Three Reasons Why Mobile Conversion Rates Are So Low

Conversion rates are, in general, a rough business. With customers flitting between several sites at a time, it’s difficult to hold anyone’s attention. Online retailers are lucky if they’re able to convert even 2% of their visitors into customers.

The numbers become even direr when you look at the statistics for mobile users. According to the Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly, global conversion rates for mobile customers were consistently lower than 1%. While some businesses may look at these numbers with hopelessness, there is reason to believe that things might be looking up. Here are three reasons why mobile conversion rates are so low, and how you might overcome the difficulties.


As we’ve covered in several other posts, online retailers are severely handicapping their mobile sales by failing to optimize their sites for smartphones and tablets. Online stores that have been designed for desktop computers become unwieldy when crammed into a tiny screen, making it difficult to browse and buy products.

Thankfully for online retailers, this issue is easy to overcome. Web designers are experienced now in creating mobile versions of sites that are tailored specifically towards increasing sales. Additionally, Exit Intent pop-ups can be optimized for mobile devices, giving you a second chance at converting your customers.


Consider all of the different environments in which a person might be browsing on their cell phone or tablet. People use their smartphones now while at work, walking around town, on public transportation, and during down time at restaurants and cafes. Mobile devices are designed to be convenient for all times and locations, but this convenience doesn’t translate to online shopping. Many mobile users are reluctant to make a purchase online because it requires them to take out their credit card and enter in their information while in a public location. It’s just not as convenient as making a purchase on a laptop or home computer.

There is a way to overcome this challenge with your company’s repeat customers. Some online retailers prompt their customers to make an account with the store before their first purchase; this way, the site is able to keep the customer’s shipping and billing information in a database. The next time the customer comes around, they won’t need to go through the hassle of entering in all of that data. This is an ingenious way of encouraging repeat business; by making the next purchase as convenient as possible, you’ve set yourself up to capture that customer’s business again even if they’re browsing on a mobile device. Best of all, you can keep track of the success of this strategy with a good analytics program.


The last issue that online retailers have to contend with when it comes to mobile shopping is the typical behavior of mobile customers. Even with desktop users, it’s difficult to hold someone’s attention for longer than a couple minutes at most. The bounce rate of mobile users is even higher, as they tend to bounce back and forth between several sites and search engines, looking for something to briefly hold their attention.

Exit Intent pop-ups are the perfect solution for convincing mobile users to stick around and browse your site. Companies like MaxTraffic have created Exit Intent overlays that are specially designed to deal with mobile behavior; MaxTraffic’s BounceBack technology has been a topic of some of our other posts. Putting a persuasive message in front of the mobile user at the moment they’re about to leave is a great way to hold their attention and compel them to continue shopping. Give it a shot and watch how your bounce rate drops dramatically.

Three Reasons Why Mobile Conversion Rates Are So Low

All-Star Ads: Popular Items

All-Star Ads is a series that highlights exit-intent overlays that are particularly effective. This blog post features “Popular Item” ads.


When a customer visits your e-commerce site, they’re likely in some sort of “shopping mood.” Even the most frugal shopper has come to your site because of an interest in a certain product or offer; knowing this, it should be easy to encourage the customer to consider other items.

“Popular item” ads are exit-intent pop-ups that display a few products that the customer may be interested in but hasn’t yet seen. There are a number of strategies to which items you feature in your “popular item” advertisement, but a solid tactic is to show the top 3 items purchased by customers in your visitor’s demographic segment. (Of course, companies must make sure not to show an ad for pantyhose to an elderly male customer, or neckties to a mid-30s woman!)

A couple things you may not know about “popular item” ads:

  • You don’t have to be 100% truthful. The customer won’t know whether the item you’re showing is actually in the top echelon of sales or not. Perhaps you’re trying to give a boost to a product that you feel has been underperforming. In any case, these advertisements give you the chance to experiment with different products and see what styles are resonating with shoppers.
  • Less is more. It may be tempting to put as many items as possible in front of the visitor in the hope that something might click. However, your exit-intent pop-up will be more appealing and effective if you limit the selection to two or three items. You want the customer to be able to absorb as much information as possible in the split second that they first view the overlay. Too many items will be information overload, prompting the visitor to continue away from your site.


As displayed in the image above, it’s also a great opportunity to feature upcoming styles for a new season or products that have been updated with an innovative new feature.

This technology should be employed most often with “bouncing” visitors who have viewed only one page on your site. These customers are most likely to be influenced by new information, and a powerful “popular item” ad could convince them to look for those items and more if they like your style.

