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

Exit Intent: Helping Global Corporations Act Local

The retail industry involves a tremendous amount of trade-offs, with companies balancing marketing choices that may entice some customers while turning off others. A constant struggle for large companies is the need to appear to have a local presence; retailers that appear to be only a huge, obtuse megacorporation will have a difficult time competing with small businesses that are headquartered right around the corner from the customer.


This concern is especially important for companies marketing products that customers feel a personal connection to: clothing, toys, and decorations. The average consumer wants to feel a sense of satisfaction from the items that express their creativity and personality, and it’s difficult to feel a connection to an item that was made 10,000 kilometers away and marketed to over a billion people.

So what’s the key to overcoming this marketing challenge? Medium- to large-sized businesses must make the extra effort to differentiate their marketing campaigns and appear local to multiple parts of their consumer base. The customer does not necessarily need to be convinced that the company is based near them; rather, it’s a matter of convincing the customer that the company has a stake in their country or region.

Visitor Segmenting

Good news for larger retailers: Exit Intent technology gives you the opportunity to appear local by taking advantage of visitor segmenting.

Visitor segmenting is a tool that many Exit Intent companies offer which allows you to display different messages to different customers. You can segment based on a variety of metrics: how the visitor arrived at your site, how long they’ve been there, or where they are in the world.

With the custom capabilities of Exit Intent pop-ups and the ability to keep track of your conversion statistics, visitor segmenting is an invaluable tool for designing, studying, and fine-tuning various marketing campaigns. 

Going Local

Imagine a bargain fashion retailer based in Southeast Asia. Despite the fact that their headquarters are in Thailand, their sales numbers depend on success in a number of different countries: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and more.

Undoubtedly, there are large differences in the customer habits and pop culture norms of these various countries. In an effort to “go local,” the retailer can take advantage of these differences in Exit Intent overlays that have been designed specifically for each country. The visitor segmenting tool then allows each ad to be implemented only in the country for which it was designed: no Laotian ads being shown in Thailand, no Cambodian ads in Vietnam.

Beyond the obvious differences in language, your targeted ads can use inside jokes, local news, or special deals that you can offer only in the targeted country. Perhaps you can offer free shipping in Laos but not in other countries in the region; this is the perfect opportunity to employ an Exit Intent overlay that advertises free shipping for one small visitor segment.

At the very least, geographic visitor segmenting shows the customer that you’ve made an effort to understand them, their home, and their culture. This type of relationship-building goes a long way toward convincing the customer to eventually purchase a product or service.

Exit Intent: Helping Global Corporations Act Local

How to Make the Most Out of A/B Testing

AB Testing

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge on using Exit Intent technology, there is a litany of tools at your disposal to make the most out of your sales strategy. One of these powerful tools is A/B testing which can show you the relative effectiveness of your exit intent campaigns.

Here’s how it works:

  • Using an exit intent company like MaxTraffic (, you create two contrasting campaigns to increase conversions and sales.
  • With A/B testing, 50% of your visitors are shown one campaign while the other 50% are shown the second campaign.
  • Your exit intent solution tracks the conversion rates of both campaigns, giving you real data on the effectiveness of each campaign.
  • Once your sample size is large enough to indicate a clear winner, you can then employ your effective ad with all visitors.

Effective marketing requires constant evaluation to determine if a new strategy will lead to more sales. With A/B testing, every new advertisement can be tested against your most effective current strategy. Why switch from an effective exit intent overlay when the new one isn’t as good?

Online retailers are always concerned about losing sales, and the prospect of a new campaign flopping can be enough to keep you from ever taking an advertising risk. Imagine that your marketing department has come up with a new campaign that is totally “outside the box.” You may be concerned about how it will play with actual customers, but your company isn’t nearly large enough to pay for things like focus groups and surveys. A/B testing is an effective, cost-efficient way to surpass customer surveys and get to the heart of the matter: sales. Use this strategy as much as you want; the more testing you do, the more efficient your campaigns will become.

How to Make the Most Out of A/B Testing

Building a Newsletter Base Through Exit Intent Ads

Exit intent technology has been touted as an incredible tool for e-commerce and online retail websites. While it’s true that exit overlays can increase conversion rates by 10-20%, that isn’t all that this solution can do. With the powerful customization capabilities of exit intent technology, you can adapt these strategies to suit the needs of your company.

One great use of exit intent technology is capturing customer information. Building an information database can be extraordinarily valuable for e-commerce sites as well as sites offering services like financial planning, insurance, and security. That information can be turned into a weekly or monthly newsletter in which you engage visitors with your most appealing content.

Design your exit intent overlay to make the idea of a newsletter appealing to the visitor. Exit pop-ups are annoying by nature, and you must overcome this stigma to present an attractive message. A message like “Our Best Deals Can Be Found in Our Monthly Newsletter” or “Subscribe to Our Newsletter to Be the First to Know About New Products” will convince visitors that your newsletter is a necessity.

An exit pop-up designed to capture information should be as simple as possible. Include areas to enter the visitor’s name and email address, nothing more. Once they’ve clicked “Submit,” the pop-up should vanish, allowing the visitor to go on their merry way. You have now established a long-term relationship with the visitor; earn the visitor’s trust by providing only your best content at well-timed intervals.

Your newsletter should be distributed no more than twice a month, and it should always contribute something of value to the reader’s day. No one likes to be spammed, and your readership will quickly dwindle if you are not delivering something worth reading. Exit intent technology will help you collect subscribers – it’s up to you to keep them interested and turn them into customers.

Building a Newsletter Base Through Exit Intent Ads

What Is Exit Intent Technology?

E-commerce has developed over the last decade into a multi-billion dollar industry. An endless number of websites exist around the world offering everything from clothing to garden equipment. With so many options and so much competition, it can be difficult to stand out and succeed with an online retail store. Beyond the basics of having an attractive, efficient website, several tools can impact the customer experience and increase overall sales. One of the most powerful tools for e-commerce is exit intent technology.

Exit intent technology works by showing a new message to customers at the moment when they are about to leave your site. These exit overlays or exit popups are triggered by the visitor’s actions: they have either spent a certain amount of time on the site, have hovered over the address bar, or moved their mouse towards the “back” button.


When using exit intent technology, the visitor’s mouse movements and clicks are tracked to understand that person’s behavior. In certain instances, you can design targeted advertisements for specific visitor segments. A visitor who has added items to their shopping cart, for example, can be presented with a special offer of 5% off the cost of the items they’ve selected.


The key to exit intent technology is re-engaging with the customer and presenting or capturing new information. If you don’t want to use exit pop-ups to goad your visitor into making a purchase, you can instead use them to capture that visitor’s email address to keep in touch in the future.

Exit intent technology is highly effective; in some cases it has increased conversion rates (percentage of visitors who make a purchase) by over 20%. Every opportunity that you have to engage with your visitors gives you a greater chance of making a sale and increasing your profits. Don’t let potential customers abandon your site without showing them your best products and offers!

What Is Exit Intent Technology?