Why the HELL Aren’t Visitors Buying?

Will a title like this get some attention?  We shall see, we shall see 🙂

But it is a good question, don’t you think?  This question is one I asked myself over and over again, even now at times, for my first website that sells new and used clogging shoes.  It’s a question you have to asked yourself as an eCommerce business owner. Getting traffic to your site is one thing, but if the traffic doesn’t do anything…

Here are some answers, in the form of questions, I recently gave a client:

  • Have you tried any promotions?
  • Are you getting people to sign up for something or getting visitor information?
  • What do the visitors do when they come to your site?
  • How are they finding you?
  • Are they coming back?
  • If so, what do they do when they come back?

These are questions you have to be able to answer.  Google Analytics or Statcounter.com are tools I use to answer some of these questions. A first time visitor isn’t always that prone to buy until they have a bit of trust with the company.  How can you gain their trust?

Other questions might include:

  • Do you have testimonials or feedback on the site to help build credibility?
  • Are you answering questions you feel visitors may have?
  • Is your site easy to follow?
  • Are you focusing primarily on visitor friendliness, search engine friendliness, or both?

There are probably even more detailed questions that you can ask about traffic.  Some others that come to mind would be “What is the path a visitor takes – home page, then ______ page, then back to home page, then ______ page, then CHECKOUT!”

You need to know what path you want the visitor to take; then make it as easy as possible for them to get through that path.  Maybe even give the visitor multiple ways to get through that path (ie. side navigation links, context links, footer links, pictures, etc.)

So, this is a start.  Visitor conversion is an ongoing maze all online business oweners have to figure out.  The bad news is, there really isn’t a “perfect answer” that I’ve found.  Test! Test! Test!  Then record the information, look it over, and decide what’s working best. Repeat what’s working and stop doing the ineffective stuff.  It’s really about that simple!  🙂

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11 Replies to “Why the HELL Aren’t Visitors Buying?”

  1. Hi Nate,
    Thanks for the article – great info. This pinpoints several things I need to check my site for to insure it’s ‘at it’s best’. More than anything, I believe I need to do a better job of tracking to see what IS working and then do more of the same. I’m inclined to “cut the chatter” and focus on the book and/or products related to site. Going in in the mindset of a ‘buyer’ should be helpful – – and will probably result in a revamp of my website and approach.

    One question – if I have access to stats through my CPanel for site, do I still need to set up an analytics program in addition? We looked briefly at
    my stats via AWstats???

    Thanks for help. (I’ve made note of the “2-3 sentence paragraphs and bullet points”!!
    Angie Morris

  2. Nate,
    Great article. We too are getting traffic and no sales. They are finding the site for one of our pages, but not the ones I’m trying to promote!
    We have friends go through and look at the shop and give us advise on the shop as well.

  3. Food for thought but still more questions than answers.. I have actually done all of the “tricks” you suggest but till the buyers are not coming. In the 3 weeks since opening my site I’ve had 300 visitors and 1 sale but I did that by speaking to the buyer personally.

    I’m sure one of my big problems is that the cart asks all sort of things that aren’t appropriate in the UK and sitecreatporplus say they cant be changed so I should really find another cart (at least).

    It’s hard work trying to hold the customer when there are a lot of other sites selling the same thing cheaper – I know myself that I can use one site to get the information then search around for the best deal before buying – I’m too small to get the best wholesale price so have I got to sell at no profit just to get the traffic ?

  4. What a great article, Nate!! After reading though all this, I think I will be making major changes to my site, again. I have found that the sites I am most likely to buy from have a certain appeal to me personally, they are like little amusement parks. I will be modeling my site after some of those sites. Then plaster my email list with a constant contact mailer and see if I get any feedback. Last time I did this I got good response from my friends and realized the site was boring even though they were nice about it. I also did what Patsy did but I bought something from my site to see how it would play out. Made corrections also. It really must be EZ for the customer to get around and buy things with very little effort. Now to get my site going..Thanks.

  5. Nate, Thanks for the great information. The challenge is getting testomonials, but if we take care of our very first customers (the rest that follow as well) I’m sure they will be willing to help us out.

    Thanks again for the great information.

  6. This is quite the question. I have been trying to go thru my site as a vistor and have my husband do the same to see if it is really working the way it should.

  7. Our traffic has increased dramatically from 20 visitors per day to over 100 in 2 months, yet sales are still slow. I constantly look at StatCounter and make changes to my web site through the eyes of a visitor. I am beginning to see more return visitors and more clicking into deeper pages. I believe it is going to take lots of ongoing marketing and constant tweaking of the web site to begin converting visitors to buyers. I will keep trying new things, stick with what works and toss the rest.

  8. Hi Nate,

    After reading the information I feel that I will have the confidence to get the job done this time. And thank you for the information. Talk to you soon when I have more questions for you.

    Thanks Mike Koubele

  9. Hey Nate–

    As always, good information.

    My husband (who has had tons of visitors that would go all the way to the shopping cart and then leave) finally went through his site as a visitor trying to purchase and found that potential customers were actually directed away from the cart if they had not yet registered for an account! Needless to say, the problem has now been corrected.

    Sometimes, in spite of all the optimization, etc., and making your site user friendly, problems like this can not be apparent to you, but keep visitors from committing and ordering. It took going through as a visitor to realize what the problem was and has helped him increase conversions.