How to Improve Your E-Commerce Bounce Rate

How to Improve Your E-Commerce Bounce Rate

Whether you’re planning to start an e-commerce business from scratch, or you’re looking for ways to boost your online sales, the bounce rate is one of the most valuable metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of your website and marketing strategy. 

In a nutshell, the bounce rate indicates the number of people who leave your website before you have a chance to convert them into leads or customers. Expressed as a percentage, this rate is calculated based on the sessions that trigger single requests, such as when a user visits a page of your website and exists without taking any other action.

Why Is the Bounce Rate Important?

Despite your catchy brand name, professional-looking website, and lead-generating marketing campaigns, your business may be losing customers and revenue. Ideally, qualitative insights into your bounce rate will point out the reasons why visitors are bouncing from your website. Even though Google does not use bounce rate in its search algorithm, it affects RankBrain, which a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Its core purpose is to improve search results by better understanding the users’ search intent.

Current data puts the average e-commerce websites bounce rate of at 45.68%. The average bounce rate by industry can be seen in the graph below:

Average Bounce Rate by Industry
Image source: CXL

The reasons that affect bounce rate vary from one site to another, and from one industry to another, as shown above, although the most common factors affecting bounce rates are:

  • Page speed – If a page takes longer than a few seconds to load, most visitors will leave. You can use different tools to measure your page load time.  
  • Design – If your website layout isn’t organized, the colors aren’t pleasing, and/or the navigation isn’t intuitive and easy, your visitors will likely click the back button. 
  • Content – Irrelevant content or unappealing content, which requires readers to scroll through boring blocks of black text, could lead to high bounce rates.
  • Pop-up ads, surveys, music, carousels, and live-streaming videos – These elements might conflict user intent and annoy your site visitors. As well, bombarding visitors with irrelevant ads and alternative offers could breed distrust. Without trust, people won’t provide their contact or payment information.
  • Technical errors – Specific issues may prevent users from exploring different pages of your site. For instance, a malfunctioning plugin could lead to a form not loading, or a section of the website not loading correctly on a specific browser (hint: always conduct cross-browser and responsive testing).

A high bounce rate indirectly means that potential customers are leaving your site with their cash still in their pockets. Finding ways to reduce your bounce rate could have a positive impact on your conversion rate and bottom line.

How to Decrease Your Bounce Rate and Improve Your Conversion Rate

Before you dive in and start analyzing your e-commerce business, it’s important to learn how to find and monitor your bounce rate. Although there are different software solutions available nowadays, the easiest way to see your bounce rate is to use Google Analytics, which provides information about the bounce rate for your site, each channel grouping, and individual pages.

Google Analytics - Bounce Rate

Although every e-commerce website has visitors who bounce due to different reasons, a high bounce rate may indicate certain problems that should be addressed as soon as possible in order to limit revenue loss. Whether your bounce rate has always been high, or it has spiked suddenly due to recent changes you’ve made to your website, there are a few things you can do to decrease it, such as:

  • Optimizing the page load time: According to recent research, a fast loading e-commerce site has a 72% lower bounce rate than slow loaders. Additionally, responsive web design plays a critical role in providing an optimal viewing experience across different browsers and devices.
  • Opting for an eye-catching layout and design: Good design and simple layout ensures that visitors can easily understand your website’s navigation options, so they can find what they want without wasting time. Besides keeping your design simple, you should work toward eliminating distractions, like new window pop-ups and intrusive ads.
  • Creating engaging, meaningful content: Adequate content with subheads, bulleted lists, links to related content, and high-quality visuals could help you capture your visitors’ attention and decrease your bounce rate.
  • Using modal boxes: Because modal boxes are able to increase conversion rates, they can be extremely useful for an e-commerce website, particularly when they pop up at the right time.
  • Displaying discounts, limited-time offers, and top deals: Displaying discounts and best deals could persuade site visitors to check other pages of your website and even complete a purchase on their first visit.  
  • Creating calls-to-action (CTAs) that stand out: Prominent CTAs can help visitors get to the next stage of the funnel. Also, links to product manuals, guides, and customer reviews are excellent options for the customers who might need more convincing.

A high bounce rate is an indicator of one or more problems, not a problem in itself. If you have a high bounce rate, it usually means that your e-commerce website fails to engage visitors. Even though there are different strategies you could use to decrease your bounce rate, not all of them are equally effective. Only by analyzing your website design and content, testing different engagement tactics, and experimenting with various layouts, you could cut down your bounce rate, improve your conversion rate, and boost your sales.

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