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5 Reasons You’re Losing E-Commerce Sales

Editorial Team

Someone added one of your items to their cart? Fantastic. But that only takes you a fraction of the way to a sale. A staggering 68 percent of consumers abandon their carts prior to checkout, according to research by CWCS Managed Hosting.

While you’re never going to completely stop people from second-guessing a potential purchase, there are tons of optimizations you can make to improve your cart abandonment issues. In fact, the Baymard Institute claims that e-commerce sites can improve conversion rates by 35 percent through better checkout designs. Here are a few of the biggest reasons e-commerce businesses take a sales hit — and how to fix them.

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1. Your site is slow

Given that instant gratification is now the norm, it’s not surprising that online consumers are impatient. The CWCS study found that 57 percent of customers leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. And if your website crashes, that’s pretty bad too. Not only does a failure-to-load message make you seem less legit, 24 percent of people leave their carts behind if it happens. That’s why it’s important to invest in a speedy e-commerce platform that you can trust not to have outages.

2. It’s a bad user experience

In addition to being fast and reliable, your e-commerce site needs to be easy for customers to navigate. If it’s confusing or clunky, people bounce. Twenty-five percent of users abandon carts for this reason — especially if there are too many cumbersome steps during the checkout process.

Go through the process of making a purchase as if you were a customer, noting any sticky spots that may cause frustration. You can also look at Google Analytics to determine where customers are dropping off the most. This helps you figure out what changes you need to make to increase your conversions.

3. Your site isn’t mobile optimized

Failing to design your site for mobile is another huge misstep. Only 18 percent of people would recommend a business if they had a bad mobile shopping experience. Make sure that any e-commerce platform you choose works just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktops.

4. The payment step doesn’t seem trustworthy

People aren’t going to buy from you if they have the slightest suspicion that the payment step is a little sketchy. An easy way to mitigate this is to display trusted credit card logos during the checkout flow — 80 percent of customers report feeling safer when sites do this. The ability to accept a variety of payment methods is also key here. Forty-two percent of shoppers will actually spend more with you if they have different payment options.

5. Your shipping policies aren’t clear

It pays to be completely up front with your shipping costs and delivery times before customers start to check out. A Deloitte study says 61 percent of customers drop off after seeing higher-than-expected shipping prices. An easy way to solve for this is to include a shipping calculator on the product page or early on in the checkout process to provide full transparency.

Having a quick delivery time is also important. Sixteen percent of shoppers abandon carts if they’re unsatisfied with how long it will take for them to receive their item. And if you can manage it, offering free shipping goes a long way toward persuading customers to click that “buy” button. Sixty-nine percent of shoppers are more likely to buy from businesses that offer free shipping.

The Square Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of business, for business owners. Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds and share a passion for providing information that helps businesses to start, run, and grow. The team is based in San Francisco, but has collaborators all over the country.