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Ecommerce Growth

How to reduce bounce rate: 7 surefire techniques + examples

Low bounce rate = better conversion rate. In this post, we discuss 7 simple and effective ways (+ examples) to reduce your bounce rate

How to reduce bounce rate: 7 surefire techniques + examples

If you’re an eCommerce business owner, chances are that you’ve spent some sleepless nights over bounce rate.

For eCommerce businesses, an unfavorable bounce rate is a double whammy. This is because an unfavorable bounce rate almost inevitably means abandonment and no conversion

The real reasons why customers are bouncing off from your site

Why is it important to look into your bounce rate, you ask? Because most of your traffic exists long before the shopping cart. 

That’s correct.

Most people come to your site, browse, and leave the site. This is a huge pool of potential customers that you should be looking at. The value of these customers can be more than you imagine. 

These may not be the most interested and ready-to-buy visitors at the moment but with the right eCommerce marketing strategy, they can become your future customers. 

Here we’ve covered a few unconventional reasons—other than site speed, content, CTAs, and mobile responsiveness—why customers leave your site. 

1. An outdated search feature

Customers often use the site search option on the top to find what they want. 

If your search engine can’t handle typos, hyphens, commas, or spelling mistakes, customers will have to try hard to find the product—which can be annoying.

Many eCommerce websites require customers to find products by exact jargon, which contradicts users’ experience of finding something easily.

2. An unsatisfactory user experience

94% of people say their first impression of a brand is based on how the website looks.

If your website has overcrowded pages, unclear navigation, low-resolution images, and heavy text, the customers will find it hard to stay on the website.

On the other hand, if your website is too simplistic with inadequate product information, broken links, missing contact information, etc., that can be a problem too.

3. Intrusive elements

Know the website elements that run on their own? Most customers may find that intrusive. 

Think carousels on the homepage that change by themselves or product videos that start playing by themselves.

The problem is that the carousels change at a high speed and do not give the visitors enough time to absorb the information. By forcing customers to read quickly, they induce a sense of anxiety that can make customers leave the site.

The product videos too may be applicable to certain customers. Thrusting them on everyone may annoy some customers.

4. Trust issues

When a visitor lands on your website for the first time, they rely on visual cues and their gut feeling to decide if they want to continue exploring.

Lack of reliable signals such as trust badges fails to assure customers that your website is safe and credible. This is especially true for every page—be it home, category, or product pages.

7 incredibly powerful tricks to reduce your eCommerce bounce rate

Knowing what is a good bounce rate for your eCommerce business is the first step. The average bounce rate for an eCommerce website is between 20 and 45%. 

The next step is to work on smart ways to keep your eCommerce bounce rate in check and A/B test to perfection. 

In this post, we share 7 in-depth and intuitive ways you can reduce your eCommerce bounce rate and make your customers stick.dd

1. Make searching for products super easy

80% of visitors will bounce from your eCommerce site as a result of a poor search experience.

This can be because 72% of eCommerce businesses fail to meet customer’s site search expectations. 

Improving your site search option will help you to improve the stickiness of your pages which will lead to a low bounce rate.

Some of the eCommerce site search issues that affect your bounce rate are:

  • Customers find it difficult to find the search option on your site
  • The search feature is not personalized as per the customer’s preferences
  • Customers end up on a zero search results page
  • The search feature is not optimized for mobile

Here are some ideas on how to make it work:

  • Ensure the search option is easily visible with lots of free space around it. Using a universal search icon will also help customers to identify it easily
  • Ensure the search feature factors in common spelling mistakes with its autocorrect option. 
  • Autosuggestions are also a great way to reduce user’s typing efforts and make their shopping experience smoother
  • Your products should be attributed to a wide range of search queries for discoverability. In case no options come up, you can showcase related or popular products instead of a zero products page
  • In mobile search, a clean UX design and autosuggest options become even more essential
  • Customize product recommendations in response to search queries based on geographical and behavioral data

Look at this example of Macy’s.

