Bounce rate is an often overlooked stat.
In essence, it tells you the rate at which visitors are leaving your site after viewing one page. Sometimes this is ok – a visitor may be looking for information, find it, and then leave. Job done.
However, as is too often in e-commerce, a high bounce rate can indicate that visitors are not engaging with your conversion funnel, and that there is something fundamentally wrong with your site’s offering.
So what should you be expecting?
Well, in retail, industry averages lay between a 20-40% bounce rate (source: Kissmetrics).
A quick look in your Google analytics account will show your site’s bounce rate, and, importantly, which pages have the highest bounce rate. This may be an indication that those pages need optimising.
Let’s look at some ways to reduce your bounce rate and see visitors engage more with your site.
1. Help visitors find what they want – wherever they are
For visitors landing on your homepage, ‘trending products’ recommendations are a great way to get shoppers engaged and finding popular items. For the user landing on one of your product pages? They should be greeted with recommendations related to the item they’re looking for to help them navigate through your site and find what they want.
And of course, your search navigation should be clearly visible at the top of the screen and ideally be fixed, so that it scrolls as your visitors look through your pages.
This, along with a help/FAQ section, should be enough to deal with customer queries, but sometimes a customer has a question you didn’t even know existed. A live chat function can be great here and can help build a positive, helpful image of your brand.
2. Make sure your call to action is doing its job
What do you want your visitors to do? It’s well known that a clear call to action is essential, whether it’s ‘buy now’ or ‘add to cart’ or ‘download ebook’. Importantly, it needs to be the right colour, wording, in the right place and, crucially, mobile optimised.
Split test different colours and wording to see what works. Even just changing the colour can make a big difference. By using heat map software (see below), you can see where visitors are engaging with your site and if work needs to be done.
3. Don’t go overboard with text
It cannot be stressed enough: write your important messages in as few words as possible.
People prefer to digest text in small chunks, and a wall of text is a common reason for visitors bouncing. Break text up into chunks, headings, subheadings, bullet-points, and add images.
4. Don’t go cheap on web design
Web design and trust go hand in hand. If your site doesn’t look the part then visitors are likely to become suspicious, and won’t hang around.
Check out Adobe’s colour wheel to see what colours go well together. Try to be consistent with your use of fonts and limit the number to two per page. Make sure image dimensions are consistent, too. And try to avoid ‘busyness’ – your site should be simple and clear.
Don’t be cheap when it comes to design. Your site needs to look good if it is to be perceived as professional.
5. Check your messaging
If your users are landing on your site from search, then make sure your site meets their expectations. As an internet user, there are few things as frustrating as landing on a site that doesn’t match the search or meta description.
By having dedicated landing pages specifically related to key terms, you’ll find visitors have a vastly improved user experience, making it easier to find what they need.
6. Prevent exits
Exit prevention messages are activated by analysing user intent, and provide an effective way to entice your user to stay. Particularly with first time visitors, an offer or free delivery can be an effective incentive to stay and continue shopping. However pop-ups can be seen as a nuisance, so pay attention to design and messaging, and test everything.
Over to you
An ecommerce website that ensures it caters for all its users’ needs should see itself rewarded with a lower bounce rate and higher site conversions. Using an effective split testing tool will help you effectively measure the changes you make. This article contains a small selection of techniques you can use – our tool Bunting is packed full of proven conversion raising techniques which will easily help lower your bounce rates. Good luck!