Lots of Traffic and No Sales? Here’s Why Nobody is Buying from Your Store

You’ve worked hard to get people to your store. You’ve paid for ads. You’ve optimized your pages for search engines. You’ve worked with influencers. And your efforts have paid off, as you’ve gotten a decent amount of traffic to your site.

The only problem is…nobody is buying anything.

Sound familiar?

If so, you’re not alone; unfortunately, this problem is all too common in the eCommerce world. But generally, there’s a reason (or several) for it. Read on to find out what those reasons are.

1. Your Landing Page Doesn’t Deliver What You Promised

When people click through to your site, they do so for a reason. They are expecting to see whatever you promise them in the ad. So if your landing page doesn’t match up to that, then your brand new visitors are going to bounce.

If you’re advertising a certain product, but then send people to your homepage (instead of your product page), then people likely won’t stick around. Or if you promise your audience a discount, but make no mention of it on your landing page, then it’s also a pretty safe bet that they’ll leave.

But even things like the colors and the words you use should remain consistent. Take a look at how Parachute Home does it, for example:

Ad with good Ad scent from a design perspective
Facebook Ad
Landing page from ad with good ad scent
Landing Page

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Notice how both the messaging and the design are consistent from the ad to the landing page? Like Parachute Home, make sure that your landing page fulfills whatever promise you’re making in your advertisement.

2. You Don’t Have Any Reviews

According to one study, 97% of online shoppers claim that reviews influence their purchasing decision. The same study also found that 92% of people will hesitate to buy something if there are no reviews at all.

But it’s a bit of a catch-22 isn’t it? You need reviews in order to sell your products, but you need to sell your products in order to get reviews.

If you’re struggling to generate reviews, you could get in touch with an influencer or blogger in your industry and offer them one of your products for free in exchange for a product promotion and review on your website. You might even have to pay a bit in order to get it, but it should be worth it.

Whatever you do, don’t post fake reviews. Not only can you be fined for this, but this is also the quickest way to lose your customers’ trust if they find out. Plus, it’s dishonest and just plain sketchy.

3. Your Website is Difficult to Navigate

Ever landed on a website only to have to struggle to find what you’re looking for?

A difficult to navigate website is frustrating to say the least. And it certainly doesn’t help conversions.

Make it easy for your customers by creating a hierarchical and intuitive navigation. Follow the conventional website structure, with the menu bar at the top of the page and Privacy Policy and Return Policy at the bottom. And make sure that your call-to-action is easy to find and stands out from the rest of the page.

4. Your Product Images Aren’t High-Quality

When you walk into a store, you can actually touch the products, see them from all angles and try them on if need be.

Buying online is obviously a different story. Through your photos and product descriptions, you’ve got to convince your customers to buy from you.

Would you buy a purse that had just one product photo like this?

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Or a blurry one like this?

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That’s what I thought.

Suffice it to say that your product photos can make a massive difference when it comes to your conversions.

Here are a few tips for getting them just right:

  • Take your photos against a clean, white background (only the product should be in the photo)
  • Show your product from all angles
  • Show your product in use
  • Use natural light (or if you’re able to splurge, invest in studio lights)
  • Optimize your images

5. Your Checkout Process is Too Complicated

Do you make it easy for your customers to make a purchase? Or do you make them jump through a lot of hoops?

If it’s the latter, then you’re probably losing a lot of shoppers at checkout. According to one study, 87% of shoppers will leave their cart if the checkout process is complicated.

So how can you make it easy for them? Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t ask your customers for more information than you need.
  • Allow them to checkout via Facebook instead of having to create an account.
  • Make your checkout secure.
  • Auto-fill your forms, so that your customers don’t have to enter all of their information.
  • If your checkout process takes place over several pages, then at least show a status bar at the top of the page, so that your customers always know where they are in the checkout process.  

6. Your Website is Poorly Designed

Just like your product photos, your website design is judged by your website visitors. If it’s cluttered, outdated or low-quality, then your shoppers are going to assume that your products are low-quality too.

Needless to say, your website design is not an investment you should skimp on. Because if you do, then your conversions (and sales) are going to pay the price.

Need a little help with this? Think about hiring an eCommerce web design agency to design your website for you. 😉

7. Your Return Policy is Too Complicated

Several months ago, I went to Publix to return a bottle of drain cleaner. I had already used the bottle–but it didn’t work. So I brought the empty bottle–without the receipt–and told the woman at customer service that I had actually used a bottle and a half of the stuff and none of it worked.

What did she do? She gave me store credit for both bottles–even though I only had one bottle and no receipt.

Now that’s a good return policy.

Like Publix, make your return policy as flexible as possible. And make it clear to your shoppers what your return policy is.


A flexible return policy is likely to not only increase your conversions, but also to decrease your returns.

Give your customers free shipping on returns and up to (at least) 90 days to request a refund. Allow them to return the product without tags and original packaging. Provide them with return labels. Make it as easy as possible for them to return the product.

And when it comes to writing your return policy, make it easy to understand and use simple language. Steer clear of intimidating language like “you must.” Don’t just copy and paste someone else’s template–inject your own personality and brand voice.

All of these things make a difference in both getting your shoppers to make a purchase and increasing customer loyalty.

