When people visit your online store and like what they see, they stick around — looking through the various landing pages and product listings, hopefully staying long enough to make a purchase. However, the fact of the matter is a large percentage of your website’s visitors will leave after viewing just one page.
They will bounce. Some of this is to be expected, but a high bounce rate may indicate people are experiencing some sort of issue with your website or your branding.
Understanding why ecommerce websites experience high bounce rates, and how yours compare to industry benchmarks will help you optimize your online store.
Bounce Rates: What’s Normal in Ecommerce?
To calculate your bounce rate, divide the number of single page sessions your site experiences by its total number of viewers. If you find for every 100 visitors to your website, 58 of them leave without engaging further, you have a bounce rate of 58 percent. Is this good? Is your website doomed? To gauge your performance, look at your particular industry’s average and compare.
Bounce rates vary, even among ecommerce websites. Someone who lands directly on a product listing has a different experience than someone lands on your homepage. With that said, average bounce rates for ecommerce websites in general range from 20- to 45 percent. If your store’s bounce rate is higher than average, there are a number of possible reasons this could be happening
Reasons People Leave Ecommerce Websites
Although it’s something of a bitter pill to swallow — because you undoubtedly think your website is awesome — some people are going to arrive and leave regardless of what you do. That’s just how the internet works. Maybe they got a phone call halfway through their mobile shopping session. Perhaps they saw your home page and mentally bookmarked it to peruse later. Maybe they accidentally clicked on one of your ads. Whatever the reason, sometimes it has more to do with the customer than the store.
Still, certain hurdles are known for fueling high bounce rates:
- Your site navigation is overwhelming or confusing.
- Visitors deem your site untrustworthy or visually unappealing.
- The initial landing page takes too long to load.
- Pop-ups intrude upon users’ shopping experience.
- The website is hard to use on a mobile device.
- There’s no obvious call to action on the first page.
Many of these issues are solvable by using one of the best ecommerce website builders like Shopify to create your online store. An appealing theme, straightforward navigation, optimized images, secure checkout and easy site search go a long way toward convincing people to stay in your sales funnel. The more functional and trustworthy your site seems, the more people will take action beyond landing on the first page.
The Verdict on Bounce Rates
As Practical Ecommerce points out, some stores regularly see bounce rates over 50 percent, while still maintaining solid conversion rates between three and five percent. In other words, your bounce rate is only a concern if you’re also seeing low conversion rates and low average time on page metrics for certain landing pages.
Ecommerce websites experience high bounce rates in part because customers arrive at various stages in the purchasing journey — and some leave because they’re busy or unprepared to actually buy. That’s okay. To see the full story, it’s important to track your bounce rate in conjunction with your conversion rates and the shoppers’ average time on pages.