Bounce rates can make or break eCommerce stores, and it’s not unheard of to see online brands dying as a result of high bounce rates alone. After all, if people are leaving, they’re not buying. Therefore, a business can never succeed with conversions and sales unless it first identifies bounce rate issues and learns how to effectively keep visitors engaged in the conversion funnel to carry them through the entire journey.
The entire goal of any webshop is to sell items. No matter how much traffic a site generates or how many lead-generating practices are in place, if conversions and sales aren’t happening, the business will eventually die. However, it’s not as simple as making sales. When it comes to reducing bounce rates, it is critical to dig in and ask questions, such as:
Why are people navigating away without making a sale?
Are there other conversion steps you can implement to encourage engagement and reduce bounce rates?
What is the cause of cart abandonment or other bounce rates, and how can the issue be fixed?
What are Bounce Rates and Why Do They Matter?
The bounce rate of a website refers to the percentage of visitors that leave after only viewing one page. This does not include visitors that navigate on to other parts of the business website or to the eCommerce store from a landing page. Bounce rates only count visitors who navigate away from a website entirely by doing things like:
Clicking through to another website or an ad that leads the user to a different business or brand
Exiting the browser entirely after only viewing one page on the website or eCommerce store
Clicking the back button after only looking at one page
According to industry research, the average bounce rate of eCommerce webshops is 45.68%. Certain industries have higher bounce rates than others, with the highest found in areas like:
Food and Drink (65.82%)
Science and Reference (62.24%)
Believe it or not, the only industry that has a lower bounce rate than eCommerce is real estate. Even that is only about a percent better, so online shopping isn’t doing too bad for itself. Still, if almost half of the people that visit a store leave, that’s a big gap with plenty of room for improvement.
High bounce rates hurt eCommerce websites in two different ways:
A bounce means the visitor didn’t buy. This obviously has a direct impact on sales
High bounce rates cause websites to get low rankings. Google will swiftly demote the authority of websites that have increasing bounce rates, regardless of the reasoning behind the issue
Setting New Goals
Now that bounce rates have been discussed, many people are probably wondering how to set effective goals to reduce those rates. Although opinions vary, the latest information suggests that bounce rates between 30% and 55% are acceptable. Of course, the lower the bounce rate, the better for the business. This means that people are not only continuing to check out the website, but it means that there are more opportunities for conversions that can lead to sales.
Unfortunately, a bounce is a bounce to the rankings. Fortunately, for the sake of improving these rates, there are some situations where a “true bounce” might not really be present. What does this mean?
Put simply, a true bounce is when a visitor arrives on a website and leaves within a matter of seconds. The point is that the user quickly realized they were in the wrong place and navigated away. These are the areas to focus on, and this is what will be discussed in the guide.
Bounces can also be recorded after someone spends a few minutes on your site, even if they are actually comparison shopping or gathering information. Search engines record every single page visit as a bounce, but the website analytics that need to be addressed are the situations where people leave immediately. That's where the problems lie.
Another factor to consider in setting new goals and reducing bounce rates is the difference in site-wide bounce rates versus page-level rates. An eCommerce store typically has a variety of types of pages on the website, and page-level bounce rates will account for the type of page in question to help websites make improvements. Some pages are going to have higher bounce rates than others, such as in the case of blog posts.
There are a number of different ways to improve bounce rates, increase sales, and get things under control. Keep reading to learn more about the best tools and strategies for increasing conversions and sales while also driving down eCommerce bounce rates.
Common Causes of High Bounce Rates
To better understand where things are going wrong, here are some of the most common issues that result in higher bounce rates:
A lack of relevant pages or information
Difficulty navigating the site or finding things
Poor site layout and design, including unappealing content
Page loads take too long
Too many ads or other types of interference (pop-ups, auto-play videos, etc.)
No mobile optimization for cross-device compatibility
Webshops that are experiencing high bounce rates can start their improvement efforts by checking all of these common issues and identifying effective solutions.
Tips for Reducing Bounces and Increasing Conversion Rates
Regardless of the type of products being sold or the website in question, there are some general tips that everyone can use to help increase the chances of converting visitors to buyers. At the very least, the tips below can help get the ball rolling on conversion optimization, including assisting with increasing session duration and reducing bounce rates.
Don’t Link to the Homepage
It's fairly common for eCommerce stores and other online businesses to include links on their paid advertising and other marketing tools. Unfortunately, it’s also fairly common for that link to lead people right to the website homepage. Some people think this is great because it allows the visitor to choose where they go from that point.
If, however, your ads are marketing a specific product or service, they need to link directly to that page. People clicking on ads and following links aren’t looking to browse the website. They want to make a purchase or learn more about a specific product or service. Redirects to the homepage almost always result in high bounce rates. Use links to send visitors to the relevant page instead and watch conversions increase.
Optimize Product Pages
eCommerce product pages need to be simple, straightforward and make purchases easy. Pricing should be easily visible. There should be a prominent “add to cart” button and reviews for the product (or customer testimonials) should be readily available, as well. Icons, short descriptions, and images will allow the visitor to quickly and effectively make the right purchasing decision. Websites that optimize product pages for the consumer shopping experience will generally notice that the “right” decision ends up with the visitor making a purchase.
Create a Smooth Purchase Experience
11% of people who abandon carts in the middle of a transaction do so because of an over-complicated checkout process. In the modern age where every online store is expected to live up to industry giants like Amazon, it’s critical to take notes from their transaction process and how they strive to make things more efficient for customers. For example, Amazon offers a one-click purchase option that makes it easy for people to buy when they know exactly what they want.
