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The 5 biggest challenges in eCommerce: #3 conversion rates

In the UK, online shoppers make up 87% of the retail purchase market, which is now expected to grow due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As an eCommerce manager, improving commercial metrics can be a challenge, especially in light of recent events. Below are some of the considerations we pose to clients who come to us with challenges surrounding online conversions:


When we’re tasked with optimising an eCommerce site, we always start with performance. That’s because Speed = Conversions. In fact, conversion experts at Unbounce found nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed influences their likeliness to buy.

We actually benchmarked sites running on the Magento 1 platform and found that they had an average load time of 15 seconds. This tallied up with Google’s own findings, who also benchmarked 15 seconds as the average load time for all websites globally. Based on studies of user behaviour, Google recommends a load time of 5 seconds or less, and that’s for a 3G connection. Anything lower than this target, drastically improved engagement metrics even further.

Site speed is reliant on several factors, most importantly, your platform, and whether or not you have implemented PWA yet. If your eCommerce store has been struggling with conversion rates and also reports slow load times, considering a platform migration may be the first port of call for your business. 

Mobile Responsiveness

It’s estimated that by 2021, 50% of all online shopping will come from a mobile device. In some verticals however, this is closer to 80%. Speed becomes an even higher priority when considering if your site is fully responsive, but this won’t make up for a poor user experience.

Your site may already be ‘mobile Responsive’, it could look ‘pretty’ on a mobile devices…but if the user journey itself is not built for mobile conversions, you could be missing out on a lot of sales from this device.

Content Search Features

Look at your analytics, where are users bouncing? If your customers are bouncing from product pages, it may be that your search function is not as slick as it could be. Klevu advises that non-product content, such as ‘how to’s’ and educational blogs are also useful to customers searching for specific products, particularly if they’re a new online shopper.

Search functionality is therefore going to become a key consideration for eCommerce merchants, with the number of new online shoppers predicted to grow following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we’re tasked with optimising an eCommerce site, we always start with performance. That’s because Speed = Conversions.

Joseph Russell, Head of Design at JH

Payment & Delivery Options

We all know that hidden delivery costs are a no go, reported as the number 1 reason for customers abandoning their carts. But you may also want to consider your checkout and its user experience. This last stage in the buying journey is crucial in seeing through those conversions.

The worst thing that can happen in terms of your brand reputation online, is for your customer to lose trust at the last hurdle and not return to your site in the future.

Ensure your checkout has a secure UX, but also think about if it is plausible to provide multiple payment options, such as Klarna’s ‘buy now pay later’. Mobile conversion with Klarna checkout can have up to an 80% increased conversion rate.

Push Notifications

Perhaps your customer abandoned their cart without even reaching checkout? This is a big challenge we see on mobile conversions. Customers can abandon their cart for a multitude of reasons.

However, if you have PWA functionality, or you have customers who have downloaded your native app, you can use push notifications to remind them to hop back on and complete the purchase at a later time.

Push notifications have been proven to increase customer loyalty and repeat purchases, so if this isn’t something you currently employ, it’s well worth considering.

If you’re still unsure as to what is causing low conversion rates on your site, feel free to get in touch for some advice and guidance.