When you type in your requirement, it offers to autocomplete suggestions making it easy for customers to look for a product.

Example of autocomplete feature from Macy’s to reduce bounce rate

If you enter a typo, the site corrects on its own. In this case, correcting glpves to gloves.

Example of related search results to typo errors

They also consider other matching keywords for your query. For instance, a quick search for top also brings up t-shirt, blouses, and tanks.

Example of matching synonyms to search queries

2. Make their browsing experience smooth

Scrolling is second nature to human beings - Joe Rinaldi, UX designer at HubSpot Design and GDD Certified

This is especially true for mobiles where half of the users start scrolling within 10 seconds and 90% within 14 seconds—as this study finds.

But that’s only till the time scrolling becomes annoying. Too many products often overwhelm the customer, again too few products leave fewer options for customers to choose from.

Placements also play a crucial role in encouraging customers to stay on the site to explore more. 

For example, if a customer is browsing for a product and has almost finalized, a customer review nearby will ensure they take the next step to purchase. The absence of it can make the customer doubtful and they may leave.

Here are some ideas you can apply:

  • Experiment with pagination. This saves the customer’s time and also prevents delay in taking action if they like a product.
  • Encourage your visitors to scroll with a Scroll down this page to text or a Please Scroll visual
  • Place all essential information such as your value prop, offers, and CTA above the fold
  • Showcase around 50-150 products for a desktop site and 15-30 products for a mobile site
  • Use a lazy loading  or load more icon to avoid affecting page speed
  • Use customer testimonials near your product and the add-to-cart button. They will act as strong social proof to convince your customers to purchase from you.
  • Place them in important areas such as the homepage, product detail pages, exit-intent popups, and contact pages
example of infinite scrolling to reduce bounce rate from American Eagle

For example, ScandiChairs make it super easy for its customers to browse products and check out. Not only do they have limited products separated by pages, but also a handy move to top button to avoid the customers from being overwhelmed. 

3. Don't make them work hard to find information

An important factor that decides whether your customers stick to your page or bounce is the copy

A highly salesy copy can drive potential customers away. Again, large chunks of text are also an engagement-killer. 

The key aim of your copy should be to:

  • Inform the customer how your products can solve their problems
  • Inspire them to take action by hitting the right emotions
  • Build a long-term relationship

You can try out these ideas:

  • Keep the copy crisp. Ensure it’s distributed in an F-shaped and a two-column format and is easily scannable
  • Keep all the important content on the top and less important ones at the bottom
  • Use power words to evoke emotions and action words to motivate them to complete a goal
  • Use your pages to tell a story and build brand loyalty
example of above the fold content to reduce bounce rate from SnackNation

SnackNation (now Caroo) does a good job of keeping all the important information above the fold. Visitors exploring their products will easily understand the benefits, be motivated by the social proof, and take the next step with a clear CTA.

4. Pay close attention to your product pages

Product page optimization can be tricky. They are your conversion drivers and also ones that see a high bounce rate. 

There are several factors that disrupt the customer’s checkout experience and induce them to bounce. Some of them are:

  • Confusing breadcrumbs and product categorization
  • Confusing CTAs
  • Distracting popups
  • Too many options to choose from

Here are some ideas to implement:

  • Ensure your dropdown is efficiently categorized and each category and sub-category leads to specific products. This will also ensure that the breadcrumbs are not confusing for the customers, simplifying their checkout journey
  • Avoid using too many confusing CTAs such as Buy Now, Shop Now, or Buy online
  • Offering too many choices of products can cause an analysis paralysis 
  • Using popups at the wrong places such as on the checkout page. Using negative or aggressive language is also a conversion-killer
example of a non-intrusive popup to reduce bounce rate

Kate Spade uses a popup to complement the customer’s checkout journey so it doesn’t feel distracting at all. 

5. Don’t make your visitors wait

The average time it takes for a webpage to load is 3.21 seconds. 

