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Drop in sales in an online store: how to find a failure in the system?


Ecommerce is a highly dynamic business industry with ups and downs. Often, all owners of online stores face them to varying degrees. If you have finally launched your project and expect profit from it, but for some reason the level of sales does not correspond to your ideas at all, or if you have been in business for many years, and recently sales have dropped too much, then our article will be very useful. for you!

After all, sometimes even the most successful Internet project fails, so you need to constantly improve your actions. We will reveal the main pitfalls of the eCommerce industry and find out what exactly affects sales, how to more effectively solve the problems that have arisen and not lose customers. In order to fully understand the buyer, it is necessary to fully analyze his path from the search for information to the purchase. We have broken down the buying process into 3 stages:

  • The emergence of a need and the search for information about the product.
  • Making a decision to buy a particular product.
  • Purchase of goods.

At each stage, the user of the site may experience difficulties, which are fundamental factors in the completion of the target action. Let us consider in more detail the main errors of the Internet project that the user encounters at each stage.

Stage 1: The emergence of a need and the search for information

At the heart of the desire to make a purchase is usually an unmet need. After realizing the problem, the user proceeds to search for information. At this stage, the user is looking for which product can satisfy his need. To do this, he reads information about various products, analyzes prices and characteristics, selects a store that suits him. What problems can arise at this stage?


Or what exactly prevents the user from choosing your resource?

Marketing is not established: it is difficult for the client to find you

For successful sales, it is necessary that, at a minimum, potential visitors can find your site in the search results. For this, SEO promotion and contextual advertising strategies are being implemented. We will not dwell on explaining the basic principles of search engine optimization, we suggest that you read about it in more detail in our article “Why do I need Seo website promotion”. The main flow of customers is received by sites that are in the TOP-10 of search results. If you build a promotion strategy incorrectly, you may encounter inappropriate traffic. Visitors, coming to your site, see not what they expected and naturally leave it immediately. For example, a user who searches for information on the query “TV” does not necessarily want to buy it, perhaps he is looking for how to fix it or choose the right one.


Look at the statistics of the site, pages with high bounce rates have a problem that confuses visitors. Analyze the performance of your site, or rather, trust the professionals and conduct an SEO audit. This will allow you to identify weaknesses in the resource and draw up an action plan to eliminate them.

Site loading time


Everyone knows that a slow site is extremely bad for both the user and promotion. Most often, the long loading of the site is the cause of the breakdown, and the result of this is the loss of customers. Your resource is considered slow if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. In this case, the user has not yet seen your site, but is already dissatisfied with it and, most likely, will not wait for it to fully load and will go to your competitors. Therefore, speed up your resource, provide customers with the opportunity to comfortably use the site.

Incorrect display of site pages


The adaptability of the site is an extremely important factor for the convenience of the modern user. After all, every day there are more and more owners of smartphones and tablets. Mobile shopping is no longer a rarity, so you should pay special attention to the display of your site. Responsive design allows visitors to comfortably interact with the resource on various devices and browsers. Remember that mobile users are more likely to leave than to try to find information of interest to them on an incorrectly displayed page.

Outdated website design

User loyalty to a resource is often determined from the first seconds of hitting it. Design plays an important role in this. More specifically, 50% of conversion success is external. Definitely, users trust resources with a modern design more. Win a positive impression - create a design focused on your target audience, complete with content that calls to action.


With proper implementation, this will strengthen user confidence in the resource, increase the time spent on the site and increase conversion. You can read more about conversion in our article “What is website conversion?”. Take a look at your site through the eyes of a potential buyer, maybe it's time for a redesign?

Missing product description and characteristics

Potential buyers at this stage study all the information about the product of interest, focusing on the description, characteristics and price range. It is important to give the user the opportunity to fully focus on the desired product, otherwise he will look for information on other resources and most likely will give preference to your competitors. And do not copy other people's descriptions or descriptions used by the manufacturer. Be unique, share personal experiences or recommendations, earn a reputation as a store you can trust. In addition, the presence of a unique description has a positive effect on the promotion of the site in the search results.

