5 Reasons Why Customers Leave Your E-Commerce Site

Online Store | Online Shop | How to make more money | How to get more sales | Ecommerce marketing tips | Business Strategist - As an online retailer, your website should be your best salesman. Period. If you’re wondering why your awesome product isn’t flying off...

As an online retailer, your website should be your best salesman. Period.

If you’re wondering why your awesome product isn’t flying off the virtual shelves, you may want to take a closer look at your web experience. Generally, the longer a site can hold a customer’s attention (scrolls, clicks), the more likely they are to make a purchase.

But if you’re noticing that folks don’t stick around as long as you’d like them to (just take a peek at your analytics) then there’s a problem.

A big problem.

Site abandonment is really a symptom of some common mistakes that online retailers make with their websites. A high bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who land on a page and leave) is usually a good indicator of the issue.

So if you want more browsers to stick around long enough to become buyers, avoid the following mistakes with your e-commerce website:


When customers land on your homepage or product page, they want to know (1) who it’s for (2) what it does and (3) how to access it. That means your website should address, inform, and direct.

If customers aren’t aware of the benefits of engaging with your online store, answering the age-old question “what’s in it for me?”, then they have no reason to stick around. Online shoppers (you and I included) make snap judgements.

According to Neilsen, you have only ten seconds to ensure that customers can clearly understand why they’re there. I’d err on the side of caution and say three seconds. Why? Because attention is fleeting.

If you’re online, there are so many things that can grab or divert your attention that, if you don’t find something you’re actually interested in, you’re very likely to move on to the next thing. You don’t want customers to be quick to move on from your site!

Make sure that you’re clearly stating the purpose and benefits of your products by using targeted language that they’d connect with. If they can recognize themselves in your site copy, they’re most likely to stick around and learn more.



It doesn’t matter how many people visit, if you’re not converting (aka making sales) then you’re probably attracting the wrong people. Yep, that happens. And it’s not fun.

So to avoid long nights of frustration, answer some of these simple questions:

Do you have relevant keywords across your site?

Are you active on forums and across your social media accounts?

Are you blogging to drive more traffic?  

Content is a great way to target based on interests and speak more to the lifestyle surrounding your product, making it easier for browsers to see how it integrates into everyday life.



Now more than ever, customers are on-the-go. According to Shopify, mobile accounts for over 50% of e-commerce traffic and nearly 30% of sales. That means a responsive, mobile friendly site is key for any online retailer.

In fact, customers expect a seamless mobile experience so when that doesn’t happen, then they’re likely to leave your website. Here’s another not so fun fact: 30% of mobile shoppers abandon a transaction if the experience isn’t optimized for mobile, according to Mobify.

That means you’re leaving a ton of money on the table by not adapting to how customers actually shop.

No. Bueno.

It’s not uncommon that a customer would start a transaction on one device (i.e. desktop) and complete the transaction on a tablet (if they’ve created an account) or start a totally new purchase on mobile.

Make sure that you’re using a responsive theme that intuitively mimics the ideal customer experience across platforms—not only visually but functionally as well. That means your drop downs should lead to crowded categories and that there is actually information on the site and not just packed into an FAQ section.

Especially on a smaller screen, giving customers the ability to find what they want quickly and easily, you’ll be rewarded with more sales.



This is a BIG one! Including a clear call-to-action (CTA) on your website could make the difference between bounce and conversion. A call-to-action can come in many forms.

Most actions online are a response to a call-to-action: purchasing a product, downloading a PDF or ebook, signing up for an email list, or even just clicking through to learn more about your brand.

By including a ‘next logical step’, you’re increasing engagement and thereby the likelihood of a purchase. The key is to make it make sense.

Though it may sound counterintuitive, don’t be so obsessed with making a sale but with providing and showcasing your value. The better you understand your customer, they’ll be more likely to have a positive reaction to what you’re sharing.

So sometimes they might need to learn more about you before considering becoming a customer or maybe you have a great giveaway or freebie that they can opt-in to.

By investing first in the relationship you’re building, you’re setting up dividends down the line. Encouraging some form of activity (and getting a real response) means that you’ve actually connected and that’s a great first step to a profitable customer relationship.


One of the most common cause of a drop-off is that there is a difference between what you offer and what’s absolutely available. I’ve seen a ton of Facebook ads that offer a great product at a great price but when you get to checkout, there is a shipping charge that wasn’t disclosed in the ad.

Or, maybe the ad looks great and has an attention-grabbing image but when clicking through to the website offers a lackluster visual experience, one that pales in comparison to the expectations set by the ad.

No matter what you do, when it comes to colors, design, styling—or even relevant purchasing information, make sure that you’re setting an expectation that the site actually meets. It will save you from a lot of wasted clicks.

This is all assuming that you have a great offer, a product that people actually want and find useful. At the end of the day, it really boils down to keeping customers in mind when developing an e-commerce website.

The optimization process is really about engaging in the customer journey and seeing what would make things easier for them to transform from a browser to a buyer.

Positive results occur when you make a genuine, compelling connection. And that means your website has to be in front of the right people on the right platform with the right offer.

Taking these steps can make a huge difference in how your website performs and how your bottom line looks too!

Online Store | Online Shop | How to make more money | How to get more sales | Ecommerce marketing tips | Business Strategist - As an online retailer, your website should be your best salesman. Period. If you’re wondering why your awesome product isn’t flying off...
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Thierry Augustin is a Business Strategist and the Founder of Augustin Strategies, LLC. Through private consulting, online courses and in-person workshops, Thierry helps e-commerce entrepreneurs attract, engage and retain customers to grow profitable businesses online!
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