12 Reasons Customers Leave E-commerce Websites and What You Can Do About It

By December 9, 2014

I am new to the world of ecommerce and wondering what are some common reasons why potential customers leave a website and do not buy? And what can I do to remedy this? 

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Unnecessary Roadblocks

Amit KumarYou have an engaged user browsing your site on the cusp of making a purchase, but instead you first require them to create an account. Of course there are tangential benefits to registering the user, but it’s penny wise and dollar foolish. A word of advice: when a customer wants to give you money, let them!  – Amit KumarCardSpring

2. Unclear Value Propositions

Firas KittanehYour products really need to speak to the consumer to effectively catch their attention, so make sure you highlight benefits they will absolutely want. Don’t be afraid to oversell your offerings because that may be the only chance you get to educate and engage them, while leaving a lasting impression.  – Firas KittanehAmerisleep

3. Poor Layout

Rob FultonWhen it comes to being an ecommerce business, you have to really lead your customers down the right path to the tiniest detail. Your website layout is everything, and having FAQs easily accessible is just as important as the product itself. Make sure you include a “buy now” button on every page, as well as an “email list” button — everything they could possibly want should be right there.  – Rob FultonExponential Black

4. Too Many Choices

doreen-blochWhile it is important to offer your online shoppers an array of options for products they can buy on your site, be careful of overloading website visitors with too much information. Remember to keep your site simple and elegant to make it easy for consumers to buy products. Curating the product selection on your site, rather than expanding it, can be the winning formula for driving sales.  – Doreen BlochPoshly Inc.

5. Poor Mobile Presence

Robert GalzerToday’s customers don’t have patience for inefficiency, particularly as it relates to a company’s mobile presence. A poor mobile site creates uncertainty about the legitimacy of a company and its products. More than 130 million people will make at least one purchase from their mobile device by 2016. Absence of mobile purchasing options is missing out on huge business opportunity.  – Robert GlazerAcceleration Partners

6. Slow Load Time

Andrew SchrageMost folks these days have high-speed Internet, and they want information quickly and conveniently. If your website loads slowly, you’ll eventually lose. Regularly test your site using the website Pingdom to ensure quick load speeds.  – Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

7. An Empty Coupon Field

josh weissCustomers often abandon carts if there is a coupon box and they are unable to find a coupon to use. Macy’s used an interesting tactic by providing the coupons right on their checkout page to reduce consumer abandonment.  – Josh WeissBluegala

8. Poor Usability

Vladimir GendelmanA lot of websites are designed to be pretty rather than usable. That’s a common reason for potential customersto leave your site. Sometimes all it takes is a simple change. When we redesigned our quoting process, it increased our conversions by 67 percent.   – Vladimir GendelmanCompany Folders, Inc

9. Email Pop-Ups and Other Distractions

Aaron SchwartzWhen designing an ecommerce experience, you need to be conscious of user flow. At each step there should be one ideal action for a consumer. Getting email addresses sounds like an awesome idea. However, if you have a pop-up when someone goes to your site, you’re interrupting them. Asking for personal information before they know why they should care is a turnoff.   – Aaron SchwartzModify Watches

10. No Sense of Urgency

Basha RubinThe truth is that your customer may not need to make a purchase right now. They might just be browsing, need more time to research, or perhaps they still have another week before they really have to buy Junior’s Christmas present. But because they’re already on your site, use this to your advantage by incentivizing purchase completion, instead of risking losing a potential customer.  – Basha RubinPriori Legal

11. A Complicated Checkout Process

Tolga TanrisevenWith ecommerce, getting someone to first take out their credit card and then make them enter the card number is a huge task. Simplify checkout steps with integrated easy payment methods so the buyer doesn’t need to enter anything — not even the shipping address if it’s already in the integrated payment solution side. This also creates ease of mind for the buyer from a security perspective.  – Tolga TanrisevenGirlsAskGuys

12. Lack of Exposure

carlo ciscoConsumers typically need to see something multiple times before they buy. Even if you sell fairly standard products, if your site is new they need to be exposed to your brand multiple times before they trust you enough to make a purchase. This is why retargeting is so effective. Make sure you leverage technologies like AdRoll and Perfect Audience and work with someone to optimize your campaigns.  – Carlo CiscoSELECT

The Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.