming this by offering free shipping, in fact a study by comScore found that 61% of consumers are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to cancel their order is free shipping isn’t offered.

The key here is transparency. If additional costs are necessary then make that clear early in the process and justify their value to the customer to avoid nasty surprises. Think about bundling charges into the product price or setting a cart value at which shipping becomes free to manage your costs.


This seems to be a double edged sword with both insufficient and excessive security causing customers to abandon their purchase.  Customers want to be content that their card details are safe without having to jump through too many hoops.


Adding trusted logos to the checkout pages can have a marked effect on drop-out rates. This study from Baymard highlights the logos customers trust the most. A study by GetElastic found that adding the McAfee logo saw a 4-6% increase in sales. Again transparency is essential here; make sure visitors can easily find a phone number, email and even office address for your business so they know they can get in touch if they need you.



Sluggish websites are a big problem for conversions with 21% of those surveyed listing a slow checkout as a reason they had dropped out of a purchase process.  In fact 57% of customers will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and a huge 80% of these people will never return to your site!  


This conversion study from Unbounce suggests some ways in which a cart process can be speeded up and shows a study in which a faster cart led to a 66% increase in conversions! To improve site speed as a whole, visit Google’s Page Speed tool where you can simply drop in your web address to find out how fast your site is and lots of helpful advice on what you can do to speed it up.


Mobile experience  

A study by Jumio found that almost 70% of smartphone and tablet owners have tried to make purchases on their device but 66% of them have abandoned a purchase due to problems during the checkout process. Only 18% of visitors would recommend a business if they have a poor mobile site so getting your site right for browsers on the move is essential.


Many websites due not function correctly or are simply too small to use on a mobile screen. Responsively designed websites counteract these issues by resizing websites depending on the device they’re being used on so as to provide the best user experience.



Reviews can be a great help to guide visitors decision making processes and assure them that the product on offer is the right one for them. 90% of users surveyed said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions whilst negative reviews were influential for 86% of users.


Sing the benefits of your products from the rooftops! This superb guide from conversion expert Peep Laja shows how important good testimonials can be and how best to reap the rewards of positive word of mouth on your website.


Remember cart abandonment isn’t always the end of the journey!

Retargeting adverts can be designed to target visitors who abandoned their cart with timely adverts on other sites they visit online to remind them that there are items waiting for them. This guide from Adroll offers some top tips to luring visitors back to their abandoned carts with targeted adverts.

Cart abandonment emails can be sent to visitors would have left their contact details and can have astonishing success rates. This Marketing Sherpa study found that a 3 part triggered series of emails convinced 29% of visitors who had abandoned their cart to complete the checkout and make a purchase.


Extra Reading

  • Conversion guru Bryan Eisenberg developed this excellent handy 10 point checklist to help guide you through the optimisation of complex web forms. Bryan’s blog is a great place to pick up ongoing tips and tricks to improve your site along with Bryan’s motto Always Be Testing!
  • Econsultancy’s checkout checklist is a great resource for those looking to highlight problem areas and reduce drop-out. Econsultancy’s blog is full to the brim with interesting case studies and statistics to help you make the most out of your website.
  • Visual Website Optimizer offer this ‘mega guide’ to reducing shopping cart abandonment. Their innovative software allows you to test different versions of your website with a portion of your visitors so you can see how well they perform before you implement changes across the site. This offers a great way to dip your toe in the water and make sure you’re making the right decision before you make drastic changes!
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