You’re finally getting traffic to your online store.
But you’ve noticed most of your traffic bounces without making a purchase. Or worse: you’re getting zero sales from all that traffic.
Don’t panic – this happens more than you know, and it can be fixed.
Keep reading to understand why you may be getting traffic but no sales in your store – and how to start fixing this issue ASAP.
We’ll start by showing you how to diagnose the problem, and then move on to the solutions:
- Visitors leave the product page soon after landing
- Visitors leave after adding a product to the cart
- Tactics to fix the traffic-no-sales conundrum
Why am I getting traffic but no sales in my online store?
First off, let’s acknowledge something important:
Getting traffic without sales can happen to new and established stores alike. That’s because there is rarely a single reason for the absence of online sales.
Before you can figure out the exact root cause of your lack of sales, you first need to analyze where and when people are bouncing.
Once you know where the majority of your visitors bounce, you’ll be able to narrow down the reasons why – as well as which solutions to leverage to get those sales.
Option 1: Visitors leave the product page after landing
Here is the first common scenario. Visitors leave before they even get to add anything to the cart.
Instead, they bounce sometime after landing on your page.
To get a better picture of how many visits fall under this category, go through your analytics and study the average behavior of those visitors. For example, if you’re on Shopify, you can see how many visitors have added products to the cart, and how many reached checkout.
If you have Google Analytics connected to your store, you can even build a funnel exploration report to see the abandonment rate at each stage of your customer journey:
If you notice that people are bouncing shortly after arriving, you may be losing traffic due to:
- Slow loading time
- Clunky experience on mobile devices
- Disconnect between the content on your landing page and your ads (or other sources of traffic)
- Low product image quality
But what if you notice visitors spending a bit more time on your website – even visiting other pages? If that’s the case, these issues may be to blame for your lack of sales:
- Lack of social proof
- Not enough sizing options
- Payment options don’t match people’s needs
- No clear return & exchange policy – or no easy way to find said policy
- No easy way to get in touch with your team for help
- Ineffective product descriptions
Now let’s explore the potential issues if people leave your store after adding an item to the cart.
Option 2. Visitors leave at some point after adding a product to the cart
People leaving once they’ve added items in their cart is extremely common. Actually, it’s more common to do so than to complete a transaction.
84.27% of online carts get abandoned, which leaves little more than 15% of transactions to be completed.
But why does this happen?
According to Baymard institute, the top reason shoppers abandon their carts is because the extra costs are too high. These are costs like shipping, taxes, and other fees.
This is the #1 reason by far, as you can see on this chart:
The other core reasons for cart abandonment include:
- The site requires users to create an account
- Delivery is too slow
- Visitor didn’t trust the website with their credit card information
- The checkout process was too long or complicated
- It wasn’t possible to see or calculate total order cost upfront
- The return policy wasn’t satisfactory
- The website crashed or experienced bugs
- Not enough payment options were available
- Their credit card was declined
If you’re not sure which of these could be at fault for your own Shopify store, there are a few strategies you can try.
First, you can perform tests of the entire checkout process. You can do this with friends or family who fit with your ideal buyer persona, or you can pay for services such as Userlytics.
While you can run these tests yourself or with your team, remember that you’ll have a biased opinion.
As business owners, we’re often too close to the situation to give a proper analysis.
For instance, you may not realize the payment methods aren’t varied enough if using a credit card isn’t an objection for you.
Or you may find your return policy absolutely clear – because you were the one who wrote it.
See what I mean?
Additionally, you can run an A/B test in your Shopify store to deploy a new version of your checkout process.
Regardless of which of these options you choose, consider implementing an exit-intent survey to ask visitors why they’re leaving.
Not everyone will answer your survey. But those who take the time to do so will provide you with real data on what’s causing people to abandon their carts.
How to fix a Shopify store that isn’t converting: tips for each problem
You’ve looked over your analytics, performed some tests, and figured out the possible reasons why your store gets traffic with no sales.
Below are 12 strategies you can implement depending on the cause of your leaky traffic.
Regardless of what’s causing your traffic to bounce without sales, all of the strategies below can help you increase your conversion rate. With that being said, start with the one that will fix the most pressing problems for your Shopify store and go from there.
1. Fix slow page loading speed
Do customers care about how quickly your Shopify store loads?
Absolutely. At least, 70% of them do, according to Unbounce. Those consumers admitted that page speed does have an impact on how willing they are to buy from an online store.
Need more reasons to fix slow page loading speeds?
According to a study by Portent, the optimal loading speed if you want conversions is 0-4 seconds.
What’s more, those first 5 seconds are the ones that will have the most impact on your conversion rates.
The highest converting ecommerce stores have pages that load in 0-2 seconds.
And every additional second of load time will cost you a 4.42% loss on those conversion rates.
