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3 Reasons Why People Don’t Buy From a Website

The biggest obstacle faced by many website owners is not driving relevant traffic to their site, it is making that traffic convert.  A large portion of these site owners see the solution to the problem as driving more traffic to their site, but this can be costly, especially if your website is underperforming.

Rather than throwing time, resources and money at a website that is always going to haemorrhage sales, the smarter money would be invested into Conversion Rate Optimisation.  

“If a bucket has holes it will always leak water. Instead of constantly filling the bucket, why not fix the holes!”

In my previous article What is Conversion Rate Optimisation I gave an insight as to the benefits of CRO and why you need it. Today I am going to take that a little further and look at 3 key reasons why people do not buy from a website. I use the term ‘buy from a website’ very loosely this is really a conversion of any kind i.e. a potential client picking up the phone and calling you, it doesn’t have to be a physical sale.

To make this a little easier we should try and put ourselves in the visitors mind set. Try and view your site constructively from a potential customers point of view and think of their experience. Whether it is consciously or subconsciously they will need to satisfy the following before they become a customer.

Can I find what I am looking for?

This may sound obvious but if people cannot find what they are looking for they will soon click away. Consider the layout and the navigation of your site. Is it easy for people to navigate round? Are there clear signposts?


There is a misconception that websites should never go more clicks deep, meaning that customers should always be able to find what they are looking for in 2 clicks. In reality this is often not possible and as long as you are clearly pointing people in the right direction that is fine

Think about where you are driving traffic to. If you are driving traffic to your homepage, would be possible to drive traffic to more relevent inner pages like category and sub category pages, or specific service pages? For example we try and drive all of our Conversion Rate Optimisation traffic to our Conversion Rate Optimisation page.

Is there enough information for me to make an informed decision?

When visitors find themselves in the right place, they will then need to make a decision about that product or service. You need to make sure that you are giving people enough information for them to decide that this is something they want/need.

Good quality, detailed, unique descriptions are a good way to do this. If you are running an ecommerce store you need to remember that when shopping online we lose the ability to touch and feel an item like we do when we are in a shop. We need to somehow replace that. And do not for one minute be naïve enough to think that your brand is strong enough to compensate for this. I was recently looking for a bag and decided to take a look at Next. I quite liked the look of the bag below.

 Next1 e1327398360213

Needless to say the lack of description meant that I had no information whatsoever about the bag and, it won’t come as a big surprise when I tell you this, I didn’t buy the bag.

High quality images with zoom features, product data and technical specifications are also really good ways of helping the visitor make that all important decision that they want/need this product.

Am I confident enough to give these people my credit card details?

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A lack of confidence is the main reason why a website will not convert. A visitor must gain trust before they part company with their credit card details or decide that they are going to do business with you. There are a number of ways we can install confidence in people to help make them feel more at ease about doing business with you.

This is something I will cover at a later date in a subsequent article as I feel it needs covering in much more depth, but the bottom line is your site needs to look professional for people to perceive you as a professional trustworthy outfit. Avoid hiding contact details away in the darkest depths of you site. People need to feel that you are approachable and contactable.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt

Amy started out as a Digital Marketing Executive here at Boom in late 2016, graduating in 2018 to Digital Marketing Client Manager and then to Head of Outreach & Digital PR at the beginning of 2021. Amy works on various digital marketing projects for different clients, focusing on SEO, content marketing and outreach.View Author posts

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