eCommerce store owners often assume that high traffic means more sales.
But that’s not always the case.
If your online store sees high traffic but no sales, then it's time to evaluate your website performance and make some changes.
High traffic but no sales? Here are 21 reasons why
1. Your high traffic has low buying intent
Since you're getting high traffic but no sales, look at the type of traffic.
If your traffic is not interested in your products, no amount of conversion rate optimization can convince them to make a purchase.
For instance, one of our clients sells luxury fashion products.
However, they used generic terms like ‘sunglasses for men’ or ‘sunglasses for women’ as part of their SEO strategy.
Since most of the store visitors were not the intended target audience, the store got high traffic, but low conversions.
On the other hand, when they used keywords like ‘designer sunglasses’, and even mentioned brand names like ‘Adidas sunglasses’, and ‘Alexander McQueen sunglasses’, they received better quality traffic that converted into sales.
You can run paid ad campaigns with targeted filters to drive the right type of traffic to your store.
Furthermore, post on social media and run ads according to age, gender, income, location, interests, or a myriad of other factors.
2. Your ads and the landing page copy are disconnected
One of our clients often saw high click-through rates on ads and a boost in website traffic.
But they still faced high traffic with low conversions.
On analysis, we realized there was a big disconnect between the ads and where potential customers would land.
Their ad team would create engaging ads with different themes and copy.
For example, the ad promised ‘50% off on products’.
However, it didn’t reflect on their homepage or relevant product pages where the copy said ‘Up to 50% off’.
This meant that the products could have discounts leading ‘up to’ 50% and not just a flat 50% off.
To test our theory, we created a landing page that reflected the same messaging from the ads.
The results? More sales in less than a week.
If a potential shopper sees differing styles in copies, visuals, or messaging, it immediately makes them more cautious.
They might suspect the trustworthiness of the brand and bounce off.
For instance, you are running a discount ad campaign only on select home decor products.
But when clicked, it takes them to the product listing page that has the home decor products, including the ones which are not discounted.
This just makes shoppers frustrated and hunt for discounted products, increasing the number of steps to checkout.
Instead, compile the eligible products under the same category and showcase only those.
Convertcart Pro Tip:
When potential customers end up on the landing page, keep the focus on the products to improve conversions. This means, removing the sticky header and limiting the number of scrolls.
3. Your traffic finds it hard to discover products
If you get high traffic but no sales, then focus on shopping behaviour.
When new shoppers come to your online store, they want to quickly get the lay of the land and find what they want.
Through our collaborations, we have seen stores feature hidden menus, cluttered footers, and unfamiliar icons.
As stores grow and expand their product list, the navigation menu grows as well.
Soon, you’ll add sub-categories, then sub-sub-categories, and even sub-sub-sub-categories.
All of this creates a difficult journey, and confuses shoppers, prompting them to leave the site.
A report shows that nearly one-third of online shoppers prefer to use site search to find what they are looking for.
The usual advice in site search personalization? Enable auto-complete and typing errors.
But that’s not all you can do.
Help shoppers discover products with:
a. Image results
Make it easier for shoppers to identify products through image results as a part of your search box autocomplete feature.
b. Product prompts
Nudge shoppers to type and discover products through prompts on the search box. See how Newair offers different prompts related to their product list.
c. Ignore stop words
For example, the search query is ‘blue shirts for women in winter’.
Here, the words for and in are not really valuable to the sentence.
Your search algorithm must completely ignore these words to speed up the process of displaying search results.
Once the actual keywords are filtered out from search queries, the algorithm can identify and fetch relevant products faster.
d. Take care of non-product-related searches
Searches not related to products might not be a lot, but you still don’t want to lose them.
Make your blogs, how-to guides, FAQ page results, policies, and other pages a part of your search results so that even non-product-related information is available easily to visitors via the search box.
4. Your store looks good only on mobile
Although mobile traffic for eCommerce continues to grow, most conversions still occur on desktops and tablets.
Many shoppers are happy to browse on mobile. But most still prefer to buy it on a desktop.
This online behavior causes high browse abandonment rates on mobile websites.
So, why do shoppers prefer to buy via desktop?
Firstly, they can view the product images better on a bigger screen.
Secondly, it’s easier to navigate on a desktop than on mobile, where the icons might be smaller for different finger sizes.
Furthermore, nearly 2/3 of American shoppers don’t trust retailers with their payment and personal information, especially across mobile devices.
Some shoppers might browse on mobile and select products later on the desktop.
Since you are already collecting cookies, here’s how to use them to enhance desktop shopping:
- Recognize returning customers and have their data pre-filled when they enter checkout again.
- Reflect recent searches on the site (what visitors searched on mobile can come up on desktop and vice versa)
- Update carts (send a triggered notification through email if shoppers added something to the cart on mobile)
- Reserve products or ‘save’ carts (a great way to capture email IDs to save carts for a brief time or to send saved carts via email for later checkouts)
5. You’re just copying what big brands do
While it’s great to look around for inspiration, many stores blindly copy a design just because another, bigger brand does it. But just because the big brand is successful, it might not solve your conversion rate problems. - Mike Hale, UX specialist, Convertcart
If you see high traffic but no sales, then it's time to evaluate your website design.