So how do you speed up a slow Shopify page?
Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Don’t bloat your Shopify store with too many apps that you’re not using
- Choose your Shopify theme wisely – and disable any theme features you’re not using
- If you’ve got custom Liquid code for your store, make sure it’s written in an efficient way by a professional developer
- Compress images and videos
- Check if your theme loads images that are off-screen or not
- Use system fonts instead of custom fonts (because if a customer’s device doesn’t have a font, it’ll have to download it every visit)
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the developer of the Shopify theme you’re using if you’re having issues with it as well.
2. Optimize the mobile experience
50.9% percentage of online buyers use their mobile devices to shop at least once a week. And 69% of Internet users will rely on mobile devices to do product research.
So optimizing your online store for mobile is a non-negotiable if you want more sales from your existing traffic.
For instance, here’s what it looks like when sliders aren’t optimized:
Admittedly, it’s not that bad. But I can’t read the entire policy, and it’s really difficult to scroll through it.
With that being said, the rest of the Mountain Equipment Company website looks pretty great on mobile. For instance, take a look at their product filter:
This works well for a few reasons:
- You don’t have to navigate through several screens to switch categories
- The “see results” button is easily accessible
- The ‘x’ button to cancel is also easily accessible
- You can leave the menu by clicking in the empty space at the right of the slider
Go through your entire website on several mobile devices to see how it feels. And if you’re struggling to create a positive experience, consider developing dedicated mobile versions of your site instead of responsive ones.
3. Invest in high-quality product images and videos
People online can’t touch your products. So your product images and videos are all you’ve got to make a good first impression.
How do you think your product images make people feel when they land on your website? Do they feel inspired and impress…
… or do they silently cringe and click away?
Sub-par product images can kill the sale before your checkout process ever will.
Bad lighting, weird angles, or distracting items will make your Shopify store look and feel… amateur.
Let’s compare two product images from the same category: candles.
In the first instance, notice how the background of the picture feels distracting. The main product (the candle) isn’t clearly focused in the photo.
It’s not a terrible photo – but your eye doesn’t immediately go to the product. This doesn’t feel like the candle is truly given its moment to shine.
Compare this to the way Flickering Fern Candle showcases their products:
While there are several objects in this photo, 4 of them are the actual product. The others are accent items that embellish the candles without distracting too much from them.
Bottom line? If you feel like your current product photos don’t do your products any justice, consider investing in a new photoshoot.
4. Refine your product descriptions
Product images will give your visitors a first impression. But the product description is what sells them.
There’s no rule about how long or short your product description should be. It all depends on your product niche and your brand’s personality.
But if you make it long, it should be long for a reason. Every word should have its purpose, which should contribute to converting readers into buyers.
To illustrate what makes a good product description even better, let’s compare two stores that are selling the same product: La Sportiva Miura VS women’s climbing shoes.
The first store has a bullet point of features with a short blurb at the top:
Okay, cool. The brand has been trusted for two decades for all sorts of scenarios. That doesn’t allow me to picture myself in my climbing gym as I’m surpassing myself with these new shoes.
The feature bullets are also… well, feature-forward. While they do talk about the benefits of those features, most skimmers will only see the first few words of each bullet.
Now let’s compare to how Mountain Equipment Company describes the same exact product:
First off, their feature bullets are much shorter. While they’re feature-focused, they don’t take up too much space and allow the blurb on top to shine instead.
That blurb is where they win the game, in my opinion. They specify WHY this shoe has been a long-time trusted favorite for women climbers. For instance, its design helps you grab small footholds, and it’s designed to perform well on mixed terrain.
See the difference?
5. Rework your ad campaigns (or your landing page)
If your ads are already driving traffic to your Shopify store, you know they’re doing their job. But if you’re seeing traffic without sales on your website, there might be a disconnect between what your ads show and what’s on your product landing page.
And that sucks, especially since you’re paying for those clicks.
Review your current ad campaigns and compare them to your landing page. Ask a friend or acquaintance who isn’t too familiar with your store to see what they think.
- Does your ad lead to the same product page that’s shown in the creative?
- Does your branding fit the style of your ads?
- If you’re advertising a sale, are the actual prices and discounts different than what was promised in your ad?
Here’s an example of pricing and discount being completely different from what was advertised. Below is an ad implying that these shoes will cost $6.88:
But here is the actual product page:
Huh? So now, if I want a special price, I have to buy three?
This makes no sense in the context of the ad being shown above. It’s highly likely that this store is experiencing a high bounce rate as a result.
6. Add social proof
It’s difficult to take a gamble on a product no one has ever reviewed before. For all you know, you could be getting scammed.
That’s why putting social proof at the forefront of your Shopify store matters so much. Even high-quality images and stellar product descriptions may not sway a buyer who’s not sure whether they should trust you.
