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Why is nobody buying from my website?

This article explores how you find out why nobody is buying from your website and what you can do to turn things around and gain more business online.

Are you getting enough traffic?

When figuring out why no one’s buying from your website, the first thing to look at is your website traffic numbers. If they’re low (below 500 per month), there’s a slim chance you’ll see any sales.

There’s almost always a way to convert 1% of your traffic into sales. However, if you’re not getting enough traffic, then trying to convert 1% of people coming to your website is quite a high expectation.

Example: You’ve recently launched your website and you got 100 visitors in the first month. Pretty good considering this website never existed before.

In the first month, 30 of those visitors were probably friends and family, 20 of the visits were probably you testing your site. That leaves 50 people to potentially buy.

Should you expect any sales? Probably not.

1% of 50 is 0.5 – half a person. There’s no such thing as half a person (there’s a joke there somewhere), so you shouldn’t expect any sales if your traffic is this low.

So if your website traffic is low, then your first challenge is to increase it.

Google Analytics Traffic

To find out how much traffic you’re getting and where it’s coming from go to Google Analytics > Acquisition.

With SEO, Pay Per Click ads and Social media you can begin marketing your business online and build your traffic to 500-1000 users per month, then you can begin changing your website to drive more sales.

Tip: A quick way to fix low traffic

If you know the search terms you want to get found for, then you can run PPC (Pay Per Click) ads (Google or Facebook) to check whether people coming to your site based on the search terms you’ve defined convert into traffic.

For example: An online shop selling organic pet food is only getting 300 visits per month, they want to find out if qualified search traffic (visitors clicking based on the right keyword) will buy.

They setup PPC ads targeting “organic dry dog food” and run the ads over 1 month to increase traffic from people searching for organic dry dog food. It works and they get 500 clicks from people searching for organic dog food and make a few sales.

This proves to them that people searching for “organic dry dog food” brings them sales.

Now they have evidence that search traffic has worked, they should invest in SEO as it will be a great long-term marketing strategy.

Can people actually buy things from your site?

If you have enough traffic, then the next step is to start looking at your website data. First, check any technical issues on your site.

If 70% of your visitors are on mobile and can’t use the checkout when on mobile, then you’ve got a big problem.

You can use Google Analytics to dig into user data on all devices or browsers to find out where bounce rates are high. This gives you a good start on where to look.

Find the areas with big issues first and get any bugs resolved on your site. Or make design and development improvements that could help people buy.

Fixing technical issues is always the first place to start when doing any conversion rate optimisation on your site. If your site is bug free, then your visitors won’t get frustrated and are more likely to buy.

Your website may look and feel seamless, but that’s just the start. Now it’s time to really think about your users and design it for them.

I’ve fixed technical Issues, but my visitors still aren’t buying or enquiring (converting)?

If you’ve removed bugs from your site and it’s plain sailing all the way to the checkout or super easy to enquire about your services, but still low or no conversions? What else could be stopping those lovely (pesky) visitors from converting into sales or leads?

Don’ts and Dos

First let’s look what message you don’t want vs what you DO want. It’s important to empathise with your customers and see the world from their eyes.

This is the message you (hopefully) don’t want to give.

Don’t – Service/Product

Dear customers, take the time to find me (good luck) and tell me which of my services you want.

Yes, you don’t know me, or know that my services are right for you, but once you’ve managed to find my contact details I’ll hound you and try to sell some stuff to you until you buy.

Don’t – Ecommerce

Dear customers, oh look, one fuzzy picture of a product with little to no information about it and at a much higher price than Amazon.

I know you’ve never heard of me, but I’m going to take you through a long and laborious checkout process before I let you know the price of delivery. By this point, you’ll accept the crappy delivery cost and won’t really know when your product is going to arrive until my delivery company (might) get in touch.

You could’ve used Amazon who you know, like and trust. But as you like taking big risks and enjoy practicing inputting all of your contact details into a really long form you’ll buy from me… Won’t you?


Here’s what message you want to deliver in order to get people to buy.

Do – service businesses

You have this pain [insert pain], I want to help you fix it.

Let me explain how working with us can benefit you, you don’t need to know everything about my services or products.

If you have this problem, I can help you fix it and you can get on with your life.

All you need to do is just give me a few details about you. Once I have these details, here’s exactly what will happen next…

Do – eCommerce businesses

For people in your position here’s a great product. You can view multiple pictures from a variety of angles and zoom in to get up close and really inspect it. It’s almost as if you’re holding it.

