How to reduce bounce rate on your eCommerce site

Editorial Team

6 min read
Two women reviewing ecommerce site

What is a good bounce rate for your eCommerce store? And, what does it mean anyway? Read on for why bounce rates matter, and how to reduce the bounce rate on your shop’s site.

Consider this scenario: A couple of shoppers stroll by your store. Then, they peek into the window, move towards the door, open it, and step inside. Just as quickly as they enter, they leave–without looking around and, more importantly, without buying anything. In eCommerce terms, that’s a bounce. 

In turn, bounce rate is a measure of what percentage of visitors–or potential shoppers–click on and quickly click away from your online store. So, how can you get these visitors to stay and make a purchase–that is, how can you turn site visitors into buyers? 

In order to reduce bounce rate, an eCommerce site needs to be functional, clear, and accomplish on its own the sort of customer engagement that might be offered at an in-person store. Do shoppers know what to expect coming in? Are the products displayed clearly and accurately? Can shoppers find what they’re looking for easily? If they have questions, can they get the help they need quickly?

Reducing bounce rate is key to converting visitors into customers. And having a good bounce rate–a low one, that is–is a marker of a successful online business. Here’s what you need to know about bounce rate and how to improve the bounce rate for your eCommerce site. 

What is a bounce rate?

Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who click away from your online store after viewing only one page. It’s a useful way to determine how well your eCommerce site is engaging visitors since a bounce rate shows the proportion of users who leave without following the calls to action (CTAs) on your site, like making a purchase or signing up for email offers.  

Bounce rate is different from exit rate, which measures the number of users who leave a website from a particular page, regardless of how many other pages they’ve visited. 

What’s more, a very high bounce rate could indicate trouble–perhaps your site’s getting bad traffic from search engines, it’s having technical issues, it’s not engaging visitors, or you’re losing traffic to competitors’ sites.

It’s crucial to make sure your business website is built on a solid foundation, using good search engine optimization (SEO) principles, so you can take steps toward improving bounce rate.

But, before you can fix a problem, you have to measure it to understand how big it is. 

How to measure bounce rate on your eCommerce site

Fortunately, there are lots of plugins like Google Analytics, for instance, that can provide you with useful information about your website’s performance–including bounce rate. Since bounce rate is a function of how well your site is performing, a program like Google Analytics can help you zero in on your bounce rate and help you begin to figure out what might be causing it.

For those who enjoy a little algebra, calculating bounce rate is a fairly simple equation:

(Single-page Sessions / All Sessions) x 100 = Bounce Rate

The average bounce rate for a retail site is between 20% and 40%. If your bounce rate is higher, you should try to reduce it to the 20-40% range. 

How to reduce bounce rate 

Reducing bounce rate can help boost your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), meaning that the more time shoppers spend on your site, the better your search rankings can be. And, the more time shoppers spend on your site, the greater the likelihood they’ll convert into customers. What’s more, decreasing bounce rate also hangs on understanding why visitors are bouncing, and that could take some sleuthing. 

To help get you started, here are some of the most common drivers of bounce rate and what you can do to address them. 

1. Technical issues 

Whether your site is slow, links are broken, or product images aren’t loading, any technical issue can impact your bounce rate. That means you’ll need to optimize your site’s functionality. You can get started by browsing your website like a potential shopper and make sure everything is functioning as it should. Fix broken links and get rid of irrelevant or outdated information. Also, ensure your website is easy to read and navigate, and optimize your checkout process

2. Underperforming SEO

Improving your site’s bounce rate can be an opportunity to refine your overall SEO, which is essential to running a successful eCommerce business. One of the best ways to improve bounce rate and to make your online business stand out in search results is to put good SEO principles into practice on your website. For instance, make sure your site has a clear, concise meta description, title tag, and heading (H1) for each page. And, be sure to check out our quick and dirty guide to SEO

3. Poor user experience 

A good user experience can help boost customer retention. A poor experience can boost your bounce rate. So, be sure your site provides precise, accurate product information, that the page design and branding is clean and simple, and that information is simply organized in a way visitors can find it easily. Add alt text to your product photos for better accessibility. The more specific and transparent your site can be about your products, the more it can attract the well-matched shoppers–and lower your bounce rate. 

4. Unclear CTAs

Speaking of poor user experience, having unclear call to action (CTA)–or no CTA at all–can contribute to high bounce rates. Instead, every page on your site absolutely must have a clear CTA and take the user where they’d expect to go. CTAs guide visitors to take action, and, ideally, into your sales funnel. If CTAs are confusing, missing, or buried in the content of a page, visitors likely won’t stick around. Some examples of CTAs can be: Learn More, Buy Now, Get Started, See a Demo, Sign Up, etc.

Clover offers a wide range of business solutions to help retailers, restaurants, and services deliver on their digital potential. Ready to get started? Contact a Clover Business Consultant today.

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