Why 95% of Your Visitors Don’t Buy – The Secrets of CRO

19 August 2019 • 7 min read

Getting traffic to your website is somewhat easy, and can be increased with good SEO, but getting website visitors to take action and purchase on your site is the hard part. As a result, a website’s ‘Conversion Rate’ is one of the strongest metrics for measuring success, as it measures the rate at which visitors make a purchase on-site.

To measure your conversion rate you take the number of conversions (sales) and divide that by the total number of website visitors for a given time frame; then multiply it by 100%. Like getting meaningful traffic to your site, measuring is the easy part, but improving it is the crucial part; which is where CRO comes in.

CRO stands for ‘Conversion Rate Optimization’ and understanding some of the basic tactics are key to improving your conversion rate, which means more sales and increased profits. The average global ecommerce conversion rate is 4-5%, meaning for every 100 site visitors, only 5 will make a purchase. However, there are tactics and strategies for ensuring you convert more of that 95%, and crucially, to continue to convert that key 5%.

Read on to discover what you can do to increase and optimize your conversion rate.

1. Discover where you’re dropping site visitors

There are probably already a wealth of website data resources available to you through popular services like Google Analytics. This is your key to unlocking what your site visitors do, and at what stage they are leaving your site.

Compare and contrast data like mobile journeys as compared with desktop visits for example. The first step is identifying where visitors are leaving, the next step is understanding why they are leaving.

2. Know why visitors are leaving your site

Data sources that track traffic to your site will show you where your visitors are dropping off, but it will not tell you why they left – this is where you need to really think about your user’s journey. Only when you know why they have left, can you go about improving your website’s user experience.

One effective tactic for gathering this “why” information is to ask a question on your webpage with tools like Hotjar about the user’s experience. Something on your checkout page like: “Did anything on the site impact on your shopping experience?” This could give you some good answers to start your CRO optimization with the help of your buying customers – these will be the most likely to help you optimize at the start.

3. Don’t make your products hard to find

It goes without saying, but ecommerce sites should never hide where products are on-site. Product categories should be listed in your main navigation menu and be easily reachable. Products need to be sorted logically into how a customer would use the product, like men’s or women’s clothing.

Customers won’t be able to find a product if it is not listed in your main navigation or connected to one of your product categories, otherwise there is no way a new visitor will know that you sell that item.

You should also remember to simplify the naming of your categories and items in your navigation. Don’t use the stock number or product code for an item – be as clear and concise as you can with your product naming conventions.

This image shows a man standing next to a mobile phone

4. Your site needs to be mobile responsive

In the age of the smartphone, your website needs to mobile responsive to ensure customers can shop on any device (not to mention Google’s preference for mobile responsive design). Almost everything in your life is mobile ready currently and your ecommerce site should be no different. If a customer can’t shop on your site from their phone, you may lose their business forever.

Mobile responsive design for websites is essential for today’s retailers. To upgrade your site to a mobile responsive template, talk to us today.

5. Make your website secure for shoppers

If your website doesn’t start with HTTPS, then visitors may not be willing to enter credit card information or checkout online as their browser will be telling them that your site is not secure.

Communications over HTTPS are encrypted between the user and the server, so data cannot be interfered with. This is essential for any online ecommerce site.

If your NitroSell website doesn’t have an HTTPS url, contact our support team to get your custom security certificate installed.

6. Your site may need better sales copy

Customer behaviour is hugely influenced by the copy used to entice them into making a purchase. Consequently, you need to ensure your sales copy on your site is compelling towards a central call-to-action: making a purchase.

The type of language you use will be determined by your brand positioning and your tone of voice, but always remember that WHAT you say will always matter more than HOW you say it. So make sure you are getting across the vital information that needs to be conveyed first, then you can begin to add in your key emotional phrases.

Auditing your sales copy with the above in mind will improve your overall conversion rates and lead to larger revenue.

7. Consider offering shipping benefits and promoting them

The importance that shipping benefits has to conversion rates cannot be understated. A staggering 77% of online shoppers feel that free shipping is the most important option when checking out, with 60% of shoppers adding items to their shopping cart just to qualify for free shipping.

If you do have free shipping criteria, make sure you are communicating this to the customer at every chance you get. However, you might also have another shipping benefit like “next-day” or “48 hours” or similar – whatever the shipping USP (Unique Selling Point), advertising this is a sure-fire way to increase your conversion rate.

8. Always encourage return site visits

Rewarding customers that have taken a meaningful action on your site with a voucher or discount code for their next visit incentivizes them to bookmark your site and return to buy again.

Most people don’t buy on their first visit to a website as they will usually be in the research phase on their first visit to your site, so you need to do everything you can to ensure they come back to yours.

Encouraging your visitors to sign-up to a newsletter when they visit, maybe with a pop-up, and then sending a voucher straight to their inbox can have some great results and help to build brand loyalty and encourage repeat site visits. For more on how to make the most of your email marketing, read our recent blog post.

A staple of ecommerce marketing for improving your conversion rate is also your cart abandonment email and one that has a proven track record of success. Everyone is doing, so ensure you don’t miss out on this proven method of getting interested visitors back to your site.


Conversion Rate Optimization is the key to turning your site visitors into paying customers. The above tactics will ensure you are doing everything you could be to drive more revenue with your online store.

To really test how effective your visitor to customer journey is, do it for yourself; complete a full purchase process from discovery through to checkout and note what you don’t enjoy about the process. If you find something you don’t like, then take steps to change it.

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