Stage 2: Making a purchase decision


After a potential buyer has read the information about the product, he makes a decision to buy it. What can influence his decision to make a purchase on your site?

Difficult navigation

The user does not want to wander through the site like a maze. He values ​​his time and will not waste it on finding out the location on the site of exactly the white teapot that he liked so much. The buyer wants to find it as quickly as possible and, possibly, buy it.

One of our clients was engaged in the sale of orthopedic mattresses, expanding his business, he also introduced bedroom furniture to the assortment. But I was very surprised that the users who came to the site were not interested in new products, and when communicating with customers by phone, it turned out that few people even found them on the site. The reason for this is illogical navigation. Create a comfortable environment for the user:

  • Add filters to search for products.
  • Search on the site should work correctly.
  • Use a logical structure for a directory tree.
  • Add a block of popular products and special offers.

Conduct a site usability audit, this service is necessary to further retain visitors and find weaknesses in your resource.

Lack of customer contact

Sometimes a user needs expert advice to make a decision. And when he is faced with a question, and there is no one to answer, then most likely a potential buyer will leave a site that cannot provide information. There are several points of contact with the client that will be extremely useful on your site:

  • online consultant,
  • feedback forms,
  • call from website
  • social media,
  • instant messengers, mail, etc.

Sometimes the reason for the departure of a potential visitor may be the unprofessional work of the manager. It is unacceptable to make the client wait too long for a response or provide incorrect advice. Conduct test calls and chat requests from time to time, and you can improve your service and increase sales.

Poor quality product photos

In online stores, there is one common drawback: the goods in them cannot be touched, measured or viewed live. And visual information acquisition is one of the most important sales tools on the Internet. Therefore, the availability and quality of images is so important if you want to have a normal level of sales. People want to see what you offer them! Poor-quality photos of goods spoil the impression of the store. Put yourself in the client's shoes. Will you buy goods in a store where they do not pay attention to the appearance of products? Also, there has long been a trend towards adding product videos and product reviews. Video allows you to evaluate the product from a higher quality side and increases the time the user spends on the site. Test the addition of quality content on your project, add quality photos and videos, and see how the sales of this product will positively change.

Stage 3: Checkout


It would seem that at this stage there should be no problems. The client decides to make a purchase, places an order, but leaves the site at the last moment. Why is this happening? It is necessary to analyze this stage to identify errors.

Complicated checkout process

Visitors to online stores prefer simplicity and speed in making purchases. If you ask them to take too many steps to checkout, few will make it to the finish line. This is annoying and even if the purchase was made, the client will definitely not come back. Your user has gone too far from selection to purchase, so try to simplify this stage to a minimum. It is preferable to divide the purchase process into several steps:

  • Buy button click.
  • Filling out the data form.
  • Choice of delivery and payment method.

In order for the buyer to see how many steps he needs to overcome, use a step-by-step progress bar. It provides a compact and convenient presentation of information for the client. All stages should not raise questions from the user and be as clear as possible. You can supplement the steps with comments and explanations. Separately, I would like to note the forms of obtaining information about the client. Don't make them too bulky and with a bunch of required fields. Usually, the Name, phone number (email), as well as the address for delivery are sufficient.

Inconvenient terms of delivery and payment for the client


The client appreciates, first of all, convenience and usefulness. It is unlikely that he will adapt to your conditions if they are not suitable for him. This applies to the terms of payment and delivery. Give the buyer the opportunity to receive his product without any problems and based on his capabilities, or he will go to your competitors who have taken care of comfortable conditions for him.


A drop in sales in an online store is an indicator of problems that have arisen on the site or in service. Pay more attention to analyzing the performance of your store. Constant development and elimination of errors will give a high result that you could not even expect. Good luck in business and high sales to you!

Author: Manko Karina, Content Marketing Specialist

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