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The Kong Academy provides actional hints, tips and guides to making the most of your eCommerce store.

5 things stopping people buying from your store

Kong Academy - How to sell online

Here we take an indepth look at particular topics of interest to beginner and established webstore owners.

5 things stopping people buying from your store

Julian James

Are people visiting your store but leaving without buying? Here are five key reasons why – along with tips on how to fix the problem and get your customers to stick around to make a purchase. 

1. Low quality photography

Great pictures increase sales. Ever skipped buying something because its listing was accompanied by low-quality images? You bet.

Low-quality images make it hard to see exactly what you’re buying. They can also give the impression that a store doesn’t value what it’s selling.

In the eCommerce world product photography has to stand in for the real-world experience of picking up a product, examining it, and getting a sense for its quality.

Craft a range of photos that recreate this experience. These could include photos of the product:

  • from different angles
  • that highlight small details
  • in use.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a pro photographer – or even have a fancy camera – to take great product pictures. In fact, we’ve put together two handy guides to creating high quality pictures on a shoestring budget. And with our handy guide to photo editing software, you can quickly take your photos to the next level again. 

2. Poor product descriptions

Good quality copy converts. If your product descriptions are littered with typos or formatting errors, then the perception of your brand is going to take a hit.

Along with your product photography, your descriptions will do most of the work in enticing your customers to buy your products. Make sure they’re engaging, descriptive and inspiring. Put yourself into your customers’ heads and give them the information they’re looking for.


  • The finish of the product
  • The product measurements
  • Colour variations
  • Customer reviews or feedback

After all, would you rather buy this:

''Featuring gold coins and charms inspired by antiquity, this bracelet quartet is worthy of the catwalks of Ancient Rome.''

Or this?

''Set of four bracelets with gold coins and charms.''

But even if you fancy yourself a prose stylist, it’s worth having a second set of eyes look over your copy to check for:

  • Spelling and grammar problems
  • Formatting issues
  • Accuracy and detail
  • Repetition or omissions

Need more tips for getting your copy just right? We’ve put together a detailed guide for you.

3. Confusing or bad design

Have you ever walked into a shop and found yourself hopelessly lost or unable to find what you were looking for? Chances are you didn’t hang around.

Customers will do the same if they find themselves on a poorly organised or badly designed eCommerce store.

So how can you make sure that their experience is a good one? Review the following and make sure that your site ticks all the boxes:

  • Homepage. Is it obvious what you sell? Does it look good? Does it link to your collections as well as new or popular products?
  • Navigation. Is it easy to find thing using your menu? If you have collections, do their titles make sense?
  • Calls to action. Do you have a call to action button on your site? Is it obvious? Is it clear what your customers need to do?
  • Contact. If your customers need help, is it easy to get in touch? Is the contact form friendly and helpful?

4. Lack of trustworthiness 

People don’t give their hard-earned money to someone they don’t trust. And trust is even harder to build online than in the real world. Everything we’ve touched on so far can help you build trust – but there’s always more you can do.

  • Feature reviews. Product reviews and written feedback from customers help reassure others. Perhaps they had a good experience with your customer service, or with your speedy shipping. You can incorporate reviews and feedback into your pages, or link to off-site ones – just always ensure they’re attributed.
  • About Us page. Your site’s About Us page is probably one of your most popular pages. Customers want to know who they’re buying from and what your story is. For best results, craft an About Us page that demonstrates your history, values and goals – and that’s true to your voice. 
  • Ease of contact. Make it easy for customers to contact you. Limited or hard to find contact information can make customers wonder whether something’s amiss. Add a Contact Us link to your main navigation and your site footer.
  • Policies and T&Cs. Ensure that shipping and refund policies, along with any other T&Cs are easy to find, transparent and clearly spelled out. If you’re not sure what to add, try our legal document builder.

For more tips, swing by our article on creating trust for your eCommerce store.

5. Poor browsing experience

If your site has broken links, slow load times, or frustrating third-party add-ons, these might be the culprits driving your customers away.

Whether you’ve had your site custom built or are using a SaaS product, it’s up to you as the shop owner to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

Set aside time to test out your store – that means every link as well as the purchasing process from start to finish – to ensure that everything works the way it should and that the overall experience is a good one.

A few simple tweaks 

If your store is guilty of any of the problems outlined above, then you may well be losing sales. The good news is that if you’re getting traffic to begin with, then a few simple tweaks is all that’s needed to get things back on track. Work through our list above, and you’ll be turning those visits into sales in no time at all. 


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