Great Traffic But No Sales? Here's What You Need to Change for Shopify Stores

Cici Nguyen
Jun 7, 2024
3 min read

Is your online store attracting tons of traffic but no sales? Don’t panic as you are not the only one here. There are lots of merchants out there who still get stuck to find out the root causes stopping visitors from becoming paying customers. Many reasons could be identified as culprits, for example, bad URL, uninteresting call-to-action, or poor website navigation.

Today, we have compiled real-time solutions to the major reasons for the low conversion rates on eCommerce stores. Let's dive in!

Top 6 Pitfalls Causing High Traffic But No Sales and How to Fix

Figuring out what stops these potential customers from making the payment is like solving a mystery. Don’t know where to start? Check whether your store has the following mistakes that affect your sales.

Targeting the Wrong Audience

Whenever you want to market your products, the biggest and mistaken assumption is that your items are for everyone. Apart from wasting your time and money, addressing the wrong target group can bring you high traffic but no conversions. For example, it does not make sense to run campaigns targeting older people while you launch an online store for teen fashion. Consequently, you will earn nothing from them, and your marketing activities will be a complete failure.

So how should you define your ideal customers? Here are basic tactics to know who they are:

  • Analyze your competitors: It would be a great idea to have a look at those who have experience in this. You should dig deeper into the groups of consumers they are targeting to know what they have in common.
  • Identify what issues your products solve: To convey a key message that is appealing to your shoppers, you must be clear of the product benefits. How can these items help them relieve the pain point?
  • Review your target market: Talking to your existing consumers and getting insights from them would give a much deeper understanding of your target market. Talking here does not mean you have to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Instead, sending surveys or asking them for feedback are alternatives.

The next step is to review your results and re-evaluate insights you have to recreate buyer personas. Once you find out what drives their decision-making wheel, you will know how to change your marketing approach.

You might find it helpful: All-in-one guile to start an online business for dummies

No Security Signals

The online shopping season is coming and online shoppers are already searching for the best deals. Hence, the revenue opportunity for you is substantial. However, the convenience of eCommerce comes with a flip side - cyber attacks. According to Nilson Report, card fraud cost the eCommerce industry $28.65 billion by the end of 2020. Also, the eCommerce world experiences about 32.4% of all attacks, and almost 60% of small eCommerce stores that experience cyber crimes do not survive more than six months.

Security matters a lot to eCommerce websites as they involve online transactions and personal information. Thus, nobody wants to make a payment from a website that cannot guarantee the protection of their payment details. To win the absolute trust of potential customers and increase sales, it’s time to make sure your e-store is secure and you should display it using reliable signals.

Make sure your website is protected with SSL Encryption. An SSL will make use of the HTTPS protocol that encrypts sensitive data to ensure safe processing.

trumpet and horn ssl certificate traffic but no sales

Proof of an SSL certificate is mostly notable via the padlock symbol in your browser. It shows customers that their data sent over the Internet is processed in an encrypted way. (Source: Trumpet & Horn)

Another way that works as a confidence booster is to use various sorts of trust signals like a money-back guarantee, a lifetime guarantee, or a free trial guarantee. Your consumers do not want to make a decision that they regret later. By offering a satisfaction guarantee, you can comfort these shoppers by showing that you are a reliable brand and convince them to trust you with their data and money. A study by Klarna indicated that 37% of online shoppers prefer ‘try before you buy’ over other payment methods.

warby parker home try-on traffic but no sales

Warby Parker, a glasses online retailer in the US, understands that shopping for their product is a personal experience so the brand offers visitors a chance to try their products at home for free. This program relaxes prospects by making them feel that the risk of investment has been shifted to the brand. (Source: Warby Parker)

Complying with PCI-DSS requirements is a shred of persuasive evidence about protecting cardholder data. The term PCI Compliance comes from the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. All merchants that accept credit cards on their websites need to assess their compliance annually. There are 12 requirements with 220 sub-requirements in total, check it out here.

The whole process to gain this digital guardian takes time but it helps you lay the foundation for great cybersecurity practices. Once your shoppers know their details are safe with your business, they will be confident to checkout without hesitation.

Related article: eCommerce security - things Shopify merchants should know and follow

Poor Website Navigation

Assume that you are driving the right traffic; however, visitors get confused and find it hard to reach their wanted products. That’s when you need to work on navigation optimization. To be more specific, it refers to the process of improving how shoppers use search engines and menu bars to find and access information within a website. In fact, nearly 94% of visitors value easy navigation as the most important web feature. Plus, 40% of them will seek out alternative options if your store provides poor accessibility due to complex navigation.

To say goodbye to the situation of high traffic but no sales, start to navigate your store like a customer. Then, check whether you are facing these common problems related to online navigation.

Using Ambiguous Names

Getting too creative when labeling your product categories will affect your on-site conversions and search rankings. What you think is clever might lead your consumers to the wrong place, particularly those who are new to your store. To get things right, try to keep product categories and subcategories simple and direct. For instance, you can consider the straightforward category names on the Urban Natural Home homepage.

urban natural home homepage traffic but no sales

The Bedroom, Dining, Office, Kids & Baby, and Living Room categories take visitors to pages with furniture for each of these room types. (Source: Urban Natural Home)

Moreover, the name should have 3 words as a maximum so visitors can scan through easily. Don’t be afraid of them seeming boring as your goal is clear communication, so don’t make shoppers guess what you are thinking. You will have lots of chances to get them engaged with your images and copy.