For instance, we worked with a brand that had implemented guest checkout on their website to ease shopping convenience.
However, this meant they had no way to communicate with the customer and encourage future sales or nurture them.
The solution? Apply a social media login so shoppers could sign up and check out faster.
This way, the store was able to collect important information without asking shoppers to fill out forms.
Furthermore, the store could nurture long-lasting relationships through emails and even retarget shoppers on social media.
6. Your high traffic isn't sure about the exact cost
When a shopper lands on your store through an ad that promises 50% off on the products, they expect to purchase the product at a lesser rate.
However, during checkout, if there are any extra costs, then it just frustrates shoppers and nudges them to bounce off.
You need to offer a cost breakdown right on the cart page.
This way, when shoppers add to their cart, they can view how much it will cost them.
Furthermore, you can provide a wider choice of shipping rates, from inexpensive standard shipping to express shipping to help them make a decision.
7. You display too many pop-ups
According to a report, pop-ups are the most despised form of advertising today.
Even Google hates it and penalizes stores for applying intrusive pop-ups.
If you see high traffic but no sales, pop-ups might hindering the UX.
Here are some alternative formats to the usual full-screen or middle-of-the-screen popups.
a. Slide-in popups
These move in from the side or the bottom and don’t obscure the main content.
b. Opt-in bars
Optional bars that float at the top or bottom of the page at all times rather than pop up.
These are great mechanisms for email popups, active contests, event signups, etc.
c. Subtle notification-style popups
To keep things truly simple and unintrusive, Beardbrand did away with the usual full-page popup and opted for this subtle email notification sign at the corner.
Furthermore, you can segment pop-up copy by the webpage, customer history, and geological targeting.
8. Your traffic sees many technical drawbacks
When a shopper lands on your website, there can be many things that attract their attention.
You have to make sure that technical issues in your store don’t put them off.
It’s important to identify and address technical issues because they can have a huge impact on your sales.
If you see high traffic but no sales, then here are some questions to consider when it comes to technical issues:
- Is your website loading slowly?
- Do you have any broken links?
- How are you redirecting them from an error or a page that doesn’t exist?
- Do all of your payment gateways work on all browsers?
- Does your website work properly on all devices?
- Are visitors getting notifications/emails when they submit a form?
9. You don’t have compelling copies
Headlines, category pages, product descriptions, promo offers, landing pages — these are all places where copywriting can shine and help bring in more sales.
There’s a lot of advice on how to structure and write eCommerce copywriting.
However, there’s no guarantee that one approach is better than the others.
If you write website copy for everyone, then it's for no one. - Luke Perry, CRO expert, Convertcart
Brands try to differentiate themselves by writing creative copy. However, some go too far and cause navigational difficulties.
If you see high traffic but no sales, then here are some tips to write copy that converts:
- If you’re displaying store policies, make sure your tech and legal teams have reviewed and approved simplified or creative versions.
- Keep category names between 2 and 26 characters and less than 50 characters so that it’s easy to skim while scrolling.
- Write the product description in an inverted triangle, which ensures that every element helps build up momentum toward the CTA while eliminating every possible distraction.
- You can use sensory words rather than just overflowing descriptions with adjectives. Remember, more verbs, and fewer adjectives.
- Humor, puns, and whimsical tones in website copy lend a personality to the brand and add some fun to a shopper's experience.
10. Your visuals don’t look professional
A report shows that 22% of eCommerce returns were because the products looked different from the one that was on the store’s page.
Product images that aren’t picture-perfect create a subconscious trigger making it memorable.
Customers aren’t likely to forget you after that interaction.
Also, rich media formats such as 3D images can persuade customers to buy and have proven to increase the conversion rate by 40%.
11. Your store doesn’t seem secure to hold customer information
When a shopper lands on your website, they already don’t fully trust the brand and/or product.
54% of consumers who bought products over the Internet have admitted that they’ve been victims of online fraud.
Buyers respond well to several trust symbols on the checkout page, including logos of established payment methods (wallets, credit cards etc.) and visual signals of secure connection, security certificates etc.
12. You’re using reviews, but not correctly
While you might know reviews are important, you might not be displaying them properly.
87% of buying decisions begin with online research. Here’s when user-generated content can help you convert more from incoming traffic.
Since user-generated content is not paid and hence has a higher level of trust associated with them.
Encourage customers to demonstrate their experience and let them upload images and videos of the same.
You can use positive reviews in your marketing strategy and even display them prominently on product pages to convince shoppers to make a purchase.
13. You offer a limited number of payment options
A report shows that 56% of shoppers believe a website should provide a variety of payment methods during checkout.
For instance, if a credit card offers them reward points or airline miles, they’d want to use it every time they make a purchase online.
If you feature a limited number of payment options, then they won’t hesitate to migrate to other stores.
