Conversion Funnel

Create a better conversion funnel: 12 mistakes to look for in your eCommerce site

10 min read
Krithika Siddharth

Did you know your eCommerce website could be losing money because of simple mistakes? A small change can help improve your conversion funnel. The eCommerce industry is evolving at an incredible rate, and there’s no shortage of competition. If you don't provide a structured eCommerce experience, your consumers will leave. Period.

Customers have a staggering amount of choices. A simple Google search is all they need to find the same product they’re interested in on another eCommerce website. With the holiday season fast approaching, that means you have potential buyers everywhere.

Conversion funnel dilemma

Plenty of eCommerce sites struggle with converting visitors into paying customers. If you’re not sure why your lead is leaving without a click-through, then it’s time to evaluate your conversion funnel.

Here are 12 mistakes you could be making that greatly affect your business potential. Fix them, and you’ll be on your way to providing a seamless shopping experience and improving your ROI.

1. Lack of usability testing on your site

When you don’t understand how your customers view and use your website, you’re missing out on opportunities that can help with your conversion funnel.

eCommerce store owners don’t try to buy from their very own websites.

Which means they don’t understand the mechanics as well as the everyday user. Understanding customer behavior and providing the best user experience is the only way you can improve conversion.

Let’s consider this scenario: Your potential customer wants to buy a blue sweater, so they come to your website and search for the term “Blue Women Sweater.” Lo and behold, there isn’t a single blue sweater in the search results. What good is your conversion funnel if it doesn’t actually pull up the desired object?

Usability testing is the best way to uncover such scenarios and rectify them.

Run comprehensive usability tests in order to uncover various conversion mistakes that are causing your shoppers to leave empty handed.

2. Not understanding your customers

Each eCommerce store is different because their target audience usually varies. So this makes each and every element that goes into the website extremely important. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Understanding your customers is important for higher conversions.

Imagine you run an eCommerce portal that sells custom-made doll houses. Your target audience will be girls between the ages of 6 to 14. How will you design a website? The emphasis should be given to the color and images used to attract kids. It’s a no brainer.

What if your website is catered toward an older demographic? What elements will you look into? Still guessing? It’s the font and image sizes that matter most to your customers. If you use a normal size font, it's going to be extremely difficult for your older customers to read.

Read this post to learn about creating customer personas. 

3. Cluttered product page with no proper CTA

Your product page is the single-most important conversion element on your site. When a customer clicks on a product and lands on its product page, they expect to see a particular layout that is familiar and trustworthy. When the page is disorganized, the focus of the buyer is lost.

Here are some common problems with product pages that don’t convert well:

  1. There is not enough white space around the product image for customers to fully experience it.
  2. No emphasis on the price of the product, and the font size is pretty small.
  3. Space, which can be used for cross-selling or upselling, is wasted.
  4. No “Add To Cart” button. Once user clicks the button, they’re taken directly to the checkout page.

Now let's look at a product page that is more structured and user-friendly:

Conversion Funnel Jenson USA
A user-friendly page from Jenson USA.

It's organized with proper use of the available space. When customers land on this page, they can see that:

  1. The product image is given enough space to get the necessary attention.
  2. The CTA is properly aligned and focused.
  3. The product page features all information possible about the product.

When you set up your content and pages like so, your conversion funnel is much more likely to produce positive results.

4. Not making use of the power of upselling

Several eCommerce store owners don't apply cross-selling or upselling tactics on their site, making them lose a lot of potential sales.

Amazon accounts 30 percent of its revenue to cross-selling. To implement a successful upselling strategy for your conversion funnel, you can can try one (or all) of these three tactics:

Cross-selling. Showcase recommended products and related products to entice customers to buy more from you.

Conversion Funnel Cross-Selling
Amazon offers ways to complete any look by showcasing additional products.

Bundling. Put products together and let customers get a packaged deal to boost your cart amount.

Conversion Funnel Bundling
Bundling products is just one way Amazon boosts their sales.

Add-On. Your customer wants to buy an unlocked phone. It's natural they’ll need a SIM card along with it. By providing an add-on option, you can get customers to increase their cart value.

Conversion Funnel Add-On
Add-ons help demonstrate different ways to use products.

5. Failing to build your mailing list

When you don't invest in building an email list, you’re spending seven times more money to acquire new customers when compared to retaining your old ones.