Deep Navigation

You might have heard about the KISS principle - Keep it simple, stupid. Basically, you should make your site easy and avoid unnecessary complexities as the deeper the navigation is, the more likely visitors will become disoriented.

It is true that the most important thing is to help customers feel that they are on the right path. However, it does not mean that you can have 6 levels of your primary navigation. Instead, 3 - 4 levels in your site hierarchy are much more usable.

yummy bazaar breadcrumbs traffic but no sales

Breadcrumbs are navigational visuals that allow customers to retrace their path. Breadcrumbs show exactly which pages visitors clicked and how to get back to where they visited earlier. (Source: Yummy Bazaar)

Most of us at one time or another get lost in an offline store, right? Similar confusion can occur in your online store with various category pages. Shoppers might want to return to a collection, but they have no idea where they are now. So consider guiding shoppers with breadcrumb navigation like Yummy Bazaar is doing.

target intermediary pages traffic but no sales

Consider showing product types instead of listing all items as Target does. To help their customers find their preferred dresser, the brand tells shoppers to choose which type of dresser would fit their space with descriptions. (Source: Target)

Another way to better your site navigation is to allow online consumers to explore all category levels. All online stores have intermediary pages that give visitors an overview of the category. Therefore, they will get a better sense of the product selection and be more likely to dig deeper into individual products.

Insufficient Site Search & Filtering

Categories do help visitors navigate your store easily, but too many of them are overwhelming. In this situation, optimizing your site search and filtering would be a game-changer. The search and filtering functions sit at the epicenter of a customer journey. It must guide, inspire and display the most relevant results. Statistics reveal that 75% of visitors would leave your site if they cannot find what they are looking for in 15 seconds. Consequently, you lose potential customers and this will hurt your business even if you have great traffic.

To boost product discoverability, think about applying these techniques to your store and see how the magic works.

northern brewer autocompletion traffic but no sales

(Source: Northern Brewer)

The autocompletion has a knock-on effect on the site search that shows up as a guideline to assist consumers in browsing products. With the Boost Product Filter and Search app, Northern Brewer can deliver multiple suggestions that are specific to their search term.

red dress boutique faceted search traffic but no sales

(Source: Red Dress Boutique)

Faceted filters have long been familiar in the eCommerce industry. Facet filtering provides visitors with a logical, smart, and flexible interface so they can refine search results to get their desired products easily by selecting the facet options. The use of Product Filter & Search by Boost Commerce allows Red Dress Boutique to offer their customers faceted search on both collection pages and search results page. By selecting their favorite collection, budget range, size, and color, shoppers will get items that meet their needs quickly.

headphone zone synonyms traffic but no sales

The brand can set words like ‘high quality’, ‘top’, ‘best’ and ‘high-end’ to share relevant products by using the Synonyms function in the Boost app. (Source: Headphone Zone)

Human language is complicated and your consumers often navigate with this complexity so they expect your search engine to be smart enough to understand their requests. In other words, they demand semantic search - that is how your search engine contextualizes meanings and considers the intent of the search phrase. Headphone Zone is a notable example of using this technique. Instead of displaying a ‘no results found’ message, the brand brings up a list of products when shoppers search for ‘high-quality headphone’. It is obvious that there are no items having the phrase ‘high-quality’ in their names, but Headphone Zone can use the synonyms function to personalize the experience.

Do you want to improve your store navigation like these brands? Let Boost Product Filter & Search App help you out!

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Not Friendly for Mobile Experience

nosto mobile commerce sales

In 2021, mobile commerce sales are forecasted to account for 72.9% of total eCommerce sales. (Source: Nosto)

Accounting for 72.9% of total digital sales makes m-commerce ubiquitous. Compared to desktop, mobile commerce has to face more UX challenges because of the limited screen area. So now we want to ask you a question: are you sure your online store is mobile-friendly? If your answer is a big NO or you are not sure about that, it’s time to figure out how to convert more visitors into buyers by optimizing the mobile experience.

These are 5 tactics for you to implement mobile conversion optimization.

  • Integrate digital payment methods: Offering your online customers digital wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay will ease their security concerns while making the checkout process simple and fast.
  • Menu Design: it is more challenging to make mobile browsing simple. If you display the desktop navigation menu directly to your mobile site, it would be clunky and too detailed, leading to lower conversion rates. Ideally, give them a more concise menu that highlights key products.
  • One call-to-action (CTA) per page: Never bombard visitors with many CTAs as they can cause friction. To avoid cluttering UX, a basic rule is to add one CTA on the key page of your mobile site.
  • Reduce pop-up usage: Make sure that your pop-up is short, sweet, and easy to close, otherwise, it would be disruptive to the user experience. In the pop-up text, avoid negative words and try to create a sense of urgency without being too wordy. Besides, Google started penalizing sites in which pop-ups cover the entire screen since 2016.
  • Make use of white space: When browsing on mobile devices, you want your store to be as readable as possible. Hence, use white space and increase the line spacing if you add text which will make your content much more readable without losing its value.

