Conversion Killers – The most common Mistakes in Conversion Optimisation

Conversion Rate Killers in E-Commerce
Author: Haydar Yuece // 10min

The aim of a website is to attract as many visitors as possible and then encourage them to take a planned action. This can be the purchase of a product, as in classic e-commerce, but also the entry into an email list as a lead for the sales department. In short: visitors should convert to customers. The vehicle for this is the website.

But what happens if many adjustments have already been made and the conversion fails to materialise despite high traffic? When it comes to conversion optimization, mistakes and stumbling blocks can quickly occur. Undetected, these can become real conversion killers. What are the most common mistakes in conversion optimization and how can they be avoided? This is the subject of the following article.

Where Do Conversion Optimisation Mistakes Start?

Often the marketing department invests a lot of money and time in traffic generation and website optimisation. Even today, the focus is strongly on traffic generation. Campaigns for Google, social media and co. should direct as many visitors as possible to the site. Certainly, these measures are part of a comprehensive online marketing strategy, but if the conversion rate itself is not optimiued, the desired success will not be achieved.

Likewise, mistakes can quickly be made if conversion optimization is carried out without a targeted strategy and fixed goals. Wrong measures can become real conversion killers. It remains to be said that both ignoring established problems and unplanned conversion optimisation can quickly lead to a poor conversion rate. Measures thus become inefficient and investments go to waste. This must be avoided.

Increase traffic or optimise conversion? Read in our blog post Traffic increase vs. conversion optimization in the online shop when you should increase traffic and when more budget should flow into conversion optimization.

Conversion Killers: The 9 most common Conversion Optimisation Mistakes

#1: Visitor’s Confusion: What Can I Do Here?

When visitors land on a website, it should be immediately obvious what there is to do here. Should they buy a product or subscribe to a newsletter? If you clearly communicate what you want your users to do, you not only increase conversion, but also build lasting trust thanks to transparency.

This is why it is important to define at the planning stage which action goals the website should have. With this clear definition, a major mistake in conversion optimization can be avoided, which in most cases leads to potential customers leaving the site again.

Above all, call-to-action buttons should be considered here. The clear instructions “Buy now”, “Add to shopping cart”, “Register here” or “Register here” show the user where to go and take him by the hand. The buttons should be visually striking and fit harmoniously into the overall design. Short and concise words are sufficient.

#2. Missing the Target Group visually and contentwise

Another mistake in conversion optimization can be seen in the visual presentation and content of the page: when a visitor lands on a website, they want to be welcomed with an inviting look and user-friendly navigation.

In addition, all relevant information should be available and if questions arise, answers should also be provided. If this is not the case, the next online shop is only a click away. It is therefore a big mistake not to optimise the appearance, the handling and the content according to the target group. Surveys make it easy to find out what customers want and to establish new variants with efficient A/B testing.

#3. A Bumpy Customer Journey

The visitor’s path to becoming a customer should be as comfortable as possible. It is not uncommon for potential new customers to become shopping cart abandoners because obstacles are put in their way by a mistake in conversion optimization. This begins with the product description, continues with the design of the forms and ends with the selection of the means of payment. It is important to analyse exactly at which point the customers drop out and, based on this, to record the preferences of the target group in order to ultimately be able to initiate appropriate measures after meaningful A/B testing.

Exit intent pop-ups, for example, are an efficient and quickly integrated solution to reduce shopping cart abandonment by up to 30%. Innovative software, such as the one we use at uptain, recognises the reasons for abandonment and can thus address the problems of the individual customer in a completely personalised way with an Exit Intent Popup.

You can find more ideas to improve the conversion rate in the checkout in our blog post 10 tips to improve the conversion rate in the checkout.

