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Things to Learn From Customers Who Don’t Convert

Why are customers not converting? This is something us digital marketers face on a daily basis with cart abandonment becoming all too familiar.

Of course, there can be a number of reasons why. Perhaps price, seasonality, user experience, lack of security, brand identity, the list goes on. However, what’s important is how to understand these non-buyers and dig beneath the large bounce rates and low conversions.

  1. Learn about the buying cycle

First and foremost, understand the customer buying cycle. A valid reason they are not buying could simply be due to the fact they are at the wrong point in the buying cycle.

  • Awareness – the realisation that you and your brand exist and that there is the potential of a purchase.
  • Consideration and Assessment – the customer’s evaluation of your offering and how this compares to others in the marketplace.
  • Preference/Buying Intent – the customer validates the reasoning behind their need and is emotionally swayed to make a decision.
  • Purchase is made.
  • Loyalty or Repurchase – customer returns to purchase again.


The truth about this cycle is that a customer can only be at one point in the cycle at one time. Therefore, the lost conversion (sad face) may not actually be a lost conversion, it’s just they need to move into a different step in the cycle.

  1. Ensure the traffic coming to the site is qualified

Learn that understanding your traffic’s search intent is key to providing the best solution for your potential buyers. Every search query comes with a specific intent from the user and this does impact whether or not they convert. They can be either transactional, navigational or informational queries. Transactional refers to people who want to buy soon or right away. Navigational queries are the customers who are just looking to find you. These type of customers are usually doing their research. Finally, informational queries are those who require more information and they are the least likely to buy, but comprise the highest percentage of search traffic to sites.

The better you can understand all three types, the more chance you have at achieving higher converting search traffic.

  1. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is vital

These points so far point out that conversion rate optimisation is so important. Why? Because, CRO focusses specifically on those who do not convert. It’s the process of analysis, testing and researching the non-converters to improve the site’s conversion rate without touching the traffic to the site.

CRO is about testing the aesthetics of the site and comparing it to alternatives.

It’s A/B testing and it’s hugely effective:


Using our conversion optimisation methods, we increased this client’s conversion rate by 76% over 1 month, that’s a heap more revenue!

  1. Understand your customers

Google Analytics is the mother of all tools when understanding who your customers are and holds the key to many questions that may be keeping you up at night. Let’s face it, we are not all fine readers.

Use this tool carefully to create a persona for your customers and also define your ideal customer in what you want them to purchase. Use demographics, age, location, gender and so on, and you will be surprised what you can find in comparison to what you want. This can be fundamental in making better decisions and increasing clarity.

  1. Learn about your competition and don’t stop learning

If customers are not converting on your site, you can ultimately guarantee they are converting elsewhere. Identify your competition and assess why buyers are choosing them over you. Analyse your site in comparison to theirs and make the changes that will place yourself on the competition ladder to become the best.

  1. TEST!

One of the biggest lessons we can learn from this is that all sites need to be tested. Split testing is hugely powerful in the digital landscape. As soon as you start, you will begin to identify the hot and cold spots of your website. This will allow you to convert a higher proportion of customers.

In conclusion, don’t panic about the non-converters. Dive deeper into understanding your customer and that will give you a clear indication of how to fix what’s not working.

To find out more about how CRO works, click here.


By Charlotte MacInnes

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