Find out more about: The future of commerce - Top m-commerce trends to watch in 2021

Low Page Speed Load

If you are missing the mark when it comes to your page speed, you lose the opportunity to convert newcomers into loyal customers. Your page speed load should not be more than 3 seconds. Also, did you know that retailers lost $2.6 billion in sales every year due to the slow-loading sites? Likewise, how fast your site loads has an impact on SEO as Google considers speed as an important ranking signal for both desktop and mobile searches.

There are a variety of factors that influence the page speed, and here are some of the most essential:

  • Images, videos, and media files on the pages.
  • The theme and plugins/apps that are installed on your store.
  • Your site’s coding and server-side scripts.

All of them can result in long loading and in turn compromise your store’s UX. Visitors definitely dislike slow-loading sites and they will click away without hesitation.

google pagespeed insights traffic but no sales

This tool will analyze your page content and score it on a scale of 1- 100. Below the score, you can see a detailed list of tangible actions to improve the loading speed. (Source: Google PageSpeed Insights)

So how can you measure your page speed and find the real killers? We recommend using Google PageSpeed Insights to check your store’s performance on desktop and mobile coming with suggestions to help your site load faster.

You might want to try: 5 Tips to Optimize Page Speed for Shopify Stores

Complex Checkout Process

You might have a good amount of visitors but struggle to convert them into buyers if your checkout process creates friction for customers. Yes! Your checkout usability can be the root cause of getting traffic but no sales here.

baymard reasons for checkout abandonment traffic but no sales

As a store owner, you should be aware of the primary reasons for the high checkout abandonment rate. (Source: Baymard)

The average checkout abandonment rate in the eCommerce industry is ranging between 25% and 40%. To know where you are now, you can use the following formula to calculate the rate of your online store.

Based on the root causes, we have compiled some common ways to optimize the eCommerce checkout process:

  • Keep a good ratio between product price and shipping fee: In fact, 73% of digital shoppers are more likely to purchase an item if it includes free delivery while 24% will spend more to qualify for free shipping.
  • Add guest checkout & social login features for simple checkout: This is a very effective way to simplify checkout flow instead of forcing consumers to log in to check out. According to eConsultancy, 1 in 4 customers leaves an online purchase because of compulsory registration.
  • Use data validation to autocomplete in form fields: People hate filling out forms as the process can be slow and frustrating to complete leading to higher drop-off. To create a smooth experience, merchants should enable the Autofill feature on browsers. This can speed up the process by up to 30%, according to Google Developers.
  • Provide a clear and accurate order summary: Before they place the order, don’t forget to give a big picture that includes total items, price, discount, tax, and delivery information so they know they entered everything correctly. Furthermore, your customers will thank you a lot if you state your contact details, return policies as well as warranty program here.
  • Offer various payment methods: They are costly to offer, but this is one of the best solutions to fight against abandonment. Do some research to find out which methods are popular among your target customers.

To see how top brands uprank their checkout path, check this out: 4 Hacks to Reduce Checkout Abandonment and Boost Sales

Unconvincing Product Pages

Did you know that visitors spend an average of 5.94 seconds and 5.59 seconds looking at your site images and written content respectively? Thus, you do not have a lot of time to keep them with you so you must ensure that your visual elements and copy on your product pages communicate effectively and reinforce your brand. Keep in mind that if your content about the product cannot solve pain points, you will lose customers for sure.

hotjar heatmap traffic but no sales

The recordings and heatmaps by Hotjar are a visually intuitive way to see how online visitors interact with your content. (Source: Hotjar)

To make product pages that convert, e-merchants need to:

  • Update the outdated content: For example, if you change your product packaging, it is necessary to clearly inform consumers on the product page to avoid confusion.
  • Write clear product descriptions, features, and emphasize the benefits your items bring to consumers: Don’t just say something like ‘We are #1 on the market’ without showing shoppers how your items can meet their personal needs.
  • Use high-resolution images to show your products in practice: A picture is worth a thousand words so never fill up your page with long paragraphs.
  • Try to create a blend of power and action words that evoke their emotions: Your explanation is very convincing but what customers should do next? Insert a CTA button to increase urgency about purchasing your products.
  • Do not make false claims as honesty is the best policy: Be confident about your business. Lying to or misleading consumers results in far worse problems that you cannot imagine, and customer loss is certainly one of them.
  • Add authentic product reviews from verified shoppers: 93% of online shoppers confirm that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. In addition, with social proof, high-end items see a 380% increase in conversion rates while the figure for cheaper ones is 190%.

Keep Testing and Make Changes

Remember that there is no formula that fits all as each business is different. A small change can make a big difference so keep testing and optimizing until you know what works best for your online store. Those 6 areas above are key to dealing with high traffic but no sales so if you spend time improving each one of them, you will be well on the way to increasing sales.

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Cici Nguyen
Email Marketing Specialist
June 17, 2024
5 min read