#4. Neglected Mobile Adaptations

Mobile shopping is still on the rise. The digital option to make a purchase anywhere and at any time is becoming increasingly popular in our fast-paced times. One of the biggest mistakes in terms of conversion optimisation is therefore not adapting the ordering process to the format and navigation of smartphone screens. When it comes to mobile conversion optimisation, you should therefore pay attention to the following points:

  • fast speed
  • optimised website design/responsive web design
  • appealing images in compressed form
  • high user-friendliness with, among other things, larger buttons
  • automatic completion in the search function
  • implement product videos
  • storage of watch lists and filled shopping baskets
  • short checkouts
  • mobile responsiveness of exit intent pop-ups

You don’t want to miss any sales on mobile devices? Read the blog post Mobile Commerce: 7 Tips for Success.

#5. No Trust

If a visitor is to perform an action on a website, this involves entering personal data. If a customer buys a product, the shop needs his complete address and even sensitive bank data for certain payment methods. This information requires a great deal of trust. A mistake that often happens in conversion optimization is the neglect of a sense of security that the customer needs to have. The calculation is quite simple: if visitors have trust, conversions also increase.


As a rule, trust can be created quickly. The well-known seals of approval that match the company context, certificates, references, ratings and experience reports are suitable for this. Clear communication provides visitors with security and a positive feeling when shopping. An online shop should put its USPs in the foreground so that customers have a reason to carry out the desired action and not to cancel. Transparency also creates trust. A shop that communicates its shipping costs and times as well as payment modalities without much of a diversion is perceived as much more serious than a shop that places them on well-hidden sub-pages.

Read the blog post Creating Trust in E-Commerce and gain the right understanding of customer trust.

#6: Missing Testings and Tracking

Only those who know where their visitors come from, how they act on the website, what they want and how they react to possible alternatives can carry out effective conversion optimisation and thus increase it. A mistake in conversion optimisation can be avoided by understanding the optimisation as an ongoing process right from the start and obtaining data from analytics tools, surveys or user and usability tests. Based on this, solutions can be developed and compared with each other in A/B testing in order to make the most efficient decisions that sustainably increase the conversion rate.

uptain recognises, for example, whether the visitor arrives at an online shop from a price comparison portal in order to offer the appropriate incentives for winning back the visitor in the event of a purchase abandonment. In this case, the appropriate incentive is an individual discount code.

#7. Remarketing Not In Place

Emotion beats rationality. If a customer feels well looked after, personally addressed and emotionally touched, the likelihood that they will take action with the company increases. One mistake in conversion optimization is therefore to ignore the great potential of personal remarketing. With smart solutions, such as situationally appropriate email remarketing, efficient tools can be implemented easily and quickly that increase the conversion rate sustainably.

For example, uptain recognises the reason for a page or shopping cart abandonment and ensures that many customers who actually thought they were lost complete their purchase by personalising their e-mail address.

#8. Customers Do Not Fond What They Are Looking For

Those who make navigation easier for the customer with a search function usually already ensure an improved conversion rate. The search function should understand the customer’s behaviour and suggest products accordingly or deliver the most suitable results possible via input suggestions.

To avoid mistakes in conversion optimisation, keywords should be used, cross-selling products offered and automatic correction functions installed. This way, the customer gets the best results for him quickly and accurately and can take direct action.

#9. Lack Of Urgency

If the visitor has the feeling that he can still perform the desired action tomorrow, the chance that he will actually come back is vanishingly small. This is because they will be presented with numerous other exciting products in the next few hours.

Therefore, it is a big mistake in conversion optimization not to convert the visitor directly into a customer or lead. A good way to get the visitor to take action is to create urgency. Simple hints such as “Only while stocks last”, “Only a few left in stock” or “Only on sale for 24 hours” are sufficient for this.

Mistakes can only be avoided with a comprehensive conversion strategy. For this purpose, it is important to analyse the actual situation, to know the needs and wishes of the target group, to develop appropriate solutions and to test them with regard to their effect.

Companies are well advised to establish conversion optimisation as a fixed component of the online marketing strategy, because the process should be understood as an ongoing development. This is the only way to react quickly to changing market situations and make appropriate adjustments.

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