On top of that, you can showcase any feedback you’ve received from influencers, just like Everlasting Candles does on their home page:
Positive reviews on their own won’t generate all your sales, but they’ll get your visitors one step closer to saying yes.
7. Add more payment options
Not everyone wants to input their credit card on your website.
And of those who do, not everyone wants to go find their wallet, grab their card, and input the number.
I’ll be honest – I postponed purchases several times because my wallet was too far away.
And 90% of the time, I’ll never complete the purchase.
To help with this issue, implement as many payment options as you can to your Shopify store. These can include:
- American Express
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- Facebook Pay
Luckily, Shopify lets you accept all of the above. Unless you have a really good reason to do so, keep all of these options available at all times so that your customers can pick the option that makes the most sense for them.
Plus, some of these options have express checkout, which might give yet another boost in sales to a Shopify store that’s not converting well.
8. Offer first-time discounts or free shipping offers
Acquiring that first sale is the most difficult. Once you’ve got a customer in your ecosystem, it’s much easier to retain them than to convert new customers.
So how do you get brand-new visitors to get over that hump and make their first purchase?
Offer a good deal for their first purchase!
Not only do first-purchase discounts remove the most common buyer’s objections… but they also make a great lead magnet to grow your list – whether you’re collecting emails, phone numbers, or both.
This means you can nurture those visitors over the long run, even if they don’t convert right away.
For example, even your subscription confirmation email is an excellent promo opportunity. Use it to remind new subscribers about the discount and feature your best-sellers to bring people back to your store:
(Use a Shopify app like Getsitecontrol to create both email opt-in forms and automated emails)
If you want to try something different than a first-time discount or free shipping, you can take inspiration from Everlasting Candle and offer a free gift:
Keep in mind that the bigger the offer, the more likely you are to get buyers to capitalize on it.
9. Clarify your shipping, returns, and exchange policies
If your policies are confusing, people won’t feel comfortable handing over their hard-earned money to you.
What happens if a product doesn’t fit – or shows up damaged? How long can they expect to wait before their item arrives?
If it takes too long to get those answers, you’re likely losing customers.
Once again, this is something you should validate with someone who can be objective – meaning, not anyone who already knows how your shipping, returns, and exchanges work. Get some people to find these policies on your website and ask them:
- How easy was it to find the page(s)?
- Is there anything unclear?
- Based on this information, would you buy a product from our website? Explain why or why not.
You can even send this survey to your email list if you have one already.
10. Enable guest checkout
Not everyone wants to create an account to buy from your store. If you’re forcing customers to do it, that might be the reason for your “traffic-but-no-sales” conundrum.
Enabling guest checkout makes the checkout process much easier and shorter. It also allows customers the option not to opt into your email list.
With that being said, you can add a checkbox at checkout to allow people to opt into your list without creating an entire account.
11. Allow guests to calculate shipping fees and taxes early in the process
Imagine you’ve just found the PERFECT product.
It’s your style. The price makes sense. So you add the item to your cart and initiate checkout.
Only after 5 grueling minutes of filling out information do you find out you need to pay an extra $50 in shipping and handling.
So you click off the website and go find an alternative.
Some people may not even be willing to go through the checkout process without knowing that number at all.
The solution? You can do that by adding an informational bar at the top or bottom of the page. Or you can allow your customers to estimate shipping, taxes, and other fees before they initiate checkout – by adding a special section right in the cart:
From that point, they’ll be able to decide if it’s worth it or not. But at least, they’ll have the option to verify that info before giving you all of their personal information.
12. Implement an abandoned cart email sequence
An abandoned cart email sequence is an automated series of emails that go out when shoppers abandon their cart, but only after they’ve provided their email address.
It allows you to reach out to those busy visitors who intended to buy, but who got distracted.
And it allows you to nurture and convert potential buyers who haven’t quite decided just yet!
You can use a few strategies in your sequence to get people to click and buy. For example, you can create a dynamic email that’ll show people the exact products they left in their cart.
Or, you can offer a limited-time discount for them to complete their purchase.
Here’s a recent email I received when I abandoned my purchase of a book:
It’s short, it’s simple, and it lets me know that I can continue right where I left off.
Turn your Shopify traffic into sales
Now you know what to do if you notice that your Shopify store gets traffic but little to no sales. Start by diagnosing the problem and move on to fixing each separate issue you’ve discovered.
Remember that no matter which issue is at cause, testing is key. You can easily make assumptions, but the truth will come out when you survey your customers or perform other types of objective tests to understand what’s going on.
Charlene Boutin is a freelance content writer & email marketing strategist for hire specializing in helping Ecommerce and SaaS businesses increase conversions by growing authentic relationships with their audience. She loves helping business owners tell their unique stories to capture the hearts of more customers.
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