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Lower Mobile eCommerce Bounce Rate to Retain Customers and Profitability
User Engagement

Lower Mobile eCommerce Bounce Rate to Retain Customers and Profitability

Take a peek into the private life of the average citizen of almost any developed country in the world and you might see someone sitting on their couch with their smartphone in hand and the television on. They are being bombarded by various messages all at the same time, and yet they seem to be passively trying to absorb them all at the same time. They flip from app to app to app on their smartphone as if they didn't have a care in the world. This might seem like an enjoyable way to enjoy one's evenings, but it can be a nightmare for marketers and app creators. They have to worry about metrics such as "bounce rate". 

What is a Bounce Rate? 

Bounce rate

All app and website creators lie awake at night thinking about the bounce rate on their apps and websites. It is a measurement of the percentage of visitors who visit just one page on their app/website and then leave without interacting with the page any further. 

The reason why this particular issue is so troubling for website and app developers is that they clearly want customers who will stay around longer and conduct business with the mobile website. If they are immediately leaving the page, then they are not taking enough time to do anything more than glance at a homepage. That doesn't generate income for the website, and websites with bounce rates that are too high are doomed to fail. 

Bounce Rates by Device

When looking at bounce rates, it is critical to examine how they differ across different user devices. It turns out that those who visit a website or app via their smartphone are the most likely to bounce away. Some of the reasons for that are explained here

Mobile's heightened bounce rate can be attributed to the fact that many websites lack mobile optimized websites. This can be extremely detrimental to brands because if a user discovers your company on mobile and has a poor experience, they might take their business to a competitor with a better mobile experience.

The overall average bounce rate across all eCommerce websites is estimated to be around 47%, but the rate on smartphone devices is closer to 51%, and that is a significant difference. It is important to drive rates as low as possible, with a goal of greatness coming in around the 20% (or lower) mark. 

Why Do Visitors "Bounce"?

Bounce rate analysts reviewing number of visitors leaving the website

There are plenty of reasons why visitors to a new website may bounce away before taking a deeper look at the website. A few of those reasons are as follows:

  • The Website Was Reached Inadvertently
    Everyone makes human errors from time to time, and it is quite common to click on a website by mistake when one intends to click on something else. When this happens, the visitors who clicked by mistake are likely to bounce away from this website without looking any further into it. They realize they made a mistake, and they take a moment to fix their mistake.
  • The Website Is Not of Interest to the Visitor
    There are times when someone intends to go to a certain website but then realizes that the website isn't of as much interest to them as they at first believed it would be. This kind of thing happens all the time. It is something that the website developers can work on, but they are never going to capture everyone. 
  • The User Has Become Distracted or Pulled Away by Something Else
    This is perhaps one of the most common reasons why people bounce away from a particular website or app. They have a large multitude of places where they can spend their time online these days, and they will often take the opportunity to look at something else that happens to draw their attention at that time. Even if they happen upon your website, they may not stay long because they are distracted by an outside source.
  • The Website Is Confusing or Unclear
    This is perhaps the worst reason why you may have people leaving your website. If they are confused about how to proceed to interact with your website in a deeper way, or if you don't provide clear instructions regarding how to make a purchase, there is no one that you can blame but yourself. It is a definitive sign that you need to do something different to get a better result. 

These are not all of the reasons why people abandon websites that they just recently landed on, but they are some of the most common reasons why people make this choice. If you have noticed a significant number of people bailing out on your websites, it may be time to make some changes to improve your numbers. 

How to Improve Your Bounce Rates

Lowering bounce rate

Improving your bounce rates means getting them lowered, and that means putting in a significant amount of work to make things right. You should have no expectation that you will immediately see results, and you should prepare yourself for a long road ahead. That said, there are some known ways to work on lowering your bounce rate in significant ways that will actually make it possible for you to see near-immediate results. 

Focus on Page Loading Speed

A few fractions of a second difference in loading speeds can make all of the difference between a website that gets a lot of traffic and one that is barely able to keep anyone around at all. details how page loading speed impacts various factors that all play into the bounce rate that a website is likely to see: 

Web page speed optimization should be a top priority for any website owner. The speed of your site dramatically impacts your site's SEO (search engine optimization) and bounce rate.

