In our recent survey with 1,500 US & UK consumers, we learned that over 85% of consumers plan to keep shopping online, despite store re-openings.  However, neary 55% of consumers need more convincing to complete an ecommerce purchase vs. one made in-store. Why is that? We’re here to share the top three reasons why your visitors bounce without making a purchase - according to them. 

The top three reasons shoppers abandon ecommerce websites without making a purchase: 

1. Shoppers can’t easily find products they’re looking for.

This is the number one reason why visitors abandon without completing a purchase, as overwhelmingly, 72.6% of consumers marked in the top three. Why is that shoppers can’t find what they’re looking for? They’re overwhelmed with product choices. Nearly 9 in 10 shoppers say they are faced with an overwhelming amount of product choices some, always or most of the time. 

With catalog sizes ranging in the hundreds to thousands, shoppers need to be able to quickly and easily find relevant products to make their journey to purchase seamless. Otherwise, the purchase funnel is halted with visitors unable to move past the product discovery phase and onto decisioning and purchasing. To remedy this, brands must personalize the shopping experience to grab and maintain visitor engagement by presenting the most relevant products to the individual brower, as early in the visitor journey as possible. 

One way to achieve this is through truly personalized product recommendations, especially on areas of prime site real estate such as the homepage and category pages. Deep learning product recommendations adapt to the individual with a product-to-customer understanding, to present the most relevant products across the entire catalog in the moment of browsing. The  results are that shoppers find products faster,  +100% CTR, and driving up to 3% more in attributed revenue over standard recommendations.

When taking a closer look at one customer using deep learning product recs, we find that showcasing the most relevant products has tremendous downstream impact.  Not only do more people click on recommended products (the CTR uplift) but once they've clicked through, they're more likely to add the product to their basket and then more likely to buy it. This means that the transaction funnel becomes "wider"- more people go in - as well as “stickier”-  a smaller percentage fall out once they're in.  The result is that the conversions that can be attributed to recommendations goes up by even more than just the CTR increase would indicate. In this case by a whopping >3x or a 300% uplift. 

2. Browsers can’t easily navigate across the website.

61% of shoppers marked poor navigation experiences as a top three reason for abandonment.
It’s not just about how ecommerce brands present their products, it’s also about how the overall on-site experience is set-up, organized and presented to visitors.  From the navigation, menu, imagery, button colors, homepage and site-wide banners, to on-site search, filtering,  the cart page design and more. Every decision can dramatically impact how long a shopper remains on-site, if they’ll abandon and whether or not they will complete a purchase.

Considering shoppers are browsing from a variety of devices, (with computer/desktop at 48% and mobile, 35.7% and growing quickly) and that 6% of shoppers report discovering products going page by page, retailers must consider all the ways in which visitors browse, regardless of device type, browser type, etc, to enable more seamless and consistent buying journeys. 

Some key components to consider:

  • Navigation structure and labeling should be obvious, concise and consistent across all pages, and part of this includes determining how best to display product categories. If the product catalog is large and wide, a navigation menu bar broken out by category type is a must. 
  • From our study, we found that search is the number one way in which shoppers find products once they’ve landed on site. As such, providing personalized search experiences that present the most relevant products can be a key differentiator.
  • Filtering is the number two way in which shoppers discover products on-site and are especially useful to visitors browsing with brands that have wide and deep categories. Always ensure filters are visible and obvious to the user, across all category or product listing pages (PLP).  Enhance the filtering experience with sticky filter settings or pre-set filters to ensure the most relevant products are presented at the top of the page. 

    3. Consumers are unclear or unsatisfied with available shipping options and returns policies.  

54.5% of shoppers noted shipping and returns as a top three reason for abandonment. Online shopping is convenient for shoppers but can also come with an added layer of stress or anxiety. Nearly 55% of shoppers need more convicinging to make a digital purchase compared to one made in-store. If the added cost of shipping, especially for expedited shipping options, is steep, the decision to purchase can become less attractive as shoppers leave to find more favorable options with other retailers. Retailers can combat this by having shipping policies and promotions prominent throughout the site. For example, highlighting free shipping on orders over a certain threshold or a timely promotion on expedited shipping rates in a site-wide banner.

Further, if returns policies are unclear or unsatisfactory to the shopper, their hesitation to purchase an item they’re not completely sold on, grows.  To remedy this, both to the benefit of the shopper and to the brand, retailers can consider the following:

  • First, to reduce the likelihood of returns, while increasing the confidence in a visitor to make a purchase, showcase reviews prominently for best-selling or best-rated items and/or  display  eye-catching  product badges such as “best-selling” or “trending” when applicable
  • Some shoppers may still want the reassurance that they have the option to return  an item they’ve purchased. As such, returns policies should be clearly indicated on the product description page and at check-out. 


Preventing site abandonment and getting visitors to make a purchase is no easy feat, but in knowing what shoppers care about, retailers can be more strategic and focused in their efforts. The goal should be in making the overall on-site experience as straightforward and seamless as possible - for all visitors.  Remember, shopping online shouldn’t be a treasure hunt. 

At Qubit we are data-driven, enabling us to be laser focused on achieving high success rates for our customers. Generic solutions that treat every customer the same breed generic results and that’s why we’re always at the forefront of new technologies that enable us to drive a truly personalized ecommerce experience. We’re here to make ecommerce better. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Qubit can help you deliver online experiences your customers expect, reach out to us at

If you’d to like learn more about we found in our consumer survey, including additional insight into the  future of ecommerce, according to shoppers - check out our new e-book, The ecommerce team’s - product discovery guide. 


Jessica Sta. Maria

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