What are we doing wrong ? We get 14% of people to the Checkout but only 4% order ?

New Member
3 0 0

We are a new Shop. We are driving good traffic to the store. We are getting 11% of people to add to cart and 14% of people to the checkout. But only 4% actually order.

Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom ?

41 0 15

Do you mean that 11% of people that visit the website add to the cart,

and then of those 14% checkout,

and then of those 4% order?

If so, that means 96/100 people that checkout, fail to complete their order.
..which is pretty bad, I agree.

I had a very quick try on your website but didn't notice anything,
but now having left it I can imagine that maybe the shipping information shows up during the checkout process, and that might scare some customers off.
Do some of your own testing and verify that nothing is untoward, such as trying out the different payment methods, is the shipping information correct, are discount codes working as expected?
Check that everything is OK with your payment gateways, for example, with PayPal, there is a setting that you will only sell to people with 'verified addresses' - I believe the setting is off by default but if not it could create problems for some of your customers.
Similarly, if you upload your store logo into your PayPal profile, and it doesn't display properly, or is from the wrong store, that could be a problem.

So as you can see, you can do some investigative work.

Good luck

New Member
3 0 0

No. I mean out of 18,000 visits we are getting just under 2000 people adding to cart and just under 2500 people reaching checkout with just under 800 people placing orders. 

Firstly I am confused by more people go to checkout than add product to their cart and then the conversion from the 2500 people getting to checkout to the 800 actual orders.


41 0 15

yeah... that's what confused me as well!

The 4.5% conversion rate isn't that bad, it's the fact that it's down from 14% checkout out -- two thirds of them don't complete the checkout.

We noticed a similar thing when we moved our website to Shopify - we were furious and blamed Shopify's checkout system, because yeah, it has some significant issues, such as only putting the coupons at the end, and although it is possible to show a shipping estimator, it's cumbersome and unideal in many applications, for example when you only ship to 1 country and the postcode doesn't matter etc etc.

So my current theory is, that you don't show shipping information in your cart,
..which forces customers to do the checkout just to find out shipping information (I know because I do this all the time on other websites - even Amazon!)

There's an element of controversy because by forcing them to checkout, they're becoming invested in the purchase, and are in theory more likely to complete the purchase.
On the other hand, you aren't allowing them to maximise the economics of their shipping.
So consider putting shipping information in your cart or in each product or elsewhere on the site.

One common tactic that's touted a lot is to offer free shipping. Personally I have several qualms with this philosophy, but it might work for you - flash some banners on your website about free shipping (even if it's only over a certain amount) and see if that helps?

41 0 15

Maybe you have a lot of international traffic and they're trying to find out if you ship to their country?
Perhaps you should include the shipping calculator in the cart,
or add a page about your Shipping Information

New Member
3 0 0

Thanks a lot for your posts. You have been most helpful. We really thought the shipping might be an issue and based upon what you have said think this may be a major factor. Thanks for your suggestion re the Free Shipping over a certain amount. CHEERS !

37 0 11

I have a similar occurrence on my site.  On your order screen, in the upper right hand corner, you can look at abandoned shopping carts.  What I generally find, is that people are going through to see the cost of their shipping.  But, then they may actually back up and add more to the order.  That's why, in my opinion, you get the funky stats on how many added to shopping cart vs buy.  I sometimes find three or four abandoned shopping carts all on the same day, from the same person, before they finish their order and actually submit the order.  When you compare the three or four abandoned orders, you find they were taking one thing off, adding another - just slight changes, and then they submit….

43 0 3

Hey Glyn,

I took a look at your store for you and went through a test checkout to see what would make me abandon before putting in my credit card details.

Here are ways you can optimize your site for more sales:

Accounts vs. Checkout as Guest:

Your goal is to get sales. You want a few steps as possible between a potential customer clicking checkout and putting their credit card information in. Unless you have a lot of return orders you'll want to disable the "create an account" option as it ads a step to checking out.  Most people have autofill anyways so filling out their shipping info isn't that hard.

Ship to Billing Address as Default:

It may seem like you're saving the customer time by having "ship to billing address as default" but in reality, having it on by default scares off some customers thinking they can't ship it to another address, such as their office or new flat.  Uncheck that option and allow customers to feel like they are saving time by clicking "Ship to my billing address" and having it auto populate.

Shipping Fees:

You are losing between 45-65% of your potential customers by adding shipping.  Even if you have to raise prices, it's best to have no extra charges after items are added to cart.  One great sales trick is having:

"Free Shipping on orders over $49" 

That way you can encourage customers to order more items, and have the margin to waive the $3.99 shipping charge.  Either way, give free shipping, don't nickle and dime or surprise your customers or they will abandon.

Coupon Code:

You are losing 30% of your customers when they go through checkout and see the "enter coupon code" box.  These customers will leave your site and google "www.vidarnutrition.com coupon"; either they will end up not coming back to your site at all, finding a coupon, or abandoning.  If "Geordieshore25" doesn't work for them, they will abandon, as they now feel entitled to a discount and will continue looking or waiting around until they find one.

One trick I like to do is to put a coupon code in the header for a small discount or free shipping, that way customers feel like they are getting extra value.

Abandoned Checkouts:

Also email every person who abandons their checkout and ask why.  This is the best market research you can do. 

Attached is a screenshot of the extra shipping that was added later, the coupon code Geordieshore25 that I randomly found being expired, and me (the potential customer) abandoning checkout.

Good luck with your store and let me know if you have any other questions about Optimizing your store for more sales.  Converting visitors into customers is what I specialize in.  

I'm currently traveling around Thailand while running my dropshipping stores, all based on Shopify! Woohoo! Check out my blog at www.JohnnyFD.com or listen to the Travel Like a Boss Podcast on iTunes! Good luck with your journey and welcome to the world of eCommerce! Feel free to ask me any questions, I'm happy to help.
Shopify Partner
149 0 3

Not going to rehash some ideas. Johnny offers some good starting points.

Suggest you implement www.optimizely.com and start yanking some functionality or moving stuff around and figure this out. We can debate until we are blue in the face but you need data.

Former SEO of Inc Top 500 Retailer AmericanMuscle.com who Co-Founded Online Retail Marketing Company, Rocket Dove (http://www.rocketdove.com) where we drive millions in revenue across various ecommerce industries.
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
111 0 7

Hi Glyn. I just wanted to let you know that for some stores, the conversion counts for "Add to cart" and "Reached checkout" on the Dashboard were reading slightly too high. We've identified the problem and put in place a fix going forward. If you take a look at your conversion numbers from yesterday you should see an accurate number now.

Other than that, everyone in this thread has provided some great advice.