Conversion Funnel Newsletter
Effective newsletters will help retain customers.

The average conversion rate of an eCommerce website is three percent. When you fail to capture the email address of the remaining 97 percent of your shoppers, you’re losing out on potential future buyers.

Run successful email campaigns to build a solid list of loyal customers.

eCommerce store owners can easily build their mailing list by offering:

  • Sign-up credits
  • Coupon codes for free shipping or additional discounts
  • Exclusive invites to your premium content

With incentives like this, customers will be more willing to offer up their email addresses. The more successful your campaign, the better off your conversion funnel will be.

6. Your eCommerce home page lacks the proper UX

When your homepage doesn’t provide the proper user experience, it's difficult to convert customers.

As soon as your customer lands on your eCommerce website, they’ll want to know all about you and your products. If your home page is bland and offers no information, they’ll be left in the dark.

It's difficult for customers to navigate without the proper UX elements.

In additional to telling a story, your home page must showcase your products, offers and other key information (like shipping and return policies). The customer support details must also be prominently portrayed to help build trust.

7. Lack of product visibility

Product visibility is another big reason why your customers aren’t converting (remember the blue sweater example from earlier?).

Complicated navigation causes customers to leave. It's essential you create a few important parent categories and summarize products into sub-categories. This creates a seamless navigation through your website and improves product discovery.

Incorporating predictive search features will help customers find products more easily.

Intelligent features reduce the time customers spend looking for products and increase the time they spend on the product pages.

8. Poor execution of promotional plans

If you have a great deal on school backpacks, you wouldn’t send an email campaign featuring back-to-school bags to working men and women.

Only send promotional content based on your customers’ desires.

This way, you can send out the right targeted message to get maximum productivity out of your conversion funnel. Make use of Google Analytics data, and find the time when customers are most active. Then, send out promotional messages and emails. By tracking available data, you’ll be able to effectively plan promotional strategies and maximize ROI.

9. Accepting cart abandonment

Around 70 percent of customers abandon their cart. They do so for a number of a reasons, but here are a frequent few:

  • Unexpected costs
  • Slow load time or crashing site
  • Limited payment methods

Your conversion funnel will never improve if you chose not to investigate your cart abandonment. Develop a strategy and use a persistent cart that retains items when customers leave your site.

Use a pop-up when customers go to leave to remind them of items in their cart.

It's important to be proactive and not let even one customer leave without trying to get them back. Every transaction matters to the overall success of your eCommerce store.

10. Surprise customers during checkout with additional charges

A customer goes through a series of emotional decisions before adding a product to their cart.

The price is one of the most important deciding factors in the buying journey.

If you include additional charges that are displayed only during the checkout, customers will abandon their cart without a second thought. Research has shown that unexpected display of cost during checkout is the reason why 56 percent of customers abandon their cart.

To avoid such issues, it’s crucial you form a solid pricing strategy and include the additional charges along with the price of the product in the product page. This way, customers know the total amount they will be spending for the product and will continue ahead with the transactions.

11. Not a responsive eCommerce store

If your eCommerce store isn’t mobile-friendly, customers visiting your website through mobile devices aren’t going to convert due to poor user experience.

Learn how Web Hosting Plus can improve the performance of your eCommerce site. 

Since 30 percent of U.S. shoppers are using mCommerce solutions, it's essential your eCommerce store is mobile-friendly. When we say responsive, it's not enough if the website fits to the screen — the font size should be legible, and the image should be big enough to help customers make easy purchase decisions.

Conversion Funnel PacSun
PacSun’s mobile-friendly store.

Also, the CTA and the buttons should be big enough to easily access with a customer’s thumb. Designing a thorough mobile-friendly eCommerce website is essential for an improved conversion funnel.

12. No customer retention strategy

If your eCommerce store provides excellent customer service, your customers might share their positive experience amongst their friends. On the contrary, if you provide lackluster service, they’ll talk about you to the entire world — in a bad way. Negative publicity is not a good thing for eCommerce store owners.

Establish a proper after-sale service and be polite to customers.

Try to provide chat support to instantly help customers. In addition, work to develop a solid loyalty program to keep bringing customers back to your website.

Running an eCommerce store isn’t a breeze

These 12 major mistakes not only hamper the effectiveness of your conversion funnel, but also affect your customer retention in the long run. To improve your overall conversion rate, you must look into all aspects of your eCommerce website and process.

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