5 Reasons why Users don’t Buy from your eCommerce Website

This is a very common issue with eCommerce websites: you invest a lot of time to design it, a lot of time to drive traffic – and nobody buys anything. Modern design and good traffic are not enough – you need to sell!

So, here are some likely reasons why people don’t buy from your website. What are you possibly doing wrong?

1. Buying is not simple

When you enter a physical shop, the first thing you usually see is the cashier. Know why? Shop owners want to make it easy for you to buy and spend a lot of money.

In the online world, this translates into: please have the “view shopping cart” link on every page of the website, possibly in the right hand side of the header section.

Users will not only be aware they are on an eCommerce website, but they will also be able to easily reach the payment (checkout) page.

2. Copy is not sales led

Selling through a website is very complicated by default. Internet users behave differently from physical shoppers: more prepared, more anxious and more worried.

In fact, online buyers compare prices from different websites (yes, your competitors!), have very little time and get put off very, VERY easily. In some way, your eCommerce website has to drive that very difficult sale:

Use strong calls-to-action on every page: remind the user to “Buy Now”
Include powerful headlines: explain product benefits for the user
Show testimonials from satisfied customers
Create urgency: e.g. limited time offer or limited stock
Provide guarantee: e.g. “20 Days Money Back Guarantee”
Keep your contact information on every page

3. No trust signals

Physical shops pay rent, bills, salaries, have possibly good branding and very good customer service. All this is “not visible” on your eCommerce website – hence your goal is to enhance customer trust.

We already listed “10 Reasons Customers don’t Trust your Website” in a previous post. Also, your eCommerce website should have on every page:

“Pay securely” badges
Credit card logos
Link to Terms & Condition page
Link to Delivery & Return page
Link to Privacy Policy
Link to Live Chat or Customer Service Phone
Company information and address

4. Checkout is not straight forward

Not only we want users to find the checkout page easily, but also to make sure checking out and paying is as quick as possible.

Go through your own checkout process, and take note of all the time wasting, long, boring and difficult functionalities. Get back to your web developer and get them corrected and improved, or you may never sell anything.

For example, never force users to register – allow “guest checkout” to speed the operations. Also, provide a “progress” indicator to show how easy and quick the process is e.g. “step 1 of 3”. Finally, always have the option to copy the shipping address from the billing address, as that’d save the user a lot of time.

5. Paying more than expected

When you pay for your goods in a physical shop, you definitely don’t want to end up paying more than expected. The major problem with eCommerce websites is that the customer has nobody to complain to. Direct consequence: no sale now, no sale ever.

Pay a lot of attention to your “transparent” shopping cart pricing. Always mention shipping costs, if VAT is included or not, if there will be additional charges or extra fees.

On the other hand, internet users love “Free Delivery” or other sort of discounts and offers. Offering something may cost you nothing – in this case we suggest to go ahead 🙂

What problems are you having with your eCommerce website? Leave a comment below!

About The Author

Rodolfo Melogli

Author, WooCommerce expert, WordCamp speaker and Internet marketer, Rodolfo Melogli helps entrepreneurs overcome their ecommerce nightmares :) Rodolfo is the organiser of the Dublin Ecommerce Meetup, WordCamp Dublin, the Dublin WordPress Meetup and the Dublin WooCommerce Meetup. He enjoys interacting with people, running on the beach and chasing tennis & soccer balls. Of course, he loves pizza too.


  • Tom Bollard

    Reply Reply January 30, 2013

    It’s true, most costumers get aggravated when they see the total cost, if you don’t mention that shipping isn’t free. It can get really frustrating on our part too because we can’t help but get on with the order.

  • Rodolfo Melogli

    Reply Reply February 4, 2013

    Agree with you, Tom.

    However, it also depends on the price of the item. If an online customer purchases a €500 good, not mentioning shipping costs of €10 may be ok. Personally, and honestly, I would anyway prefer to know it before adding to Cart.

    On the other end, shipping costs can really frustrate the online customer. I guess 99% of Ebay shoppers search for items with free shipping first.

    So, I always suggest to be transparent, no matter the cost of the shipping or fees, just be clear with your skeptic online customers!

  • James

    Reply Reply February 18, 2013

    Hi Rodolfo, I would like to say you thanks because this post is really informative not only for me, but also for so many people. So many people have their e commerce website, but because of some mistakes, they don’t get the customers. After reading your post, perhaps they may get the customers.

    • Rodolfo Melogli

      February 18, 2013

      Thanks James, my suggestions are really basic… and they work! Selling online is not difficult, and a few tips may be enough to boost sales.

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