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As a digital marketer or e-commerce business owner, you may often check your website analytics and find yourself asking: “Why am I having such a high bounce rate?” 😳

If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Experiencing a high bounce rate gives many digital marketers and business owners a headache.

In this post, we'll help you identify the most likely reasons for a high bounce rate on your website and provide corresponding tips to help fix it.

Sounds good 😎? Let's dive right in!

Bounce Rate: Definition & Benchmarks

Generally speaking, a bounce is when a user or customer visits a single page on your website and then exits without visiting or interacting with another page 👋.

According to Google and Shopify, bounce rate is defined as the percentage of site visitors that land on a page and only look at that said page and then leave—or bounce from—your site immediately without interacting with it.

Most people tend to consider a high bounce rate as a negative thing. However, it’s not always true. You should first consider the type of website content before becoming concerned about a high bounce rate. For instance, if someone lands on your landing page of an e-book, it wouldn't be unusual for them to land and leave the page immediately after downloading it.

Moreover, since every industry is different and has its own benchmarks, there's no fixed standard for qualifying a good or bad bounce rate.

According to the latest data from CXL, the average e-commerce bounce rate falls between 20% - 45%, which is actually lower than other kinds of websites, such as blogs (65%-90%) and landing pages (60%-90%).

bounce rate benchmarks

E-commerce bounce rates also vary across different devices. For example, for Shopify-powered sites, the average bounce rate is 47.5% for mobile and 38.7% for desktop.

Why should your e-commerce site start taking a high bounce rate seriously?

Based on the statistics above, if the bounce rate of your e-commerce store is higher than 45%, it can be a worrisome sign. Because for e-commerce sites, bounce rate as a critical metric can reveal a lot about how well your website is doing in engaging and converting potential customers 💡.

In specific, a high bounce rate can hurt your e-commerce business in the following aspects:

  • Customers are not staying in your e-commerce store longer.
  • Customers will also not discover more products to purchase.
  • You'll have low conversion rates.
  • It is harmful to your SEO, which will result in a lower rank of your website in the search results.
  • Ultimately, a high bounce rate stops you from generating more revenue!

Well, to put it simply, if customers are bouncing from your webshop, they’re not going to make you any money - and you might have even spent money to get them there. Therefore for e-commerce websites, a high bounce rate is often considered as the killer of customer engagement, lead generation, conversion rate, sales, and ultimately revenue ☠️💣.

In the following sessions, we’ll uncover the 3 main reasons for why your bounce rate is so high and accordingly provide practical tips for fixing it.

Reason 1: Slow Page Speed

One of the many reasons your website experiences a high bounce rate is your slow-to-load website pages. When you were setting up your webshop, you were probably looking for a bargain and went with the cheapest host you could find. But you know, you pay for what you get - just like anything in life.

Additionally, a lot of other things can also slow down your site. For example, oversized images that can't be loaded quickly. Likewise, fonts, sliders, and all these other components will slow you down.

Just imagine this: A visitor is super excited to check out your webshop or even buy a product from you, but they have to wait for your slow-loading pages 😩. Most likely, they don't have the patience to wait for a slow site to load. They will just navigate away because they know there must be other websites selling the same or alternative products. Just like that, you lost a potential buyer 😭.

In fact, a long list of studies and statistics have demonstrated the significance of site speed to e-commerce business success. A study by Akamai shows that the bounce rate increases by 103% when a web page load time delays for 2 seconds! Furthermore, 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.

site speed

Thus, a technical tip from us is to optimize your site speed 🚀 and then you will see your bounce rate decrease. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check your web page performance and receive suggestions to make that page faster.

Moreover, we want to point out that besides being a critical factor that affects user experience and conversion rates, page speed is also crucial to your SEO! Since page speed is a confirmed ranking factor for Google Search.

If you want to learn more about other technical SEO tactics, check out our beginner-level, actionable e-commerce SEO guide to boosting online sales.

Reason 2: Bad site navigation & poor UX

Is your e-commerce website difficult to navigate?

Please note that visitors to your e-commerce site will decide whether they want to stay or leave within just a few seconds. For example, your visitor lands on a product page of your site. But the product is not exactly what they're looking for, and there's no recommendation banner showing them alternative options. With this poor user experience (UX), your visitor will immediately bounce away.

There’re three simple ways that you can build a user-friendly and effective on-site navigation system:

Systematically improving the navigation of your e-commerce website can be a challenging task - but don’t worry, Clerk gets you covered 🙌!

Check out the following stories to find out how Clerk helps Munk Store, Friluftsland, and Vitarock improve on-site navigation and reduce bounce rates:

Reason 3: Not optimized for mobile

Do you know that more and more consumers are shopping online via mobile devices?

In fact, surveys discovered that smartphones are gradually becoming the most popular device for online shopping. As Statista’s latest report shows, the estimated mobile as a share of total e-commerce is projected to reach 72.9% worldwide by this year.

mobile ecommerce

The revenue of the global mobile commerce industry is expected to reach 3.56 trillion USD by this year 2021, with an average year-over-year growth rate of 33.8%. Actually, back in 2016, global m-commerce sales were merely 0.97 trillion USD.

Evidently, many of your customers are now shopping via mobile devices. So if your e-commerce site is not optimized for mobile, you could alienate a huge chunk of customers, leading to high bounce rates and reduced conversions.

Google has also picked up on this global trend of mobile Internet uses: In March 2020, Google announced that all sites will be officially switched over to mobile-first indexing. So, if you want to know how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device, you can use Google Search Console for a quick Mobile-Friendly Test. After just entering a page URL, you can find out how your page scores and get some useful tips to improve its mobile-friendliness 🛠.

If you want to learn more about the facts and trends of mobile commerce, check out our latest articles:

We know that optimizing your entire e-commerce store can be a big task, so we suggest that you can get started by reducing the bounce rates of your product pages. As the product page is often the entry point of visitors coming from Google as well as the final barrier between a visitor and a paying customer 🛒. To help you lower bounces rates of your product pages, check out our recent article 👉: How to Reduce Bounce Rates & Increase AOV By Optimizing Your Product Pages

Being the world's #1 rated e-commerce personalization platform, helps 2,500+ e-commerce stores worldwide improve their CX and grow sales. Get started by talking to one of our specialists today.

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