by Fatema Mulla

A sudden drop in your eCommerce store’s conversion rate can seem worrying at first. After all, a drop in your conversion rate means visitors suddenly aren’t buying.

A sudden drop in your eCommerce store’s conversion rate can seem worrying at first. After all, a drop in your conversion rate means visitors suddenly aren’t buying.

But more often than not, these drops can be caused by one of a number of simple issues, and understanding the reason for the fall as quickly as possible is the key to bringing your conversion rate back up and getting the orders flowing again.

Here are some key things to look out for when your eCommerce store’s conversion rate drops.

1. Check for Site Errors

When your conversion rate drops, the first thing you should do is check your store for on-site errors and issues.

Is your cart functioning correctly? Is something slowing your site down? Is any of your store’s functionality broken? Check for common issues that could have an impact on conversion.

On-site problems are one of the most common causes of conversion issues, so test your site’s functionality thoroughly to diagnose any errors.

It may be a good idea to use a web auditing tool to be able to identify any underlying errors or problems on your site that could be killing conversions. Even minor issues could have a big impact on your conversion rate, and can result in any drops.

2. Check for On-Site Changes

Have you made any changes to your site recently?

Whether it’s a design tweak or a new app, on-site changes can have a big impact on your store’s conversion rate.

It’s important to monitor conversions after any significant site change. That way, you’ll be able to spot potentially damaging drops before they become a problem.

Check your store’s log of site changes and see if any recent alterations correlate with your fall in conversion rate.

Always keep an eye on the apps and plugins you use in case some become unsupported or expire, as this will certainly impact conversion rate.

3. Review Your Pricing

If you’ve recently made changes to pricing, this could also be the cause of your fall in conversion rate.

Maybe a sale has recently ended? Maybe you’ve had to increase pricing for key lines, or perhaps a competitor has altered their pricing.

Changes to both your’s and competitor's pricing can have an impact on how many of your visitors convert.

You may have moved your pricing out of range for some shoppers, you may have had an inflated conversion rate due to a sale, or suffered from a competitor price drop. These factors can all influence your store’s conversion rate, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them.

4. Analyse Traffic Sources

You may not have seen a drop in traffic, but this doesn’t mean your store’s traffic isn’t the problem.

Take a look at your top traffic sources and see if there’s been any significant change. Traffic from your marketing campaigns just might not be ready to buy, or you might be attracting a large amount of blog traffic that doesn’t fit your target market.

Analyse your traffic sources. You may be attracting lower quality traffic that just isn’t converting. Take a look at the audiences you are targeting with your campaigns. If they are no longer relevant for your business, or aren’t converting, it may be a good idea to change them.

5. Check Your Products

You might still be selling the same products, but how customers perceive and view your products can change, and this can have an impact on your conversion rate.

If your product is seasonal, you’d expect to see a drop in conversion rate once the line is out of season. You might also see changes in your conversion rate based on marketing, PR and press.

Has there been any negative publicity for your product recently? Has a huge craze for your best selling line fizzled out? These have the potential to really damage your conversion rate.

From time to time, check your product analytics to see which ones are more popular than others. Your best selling products are bound to change due to trends, seasonality and other factors, so keeping them updated on your site can be useful.

6. Review Your Ads

Finally, always make sure to review your digital advertising campaigns when conversion rate is down.

If social ads or search ads make up a big part of your current marketing strategy, the visitors they bring to your store will have a big impact on your conversion rate.

Check to see if the messaging in your ads carries through to your store. If there’s a disconnect between what visitors expect after seeing your ads, and what they’re actually faced with on your store, they won’t convert.

You should also check for any recent changes to the targeting of your ads, as this will have an impact on the quality of the traffic they bring in. It’s always a good idea to regularly review your target audiences so you can ensure that they are always being promoted to the relevant audiences.

If a fall in the conversion rate of your ads matches the drop on-site, this could be the cause of your change in conversion rate.

7. Check Seasonality Trends

Always be sure to check the latest trends in seasonality and the industry you operate in for any indicators as to why your conversion rate may have dropped.

If you’re in an industry where fluctuations in online conversion rate is common, it may be that that is the reason.

If this is the case, it may be a good idea to adjust some of your content and shift your stores focus so you leverage the benefits of seasonality changes.

8. Check Your Payment Gateway

Issues with your existing payment provider may be causing implications and leading to customers being unable to purchase.

Furthermore, if you’ve recently switched payment providers, it may mean that some customers are no longer able to pay you through the new payment gateway on site.

This may potentially be the reason behind the drop in conversion rate. If users are unable to pay you they will not be able to proceed to checkout and complete a purchase, causing significant drops in conversion rate.

It’s important to review existing payment gateways on a regular basis and ensure you implement gateways that offer a multitude of payment methods, so that all your customers are able to easily purchase from you.

9. Check Your Tracking Code

If you’re seeing a sudden drop in conversion rate, it may be a good idea to check the tracking code you have set up. If something has changed with your tracking code, or it hasn’t been set up properly, it could explain why you aren’t seeing conversions as often as usual.

It may be that the tracking code needs to be reinstalled, or needs relooking at if something has changed in the backend and caused it to stop working.

10. Test Site Speed

Whilst this may seem like a fairly obvious thing, delays in your site speed can definitely kill conversions.

If you’ve added new elements to your site such as apps or updated images, you may find that there’s a slight lag in site speed.

According to research by Skilled, online shoppers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less. If your site is taking longer than this to load due to some reason, it may cause a drop in conversion rate.

Be sure to regularly test site speed and ensure images are compressed and apps and plugins work properly to keep site speed optimised.

Your Next Steps…

There are many potential causes of a drop in your eCommerce store’s conversion rate. But the factors in this article are a great place to start.

Ensure you do regular checks of changes to your store, your apps and plugins, ads and campaigns and more to be able to quickly identify any issues that could impact conversion rate.

Your next steps should be to;

  • Check for errors on-site;
  • Review the impact of any site changes;
  • Check for any changes in both yours and competitor’s pricing;
  • Evaluate any changes in your store’s traffic sources;
  • Review trends for your product and also your industry;
  • Review the performance of your digital advertising;
  • Check seasonality trends in your industry;
  • Check your tracking code;
  • Test site speed.

Want to find out how Statement can help you increase sales for your eCommerce store with conversion rate optimisation? Get in touch with our friendly team and we’d be happy to help

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