If your SEO is damaged because of a slow loading speed, and if your bounce rate increases because of this as well, then you may be in significant trouble as far as getting your website up to the quality standards that it needs to be to have the impact that you want from it. A significant investment in new servers and other hardware that can improve your page loading speed is well worth the cost. In addition, you will want to look at the mobile optimization of all of your websites at this time to make sure they are also up to date. 

Remove Outdated or Irrelevant Material

When you first create a website, it is easy to throw everything you have at it. You might put material into the website that seems to be on-topic when you first submit it, but it may not age well over time. It may become irrelevant, outdated, or even offensive! You should do a scrub of your website often to make sure the information that is contained within is accurate and up-to-date. 

It is wise to keep people on staff or do outside contracts with those who can provide new content for your websites from time to time. It is best to keep the most relevant and most pressing pieces of information on your website at any time. E-commerce websites will also want to apply this to their latest offerings and deals. The newest and most interesting products should appear prominently on the homepage. Deals, promotions, and special offers can also take their place there as well. 

Think About Cross-Selling

Not everyone who visits your website will appreciate the first thing that they see come across the screen. The products that they are first pitched may not be incredibly relevant to them. Perhaps they won't be interested, and this may lead them to quickly click away from your website. However, you still retain the opportunity to capture some of these customers if you put some work into the process of cross-selling. 

Cross-selling is essentially offering similar, related, recommended, or suggested products to visitors on your website. This may be best illustrated with an example: 

  • You offer an orange polo shirt on the homepage of your website
  • The customer who visits sees the shirt but is not a fan of the color orange
  • Your website also suggests similar styles of polo shirts in other colors
  • The visitor clicks through to check out the other colors
  • The visitor finds a color that they like and makes the purchase

This is how an e-Commerce website can use cross-selling to turn a customer who was likely to bounce away from the website into one who is opening their wallet to find their credit card and make a purchase. If the suggested options had not been available, the customer would have certainly left the website without making the purchase. However, they have suggested the right products at a price that they could agree to, and they were converted into a new customer. It is really as simple as that. 

Spend Extra Time on Product Pages

There is a lot of extra value to be had by spending extra time on product pages. In fact, many suggest that these ought to be the pages on your website that have the most time put into them. The reason for this simply is because this is the final decision point for any potential customer. Once they reach the point where they are actively looking at your product page, they have made a lot of progress towards making a purchasing decision. If you want to convert visitors into customers, you need to make sure your product pages look optimal. 

A few ways to make this happen include: 

  • Adding multiple images of the product
  • Include all of the relevant information about the product (such as sizing and materials used)
  • Make sure it is clear what a customer needs to do to add the item to their cart and complete a purchase

That last point is particularly important. It is best to make the purchasing process as seamless as possible. The less friction there is between a customer and his or her ability to make a purchase, the more likely they are to do so. It might seem like common sense, but many companies do not put in the legwork that they need to in order to get those kinds of results. 

Gather User Information

Believe it or not, one of your best sources of information is the people who are currently bouncing away from your website. The reason why they matter so much is that they are doing the thing that you are attempting to stop. If you can get information from them about why they are so quick to leave, then perhaps you can use that information to make some changes. 

It is a real challenge to shake much information out of someone who bounces away from your website in a hurry, but you can try to do so. If they are an existing customer whose email information you already have, then you might want to send them a follow-up email asking if there is anything you can do to improve. These emails typically have a low response rate, but you may get some feedback from certain visitors. Take the feedback in stride no matter what it is, and try to make corrections to your website experience based on the information that you receive. 

There is No Time to Wait

You cannot wait to jump on getting your bounce rate where it needs to be. You probably have many other things on your plate as a business owner, but that is no excuse for not taking care of the bounce rate problem. In fact, you should move it to the top of your priorities list because it is what is going to determine if you are able to grow your customer base and keep the people that you already have. You won't get very far if you don't keep your bounce rate in check today. 

At Storyly we are happy to help you with the information that you need to get your bounce rate under control. We understand that this process is complicated, but this is all that we do for our customers. We are happy to guide you through the process and answer any questions that you may have along the way.


Berkem Peker

Berkem is master of none, jack of all trades. Happens to be a Growth Strategist at Storyly. Knows/writes about growth frameworks and user behavior.

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