All-Star Ads: Popular Items

What Can You Learn From Your Bounce Rate?

Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave the website after visiting only one page. A high bounce rate can indicate a design flaw with your website; in any case, it should motivate you to examine your site and strategize about how to lower your percentage and encourage more visitors to look around.

Here are some tips on how to learn from your bounce rate and reflect on the quality of your e-commerce site:

Take a Long Look at Your Design

Online shopping has blossomed into a booming industry over the last decade, and with that growth has come the development of highly sophisticated websites. You can tell the difference between a good site and a bad site, can’t you? Take a look around at competing websites and see how yours compares; if you don’t like what you see, study the differences in design and make a “wish list” of changes you’d like to see implemented in your site. If you don’t trust your own research, get a friend with good taste involved that will give you honest feedback. A slick, well designed website is a prerequisite for enticing visitors to view more pages.

Is Your Site Intuitive?

While you’re sprucing up your site, take a few minutes to navigate around and assess your layout. Pretend that you’re a customer: is it easy to find the products you’re looking for? Is there a recognizable icon for the shopping cart? Are popular products and discounts prominently displayed?

Competition for customers is fierce, and your website should make it as simple as possible for a visitor to make a purchase. Sending visitors on a wild goose chase for products is not a recipe for sales success. Again, the help of a friend could be effective; instruct someone who hasn’t visited your site to come on and try to purchase a specific product. If they report back that headaches set in after only a couple minutes on your site, you’ll want to get to work on streamlining your operation.

Get Your Priorities Straight

Let’s imagine that you offer the best water skis on the market: a state-of-the-art product at an unmatched low price. If that’s the case, you’ll want those water skis to be front and center on your homepage. Customers will come looking, and you don’t want them to have to look very far.

If you have a popular product or offer, feature it prominently on your front page. Many shoppers are “impulse buyers” who could make a purchase within seconds of visiting an e-commerce site. Make the decision as easy as possible for these customers by showing them the amazing deal they’ll receive by shopping on your site.

A high bounce rate is like a high reading on your thermometer; it signifies that something is not healthy on your site, and you should take steps to bring your number down. Look for flaws in your site design and work towards a more attractive, efficient website. Your bounce rate will come down in no time!

What Can You Learn From Your Bounce Rate?

Why Do Visitors Leave a Site?

I’ve got startling news for you: the vast majority of people who visit your website leave without making a purchase or inquiring about a service. Some will even leave after visiting only one page; this statistic is referred to as your site’s “bounce rate.” A high bounce rate can be a disturbing reminder that your products and services may not be as appealing as you think.

Before getting into exit intent technology and why it’s a powerful solution for online retailers and service providers, it’s worthwhile to examine the reasons why visitors leave a site:

Unappealing Design

Before anything else, your website needs to pass the “eye test.” If it looks like it was designed over a decade ago (or indeed if it was), it is definitely worth refreshing your company’s image. An ancient or poorly designed website signifies to the customer that your business is not up-to-date or trustworthy. Powerful tools like Weebly, Squarespace, and Wix make it easy to design an attractive website for a low subscription fee; there’s no excuse for an outdated design.

Bad Fit

Perhaps a customer is looking for a specific product like classic vinyl records and came upon your site that sells CDs and DVDs. Realizing that you don’t have what they’re looking for, the customer will leave your page in search of a better fit. In some cases, there is nothing to be done about this mismatch. However, you may be able to counter the customer’s abandonment by showing an exit intent overlay displaying your site’s most popular products. You may not have their coveted 1969 Abbey Road EP, but you do have the Beatles’ 1 CD from 2000 at an unbeatable price.

High Prices

Sticker shock is the phenomenon when a customer expects a low price on a product and is dismayed to find that it is actually far more expensive. It is an unfortunately common occurrence in online shopping, when customers are constantly searching for amazing deals on popular products. Visitors may abandon your site after finding that the item they want is out of their price range. If you have the room to do so financially, consider employing an exit pop-up offering a discount on the item they were just viewing. The lowered price coupled with the feeling that they’re experiencing a special deal could influence them to purchase the item.

Comparison Shopping

As has been mentioned before, there are numerous online shops for all types of products. Your customers will likely compare your prices to those of your competitors in search of the best deal. If a visitor leaves your site and finds a better rate at a competing website, it’s unlikely that they’ll return and complete your purchase. An effective way of combating this behavior is by employing an exit intent overlay that displays your prices compared to those of your competitor. By doing the work for the customer, you decrease the likelihood that they will visit a competing site.

Why Do Visitors Leave a Site?