Brands that put themselves in the shoes of their customers are going to be more effective at improving the checkout or shopping experience in a way that increases sales and reduces bounce rates. If people can’t find information, such as pricing, product reviews, or even the right call-to-action, they’re probably going to leave.
Use Pop-Ups on Exit
Although some internet users are over pop-ups and think that any kind is just an annoying sales tactic, the numbers don’t lie. Exit-intent pop-ups are designed to pop up when someone attempts to navigate away from a website, and they can be more effective at reducing bounce rates than most people think. As someone is about to bounce, the site can offer up one last chance to convert, such as a last-call sale or a special discount for acting immediately.
Customers won’t admit it, but according to research, there is a 20% increase in conversion rates just from implementing exit-intent pop-ups. It works if it’s used correctly. Some things these pop-ups can offer include:
Discounts and one-time special offers
Assistance finding the ideal product
Be careful about using these, but feel free to add some flair to them to get people’s attention. After all, if people have already attempted to navigate away, there’s nothing to lose by trying.
Speaking of Free Shipping...
Find a way to offer free shipping for all purchases. It doesn’t matter whether the shipping cost is actually free, so long as it seems that way to the shopper. Thanks to industry retail giants like Amazon, people almost expect free shipping to come standard with all online shopping. Although some consumers will pay shipping without complaint, the data has shown that eCommerce sites with free shipping have lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates.
It can be hard to calculate potential shipping costs for every possible customer, but it is important to determine the average expense involved. Then, if products need to be marked up by a few dollars here or there, the difference can be recuperated and even a small e-commerce store can still make money while offering free shipping as a standard service. Amazon is proof that people are more likely to buy the item that is $28.95 with free shipping than they are to buy the product that is $23.95 with a $5 shipping charge. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t have to. It’s what people want and successful webshops deliver.
Tools to Help Reduce Bounce Rates
There are literally dozens of different tools and resources that can assist with reducing bounce rates and improving website conversions. Taking the time to get to know the tools available, including how they can help reduce bounce rates, is going to make it easier to choose which to include in any digital optimization strategy. Here are some of the most popular tools and the features they offer to assist with reducing bounce rates.
Google offers a full suite of marketing tools and resources, with its Analytics program being among the most popular. This detailed analysis tool allows users to track all kinds of statistics and website activity, including getting an in-depth explanation of current bounce rates, session durations, and other elements. This insight could prove invaluable in helping companies reduce bounce rates because it allows them to see where things are going wrong. Plus, a brand can’t improve without knowing where it stands. This tool takes care of that, and more.
iPaper Displays is a layer on top of your webshop that presents your products in an inspiring and engaging format. Your Display acts as a channel to convert the website traffic you have acquired into customers. You don't need to be a designer or developer to get started, all you need is your Google Shopping feed. It's a fast and easy to use tool that will help reduce your bounce rate, convert browsing shoppers and put your products front and center.
Another multi-functional optimization tool, KISSMetrics starts by offering a full selection of reports and analytical tools for data tracking, audience segmentation, page-level bounce rate tracking, and more. The tool now has a conversion mapping feature, which allows the user to map an entire visit through the eyes of the consumer to identify where bounces are happening and what can be done to reduce the number of people leaving the site.
A leader in marketing automation, HubSpot has a full inventory of optimization tools and features, including bounce rate insight and analysis features. HubSpot also provides access to value-added information about conversion optimization and reducing bounce rates, giving users information and insight along with tools that they can use to make improvements.
This tool is used by more than 300,000 websites and it offers plenty of resources to assist with identifying and correcting issues with low bounce rates. The platform is available in various levels with different pricing for each structure, offering scalable solutions for all types of businesses. The analytics tools will allow for page-level bounce rate monitoring and assist in finding ways to keep users engaged and avoid accidental clicks, which can kill bounce rates quickly.
Those who want all the perks and features of Google Analytics but don’t want to work with Google can try Piwik. This open-source platform provides valuable user metrics and website data analysis that can point to exactly why users aren’t sticking around or what could be contributing to high bounce rates. The platform also provides total user privacy protection and 100% data ownership, which some analytics platforms don’t provide.
This platform is designed to assist with decreasing bounce rates and other conversion optimization tactics. Those who already have the data and know that changes need to take place can benefit from this platform that is ready to provide solutions for a variety of marketing needs. It offers personalized campaigns and can be used to generate email marketing, push notifications, and pop-ups for email capture, exit intent, and more.
Choosing the Right Tools
There is no single tool or platform that will guarantee lower bounce rates for a brand or business. All of the tools listed above, along with the dozens of other optimization and analytical tools out there, are designed to offer the best solutions to assist with improving your conversion rates and reducing bounce rates overall. There isn’t a magic solution or a program that you can download to fix everything for you.
Instead, you have to look at the tools available, including the ones listed here, and see which features are included. Typically, you will want to include software options and platforms that cover all of the areas of conversion optimization to assist with bounce rate reduction:
Analytics and data
Online performance and page optimization
By choosing a platform that includes solutions to assist with bounce rates and other marketing improvements, it will be easier for brands to build their business and get the conversions that they desire.
Whether improving bounce rates for the webshop is a part of conversion rate optimization or it is something that is being done independently, any of the tools and resources provided here can help. The goal is to find the tools that will help reduce bounce rates and turn those bounces into conversions, so it may be better to take a collaborative approach to improved marketing and conversion efforts. Although there are some bounces that may never be controllable, optimization can go a long way in helping improve other common issues that will lead to reduced bounce rates.