That's one of the questions posed in a thread a Cre8asite Forums in the "Measuring Your Success" forum, where I'm an administrator.
The thread, Scary Exit Rates! starts to address those issues. Here's part of a post I made over there:
When someone walks into a grocery store, chances are good that most of the times they will walk out after having purchased something. The same is true with a convenience store.
Conversion rates for online stores tend to be lower, because of a number of factors:
- It's much easier to go somewhere else.
- You can bookmark the page, and look elsewhere to make comparisons.
- You can gather information about a product and buy offline.
- You need more information before you purchase.
- The design of the site puts you off.
- You have a hard time comparing similar products on the site.
- The ordering process is confusing.
- The site just isn't persuasive or engaging.
- The pictures displayed aren't showing the product off well, or from enough angles.
- The right information isn't on the right part of the page.
- It's difficult to find the products you want because the site search doesn't work well.
- It's difficult to find what you want because the site navigation doesn't instill confidence in you that you will find exactly what you want.
- You may prefer to call and place an order.
- You could be making comparisons between different options for your money, considering different possible ways to spend it, and are just window shopping.
- Many other reasons.
Why would you leave an online store before finishing a purchase? For more of the discussion, or to participate, visit the forums.