Also, keep in mind, Visa and MasterCard are no longer the only options there.
Customers want to make a payment through PayPal, UPI, and Apple Pay because it offers them convenience as well as rewards.
14. You’re overwhelming shoppers
Most stores think more choices mean more conversions.
However, for shoppers, multiple product choices can create more confusion and frustration.
If you see high traffic but no sales, then here are some ways you can skip the decision-paralysis dilemma:
- Hide some product stock and show more exact-match results
- Add the most popular products to the side banners
- Add prompts under the products in search results like “Selling Fast” or “Only 3 products left”
- Add a ‘frequently brought together’ as recommendations
- Create a detailed comparison chart that has a summary of a product’s features with user ratings.
15. You have unclear CTAs
A well-designed call-to-action is a digital marketing tool that can turn a visitor into a buyer.
Here’s how CTA copies can bring in more sales:
‘Sign Me Up’ (a slightly more personal touch than an abrupt, ‘Sign Up.’)
‘Download your coupons today only!’ (The word ‘only’ adds an extra tinge of urgency)
‘Buy Now with 1 click!’ (The 1-click add-on emphasizes a frictionless purchase and transaction)
16. You have a weak exit intent
An effective exit-intent pop-up can save you as much as 15% of lost traffic.
A good exit-intent pop-up tells a story and keeps shoppers hooked enough to stay on.
If you see high traffic but no sales, then here are some tips on how to design an exit intent pop-up that converts:
- Take less than 0.2 seconds to get that pop-up across. The sooner, the better.
- Use a highlight color that is off your brand language but will actually pull people in.
- Catch them by surprise. Use graphics that are unorthodox or wacky but still true to your brand.
- Have a human element. Shoppers are generally more drawn into a design when they see another person on it.
- Develop user personas and configure campaign settings to catch them at a time when they will be most receptive.
Here’s an example of exit intent from Revolve:
17. You don’t talk to shoppers in real-time
For some, shopping can be stressful.
If online brands sell a large variety of products, then potential customers can get easily frustrated while trying to find products or order the right product.
Also, during the pandemic, shoppers were suddenly cut off from real-life shopping.
The consequence of it created a high demand for personalized help from brands.
eCommerce brands can implement lead generation strategies through live chats with shopping assistants to help visitors shop better.
Shoppers are also less hesitant to give their email IDs and other details to a person rather than a bot.
See how Lululemon enabled virtual shopping where customers can book appointments by adding basic information including email ID:
18. You don’t have a friendly returns policy
A return experience determines if or not a customer is going to buy from you.
84% of customers will not buy from a retailer again after a bad return experience.
Your customers will only make a second purchase unless the return process is easy.
Set the return duration to 45 days.
62.58% of online shoppers expect eCommerce brands to allow returns up to 30 days.
In contrast, 45 days is wonderful.
Moreover, a return policy should also be in the best interest of the eCommerce brands and not the customers alone.
By stating the return shipping fees to be paid by the customer and returning products bought from other retailers to their original seller, it is stopping eCommerce fraud returns in its tracks.
19. Your lead magnet is not compelling
Yes, you have created the perfect lead magnet.
Then you placed it on your homepage and product pages.
While you might capture email IDs through these web pages, you might not be using your store’s full potential.
If you see high traffic but no sales, here’s how to collect email addresses by offering something in return.
a. Get leads from blogs
Write helpful content and if visitors have scrolled at least halfway through the blog, then it’s safe to say they found the answer they are looking for. At this point, display an opt-in form for a newsletter.
b. Offer personalized recommendations
Create a quiz wherein shoppers can fill in their preferences. But before showing them the product recommendation, ask them to sign up and save their results.
c. Offer to save the cart
Create urgency by letting your customers know that the items left in their cart or wishlist will be cleared out after a couple of hours or days. This will motivate shoppers to immediately purchase the item or create an account (capturing email ID) so they can save it to their wish list.
d. Enable virtual shopping
Implement live chats with shopping assistants to help visitors shop better. Let customers book appointments by adding basic information including email ID.
20. You haven’t asked for website feedback
If you have high traffic and low sales, then you might have some elements that don’t work on your store.
Most shoppers browse many online stores.
A bad shopping experience will be more memorable than a good one.
A study showed that 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s UX design.
See how Lulumelons asks for website feedback:
21. You’re not A/B testing the right features
Most eCommerce stores we work with A/B test features that really don’t contribute to sales.
For instance, a store was consistently testing which CTA button color worked for them.
However, this didn’t produce any significant results.
Instead, make a clear plan of how you can test features for different types of traffic.
Consider showing different landing pages to different sets of traffic.
If you’re getting high traffic from social media, then segment accordingly and show them different copies and visuals.
You can test and see how much this traffic converts into sales in contrast to organic traffic.
This way, make the most out of every type of traffic and improve conversions.
High Traffic, Low Sales? Convertcart Can Help:
98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything.
Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors.
And this is the problem ConvertCart solves.
We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions.
Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions.