How to Avoid the Biggest Barriers to Online Purchase


Published by Charlotte Davies


Are you seeing more clicks than conversions? It could be because you’re making it difficult for customers to buy from you.

Here are some of the most common reasons why customers are choosing not to buy from your ecommerce store and how you can avoid them.

1) Poor site navigation

One of the biggest culprits when it comes to poor conversions on an ecommerce site is complex navigation. Consumers are easily frustrated by complicated site navigations, too many options and irrelevant information. In fact, 50% of lost sales are because visitors can’t find what they’re looking for. You need to make it as easy as possible for customers to navigate around your site – it should be effortless and intuitive. 

To make the customer journey as simple as possible, you should use heat mapping tools to understand what your shoppers are trying to do and reduce the number of steps it takes to find the product they are looking for. From there, you can declutter the information that is distracting your visitor. 

Also, we’d suggest ensuring that your search bar is visible throughout the shopping journey – on every page! And keep your navigation menu to the top left side of your web pages, this is where your customers expect to find them. 

2) Boring shopping experience

The highly saturated landscape of ecommerce means that it’s harder than ever before to capture a customer’s attention and keep them on your store. Once a shopper gets distracted, bored or uninspired, then chances are they’ll go straight to your competitors. 

The solution here is to create an enjoyable and engaging shopping experience that resonates with your customers. This could include interactive product pages, gamification and our personal favourite, social shopping – all these tactics will help to sustain your customer’s attention. 

3) Slow site speed 

Did you know 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less? 

This means if your pages aren’t loading quick enough, you’ll be losing a lot of customers (and you can forget about converting them). Of course, if you’re on a platform such as Shopify Plus, this won’t be a problem, because it’s 2.97 times faster than other platforms on the market. 

If you’re not, here are a few things you can do to increase site speed:

  • Remove excess apps
  • Reduce image size
  • Remove redirects
  • Compress Files

4) Product information is missing 

It’s not uncommon for merchants to miss the mark when it comes to providing adequate information about their products. Not offering details about a product that addresses a customer’s questions can cost you sales. And with 46% of consumers admitting that they abandon their cart if they can’t find a quick answer to their question, you must give them all the information they need to make that purchase. 

So, entice your shoppers with captivating product information and highlight the benefits of each feature. We recommend complementing your text with photos, graphics, videos and zoom features to capture your customers’ imagination. And don’t forget to add size guides and a general FAQ page to your store, too. 

Global Fashion brand, ASOS is an example of a brand that take product descriptions to the next level. They allow their customers to watch a ‘catwalk’ video of products being worn, so they can visually experience how long the item is, how it fits and how it moves. 

5) Lack of payment options 

Did you know that 85% of visitors leave a site without making a purchase when prices are not shown in their local currency? 

You must introduce all the major currencies if you want to scale. Again, if you’re on platforms like Shopify Plus, this isn’t an issue. It comes with internationalisation features and a multi-currency/ multi-store functionality which allows you to deliver a local experience globally.   

What’s more, offering your customers multiple methods of payment is essential. Internet Retailing reported that merchants risk losing 44% of customers if they don’t offer preferred payment methods. 

Be sure to integrate popular payment gateways such as PayPal and USA ePay. And display trustworthy card logos such as Amex and Visa on your store to increase trust in your customers. 

And don’t forget to consider shoppers on tight budgets! More and more shoppers prefer to spread the cost of purchases over interest-free instalments, so consider installing ‘buy now, pay later’ options at checkout like Klarna.

6. Limited shipping options 

So, you’ve got your customer to checkout and you’ve reached the last hurdle: shipping!

Customers expect multiple shipping options at the checkout. On average, try offering 3-5 different shipping options along with other information like estimated delivery time. 

Also, you need to inform your customers about delivery charges. Be honest from the get-go, if you don’t offer free shipping, tell them. 

Let’s get started!

We hope this has given you some food for thought on what might prevent your browsers from buying. 

In summary, it’s all about simplifying the customer journey and creating a seamless shopping experience. When you overcome the obstacles discussed above, you’ll be converting in no time. 

But if you need further advice on growing your online business, please get in touch with our team of ecommerce experts today! 

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