Reasons for Low eCommerce Conversion Rate & How to Fix It

Are your conversions plateauing or completely falling off? A low conversion rate for your eCommerce website means you’re not converting the traffic on your site into paying customers and there are a lot of reasons why this could be happening. From a site that has poor loading speed, to not designing your site based on what your customers actually want, all can contribute to a low conversion rate. By the end of this, you’ll know why your eCommerce conversion rate is low and how you can fix it.

Low eCommerce conversion rate

What is a good eCommerce conversion rate?

The average conversion rate for eCommerce is around 2%, but this varies greatly depending on industry and type of business. For instance, an eCommerce luxury goods website will have a much lower conversion rate than that of a fast fashion brand with the varying price points and different consumer bases. While grocery, food and beverage stores have experienced the highest growth in conversion rate, primarily as a result of the need for grocery stores to modify their availability in response to shifting consumer demands.

Another factor in eCommerce conversion rate is the type of device being used. Despite the fact that mobile devices account for the majority of web user traffic, desktop has a higher conversion rate than mobile. The typical user behaviour is to browse on a mobile device and make purchases on a desktop.

So a good conversion rate can really differ depending on the type of business. Even if you have a great conversion rate for your industry, conversion rate optimisation can provide additional opportunities on sites that have plateaued.

Issues affecting conversion rate on eCommerce sites

There are a lot of reasons your conversion rate could decline on your eCommerce site particularly with a consumer landscape that is constantly shifting. The pandemic and other global problems had a big impact on the eCommerce industry, forcing changes to delivery logistics and pricing. Here are some key factors that could be lowering your eCommerce conversion rate.

Site isn’t optimised for mobile

As mentioned above, mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop conversion rates which given the amount of traffic mobile devices generate, means this traffic will be lowering your overall conversion rate.

A lot of sites are still not optimised well enough for mobile users. Navigation is harder, products are more difficult to see and loading speeds are often slower. That’s why a lot of companies have reverted to apps, with the customer experience, in general, being more user-friendly. In fact, conversion rates for mobile apps are actually 3x more than that of mobile optimised sites.

So, how do you fix this? Make sure your elements are loading quickly and correctly on mobile devices. Also, check that your imagery is the right file type and size to load correctly. Finding a product and having to scroll through empty images because the images don’t render quickly enough is the worst customer experience.

Poor imagery and media for product pages

Images don’t just need to be the right file type and size, they also need to be of the right product and high-quality images. The same is true for videos; 360-degree videos are great for showcasing your product in a manner that is more realistic than static photography. There is no point, though, if the videos are of poor quality. To prevent pixelation, you must upload the proper file types, and the images you upload must be of the actual product and not with any other items in the back. Lifestyle images and videos are good for aesthetics, however, it’s best to use plain backgrounds like companies such as fashion giant ASOS.

Low eCommerce conversion rate issue imagery

Confusing navigation and long purchase journey

Along with your site looking visually pleasing, it also needs to be easy to navigate around. If your menu headings and subsections are labelled confusingly, that can be an automatic deterrence for customers. You need to think about how users find what they want and the best way to get people to the products they are looking for and the ones they don’t know they need yet. Product recommendations are great for this; bundling items together can increase both conversion rate and average order value. They don’t just have to be incorporated into product pages though, they can also be used on your homepage to direct customers to certain categories or brands.

Low eCommerce conversion rate issue poor navigation

Ideally, the conversion paths you’ve created should be simple to follow and short, this is especially the case when it comes to your purchase journeys.

Long purchase journey

Once customers have decided to purchase, they don’t want a long winded route to purchasing as this leads to an increase in abandoned baskets and ultimately the lowering of your eCommerce conversion rate. It also needs to be clear where people are in the purchase journey, with easy navigation between steps. If customers have forgotten to add a voucher code, or entered the wrong shipping details, it should be simple to rectify.

A few ways to enhance your purchase journey and increase your checkout conversions:

You need to map out your most profitable or engaged journeys and leverage that success across your whole site. This is something we can do for you with our conversion rate optimisation services.

Lack of trust

With a million options out there for every product, reputation and trust is a massive factor when it comes to conversions. There are a few trust factors when it comes to purchasing items online; customers want to know where their information is going and that the products they are buying are legitimate and they will get what is advertised. If customers have limited information about either your products or brand, they will lack trust.

The use of social proof and user generated content (UGC) is a great way to increase your trust ranking. Using a review platform like, Yotpo or Trustpilot makes it easy to integrate this onto your product pages, home pages and social platforms. In fact the average customer reads over 10 reviews before purchasing so adding reviews to your site is a perfect way to increase your conversion rate.

Low eCommerce conversion rate issue reviews

Another way to develop trust is at checkout, use payment seals and official payment vendors to show authenticity and make them easily visible.

Low eCommerce conversion rate issue trust

How we can help fix your low conversion rate

Our conversion rate optimisation services are grounded in data. We remove bias and opinion to make informed decisions based on data.

We analyse and we test, mapping the most used and engaged journeys across your website to understand why users ‘do what they do’ and turning this into a model that can be applied across your entire site and ultimately fix your low conversion rate.

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