Watch this person using it in this video so that you can see how it performs and what it’s like in real life.

Look how many people like you have bought this product. As you can see from their reviews, they’re happy with their decision to buy it and they’ve enjoyed the service we’ve provided.

If you want further details, here’s the technical information and advice you need.

As you can see, delivery is great value and you can see when it will be delivered to you. If you want, you can even have it by tomorrow! I expect your time is short and you don’t want to go to the shops, so this is great news.

If you’re new to us, we won’t make you create an account to checkout, your not here for a relationship, you just want your goods.

However, if you do want to come back at a later stage, you can just enter a password after you’ve checked out and create an account. If you do this, we’ll can send you something extra special to welcome you to our gang.

How to apply the ‘Dos’

Now let’s view the do’s from above under a microscope to give you an insight into each section and help you on your way to more people buying.

Do – service businesses in detail

You have this pain [insert pain], I want to help you fix it.

Value proposition
It’s important that you communicate a message that helps to fix a pain in your customer’s life. If you can fix a pain, then they’re more likely to buy from you.

Let me explain how working with us can benefit you, you don’t need to know everything about my services or products.

Benefits not features
Always list benefits, not features. Don’t tell people that your product or service has the latest wizzy gadget, explain how the wizzy gadget takes away their pain and benefits them.

If you have this problem, I can help you fix it and you can get on with your life.

All you need to do is just give me a few details about you. Once I have these details, here’s exactly what will happen next…

Your products or services should be a useful tool to help people do what they want to do. Plus, once they’re nodding their heads in agreement, answer any questions they may have so they don’t have any reason to go anywhere else. Explaining your process can often help with this.

“be creative about how you can get people to register and become a loyal customer. Offer incentives and all of a sudden, people don’t mind forms.”

Do – ecommerce businesses in detail

For people in your position here’s a great product. You can view multiple pictures from a variety of angles and zoom in to get up close and really inspect it. It’s almost as if you’re holding it.

In the virtual world of websites, it’s important that your visitors can see the product in detail. Otherwise, they might as well go to a bricks and mortars store. Seeing it up close helps them to experience your product and will answer questions they may have without them even reading a word.

Watch this person using it in this video so that you can see how it performs and what it’s like in real life.

Show your visitors a video and you’ve just taken things to a new level of realism. You’ve brought your product to life and helped your visitors understand how it behaves in the real world.

Look how many people like you have bought this product. As you can see from their reviews, they’re happy with their decision to buy it and they’ve enjoyed the service we’ve provided.

Social Proofing – people will follow others when they don’t know what to do. When your visitors are unsure whether or not your product is right for them, they look to reviews to find out what other people in the same situation have done. Reviews are a power tool in persuading people to buy.

If you want further details, here’s the technical information and advice you need.

Bitesized information, served when you need it. You wouldn’t eat a whole watermelon in one foul swoop (unless you’re a Hippo). Your visitors do want enough information to buy your product, but be careful not to deliver it all at once.

Guide them through your product page and prioritise your content so that your visitors can find it when they need it. It’s good to use tabs or accordion menus to hide information until people need it.

As you can see, delivery is great value and you can see when it will be delivered to you. If you want, you can even have it by tomorrow! I expect your time is short and you don’t want to go to the shops, so this is great news.

Delivery – one of the number one factors people will or won’t buy from you. If it’s not clear on the product page how much delivery is or when they’ll receive their product, you can be sure that they’ll skip over to Amazon and place their order their.

If you’re new to us, we won’t make you create an account to checkout, your not here for a relationship, you just want your goods.

Making people register on your website sucks. Your visitors aren’t coming to your site to begin a relationship, they want their stuff. Make it as simple as possible for them to checkout with guest checkouts. No one likes forms.

However, if you do want to come back at a later stage, you can just enter a password after you’ve checked out and create an account. If you do this, we’ll can send you something extra special to welcome you to our gang.

Incentivise
If you want a successful online business, you need return customers. So, be creative about how you can get people to register and become a loyal customer. Offer incentives and all of a sudden, people don’t mind forms.

Apply the ‘Dos’ and get more sales

Applying these dos is easier said than done, but if you use them as a checklist against your whole website or areas that need to be improved, then you’ll begin thinking like your customer, helping to design a better experience and convert more website visitors into happy, long-term customers.