Sudden drops in conversion rate

Sudden Drops in Conversion Rate: 6 Common Reasons

Whenever you experience sudden drops in conversion rate your heart skips a beat and, inevitably, you start panicking. Well, you shouldn’t. Everything’s got a solution if you know where to look. So take a deep breath, go through this checklist and find the cause. 

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Here’s what to look for if you find yourself in this situation: 

1. Check for Site Errors

The first thing you need to do is access your website and perform a quick health check. Technical errors are often the culprits of sudden drops in CR. 

Test all important functions, like adding a product to the cart, completing an order, sending an email to the support team – key actions that users should be able to perform easily and successfully. 

Also, check to see if there’s something slowing your website down. Loading time is more important than you might think and it could seriously affect the conversion rate.

2. Look for Changes in Design and Layout

Have you done any changes to your website recently? Think about any design tweaks or apps you might have installed. These things can drastically affect your conversion rates, which is why it’s highly important to closely monitor your metrics whenever you bring a significant change to your website. 

Kindly ask your developer to go through all the site changes performed recently and look for connections: could any of these site alterations be correlated to the sudden drops in conversion rate? 

3. Traffic Sources Might Have Something to Do With It

First of all, check for sudden drops in traffic. If they aren’t obvious, take your analysis even further and look at traffic sources.

There are many possible issues related to your traffic that can generate drastic drops in conversion rate. Here are the most common: 

  • You may be sending targeted ads to low-converting audiences that are not relevant for your business anymore and should be changed. 
  • Maybe you’re sending less emails or you’ve changed your email marketing strategy. Email is considered one of the highest converting traffic sources, so any changes brought to this strategy might be the cause of sudden drops in conversion rate. 
  • Last but not least, we recommend checking the compatibility between your ads and your landing pages. If there is a lack of message match or visual identity, users would abandon the purchase. This could explain your low CR on some pages, case in which you’d need to start a landing page optimization process.

4. Test Your Checkout Process

Did you recently change payment providers? If yes, there is a high chance that some users aren’t able to purchase. 

It’s recommended to use multiple payment processing solutions in order to make sure that each one of your customers can successfully place an order. 

Also, don’t forget that offering visitors the option to checkout as guests has become a standard practice for ecommerce stores. Not everybody has the time and patience to create an account only to place one order. 

So, our suggestion is to reevaluate your checkout process and optimize it keeping these key points in mind. 

5. Have You Optimized for Mobile?

This is not something to neglect, especially nowadays, when 80% of site visits come from mobile devices. If you’ve added new pages on your website but didn’t check if they are mobile responsive, it’s time you did! 

Device incompatibilities could seriously affect your conversion rates. Our advice is to keep an eye on how your website performs on mobile devices at all times, so that you can quickly solve any issues that might arise. 

6. Tracking Codes Not Working Properly

Tracking codes that are not installed properly will not correctly report on your conversions. What is more, sometimes they can get corrupted when making changes to your website. 

This is why it’s important to use ‘Annotations’ in Google Analytics, so that you can easily keep track of all the changes you’ve made that may have broken your tracking. 

If you’ve recently installed third-party tools, check if they are properly integrated with Google Analytics. This article explains the steps you need to follow in order to check if Analytics tracking is working properly, so make sure to give it a read.


These are some of the most common issues that can generate sudden drops in conversion rate. Check all these points before starting to panic!

We’re pretty sure that you can fix it by yourself, but in case you get stuck, drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll sort it out together!

By Cristina Neagu

I am a CRO specialist with a focus on consumer psychology & behaviour.

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