8. You Don’t Have a Clear USP

Why should your customers buy from you and not your competitor? What do you offer that they don’t? If you sell things that can be found on Amazon, for example, what do you offer that Amazon doesn’t?

In other words, what’s your unique selling proposition (USP)?

If you don’t know the answer to that question, then you’re in trouble. Your USP should be clear and concise. And on every page of your website, it should be crystal clear what your USP is. Don’t make your customers have to think or look around for it.

Look at Saddleback Leather Co’s USP, for instance:

Have you ever heard of a company that offers a 100 year warranty? I certainly haven’t. The brand exudes confidence and quality. They make their shoppers actually believe in what they’re offering.

Or think about Zappos. They don’t sell a unique product; they sell shoes that can be found all around the web, but stand out because of the remarkable customer service that they provide their customers with. It’s even stated at the very top of their homepage:

Whatever you sell, find a way to stand out from your competitors and offer something truly valuable to your customers. And then remind them of that all throughout your website.

9. You Aren’t Retargeting

There are a lot of reasons that your website visitors bounce. Sometimes, it’s because they don’t like what they see, whether it be your product, your return policy or your website design. But other times, they just get busy or distracted. The phone rings or their baby cries, and so they leave your site…and then forget to come back.

And that’s where retargeting comes in. Retargeting helps bring back all of your customers that left. It reminds them that you exist.

Another reason why retargeting works? Because the more encounters that your shoppers have with your brand, the more they like it (and the more likely they are to buy). According to the mere exposure effect, people tend to prefer things or people that feel familiar to them. So through retargeting, your leads become more and more familiar with your brand–and more likely to buy down the road.

10. You Aren’t Converting Your Website Visitors into Leads

Just like you wouldn’t propose to your significant other on the first date, you can’t expect your customers to buy from you the first time they visit your site. You’ve got to nurture your relationship with them and get them to trust you first.

In addition to retargeting, you should also try to turn your website visitors into leads by capturing their email addresses. Offer them something that they won’t be able to resist in exchange for their email address.

For example, as soon as you land on the Birchbox homepage, you’re greeted with this pop-up notification:

You’re asked to choose between beauty and grooming products. That way, Birchbox is able to send tailored emails to everyone who opts in, thereby increasing the chances that those leads will eventually turn into customers.

11. Your Pages Aren’t Loading Fast Enough

When it comes to your page load time, mere seconds can make all the difference. 40% of website visitors abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load.

Walmart even found that the faster their web pages loaded, the more likely their visitors were to make a purchase.

So make sure that your pages load quickly. Here are a few ways that you can do this:

  • Compress your images
  • Avoid putting CSS in HTML code (instead, put it in an external stylesheet)
  • Cut down on the number of plugins you have
  • Reduce the number of redirects

If all of that sounds too technical for you, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

12. Your Product Descriptions Are Weak

You might think that your products are pretty self-explanatory and don’t need a product description. But no matter what product you sell, you should always have a description.

So what makes a high-converting product description? It should:

  • Be scannable
  • Be benefits-focused (not features-focused)
  • Speak the same language as your audience
  • Address any objections your shoppers might have
  • Be transparent

Don’t tell your readers that your product is awesome or high-quality. Tell them how or why it’s great. Share a story. Get creative and have fun with it! Make your readers imagine what it’ll be like to one day own the product.

And be genuine. Don’t make it seem like your products are something they’re not. Your readers can see right through phoniness.

In need of a little inspiration? Take a look at Thrive Market’s product description for their Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap:

Notice how the product description starts by recognizing one of their audience’s pain points (getting dishes clean “regardless of how much stuck-on grease is on the surface”) and one of their fears (chemical cleansers). The description then goes on to tell a story about how the company got started (clicking “See More” elaborates on that story).

13. Your Products Aren’t Priced Correctly

It may seem obvious, but how you price your products can also have a big impact on your conversions. And it’s hard to come up with a pricing strategy that earns you sales and gives you a return on your investment.

If you haven’t already, start by looking at your competitor’s prices. If your products are priced higher than that, then you’ll have to make sure that you’re offering something truly unique and different that your competitors aren’t.

Also try using psychological pricing strategies to get your visitors to convert. You’d be surprised what a difference even just one cent can make when it comes to your conversions.

14. Your Site Isn’t Secure

If you’re asking people to hand over their credit card information, then you’d better make sure that your website is secure. You should add a SSL certificate to your site, which tells visitors that your website is secure. Otherwise, they’ll see something like this:

Not exactly the message you want to send to potential buyers.

You should also have a Privacy Policy on your site (generally at the bottom of your page).

These may seem like little things, but are important when it comes to your conversions.

Summing Up

In order to turn your website visitors into customers, you have to make sure that your website is optimized for conversions. A bad website design or a poorly written product description are going to scare your visitors off…probably for good.

But no matter how beautiful your website design or how great your product descriptions are, you can’t expect your website visitors to buy from you the first time they visit your store. You’ve got to earn their trust. You have to build relationships and nurture them through the sales process.

It’ll take a bit more work and it won’t happen overnight, but once you build that trust, many more of your website visitors will turn into customers…maybe even for life.

Mary Blackiston

Mary is the Content Marketing Specialist for eScale. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, rock climbing, blogging, traveling, and soaking up as much eCommerce knowledge as she can.