With each second surge in page load time, there’s a corresponding increase in your eCommerce bounce rate.

table showing correlation between page load time and bounce rate

As an eCommerce business owner, page load time is probably already on your top to-do list. Fixing your page speed issues can help improve your bounce rate to a great extent. 

Here are some of the questions to ask if you’re still facing issues with page load time:

  • Are my images optimized?
  • Am I comparing my desktop and mobile performances?
  • Are my customers interacting with popups?
  • Am I still facing JavaScript issues?
  • Are there too many HTTP requests from my site pages?
  • Do I need to review my Content Delivery Network (CDN)?
  • Do I need to switch my eCommerce platform?
  • Do I need another hosting platform?

Here are a few ideas you can implement:

  • Use JPEG instead of PNG images and try to keep the image size below 1 MB
  • Test your mobile site speed and compare it with your desktop speed
  • Remove the popups which aren’t engaging your customers
  • Avoid using multiple JavaScript plugins
  • Minify your CSS and JavaScript files to reduce the number of HTTP requests

For example, Walmart’s detailed site analysis revealed that their traffic drop with an increase in page load speed from 1 to 4 seconds. 

Walmart page speed case study

However, with A/B testing and successful website optimization, they realized:

  • For every 1 second improvement in page speed, there was a 2% rise in conversion
  • For every 100 ms improvement, there was a 1% rise in incremental revenue

6. Focus on problem-solving (immediate responses help)

Not all your customers will convert at the same pace. While some are determined to buy the moment they land on your site, some will need some extra persuasion. 

In some cases, there may also be some barriers that are preventing them from purchasing. 

How do you know what they are? Just ask. 

Often, quick surveys are the best way to nudge a customer to share their pain points. 

While surveys are good to find out what’s wrong, adding a human touch to answer customer’s doubts can also help. 

79% of customers choose live chat options because it gives them instant responses. 

Even though your search feature may have provided them with the right products, they may still have some doubts. If they don’t find someone who can help them while they’re at it, they’ll leave annoyed. 

One of the tricks you can use to reduce your bounce rate is to add a live chat feature on your site page. 

Don’t have too many resources to make live chat a success? Don’t worry. Add an FAQ section that resolves all the common issues customers face. 

Check out these ideas:

  • The average live chat response time is 46 seconds. Instead of making the customer wait for a response from a live person, initiate the conversation with automated messages first
  • Don’t automate your greetings though. Personalize them, for example: Hey, we love this dress too. Need help picking a color?  or Great choice! That shirt has a 30% discount. Would you like to add them to your cart?
  • A/B test live chat placements, fonts, and colors to see what engages customers the most
  • Don’t limit yourself to just desktop live chat. Use mobile chat software or other counterparts such as Facebook Messenger
  • Update your FAQ page with the current set of problems that your customers face based on data. Don’t forget to place the most asked questions on top
  • Organize your questions into categories and add links and pages wherever necessary
example of using live chat to reduce bounce rate from aerie

Aerie uses its chat feature really well to help customers with their queries. When customers click on the chat button, they can choose which area they need help in. This helps them receive more personalized support. 

example of FAQ page from Everlane to reduce bounce rate

Similarly, Everlane also focuses on solving customer queries with its dedicated FAQ page. Note how they keep it flexible for their customers to search—there’s a search feature as well as a category-wise division of questions.

7. Let users choose how they want to engage with your content

Product videos are a great way to boost customer’s desire to purchase—but only when used with discretion.

Don’t keep videos on auto-play on your site. Let users decide if they want to watch the videos or not. 

Often, your customers must be busy with product comparison. This means they’ll have multiple tabs open. 

So it’s annoying when one of the tabs plays a video and it takes some time to figure out which one. This is enough cause for annoyance—and bounce.

Another intrusive element can be sliding banners or image carousels. As per Nielsen Norman Group’s study of the Siemens website, most visitors ignored the carousels. 

Here are some ideas you can readily implement:

  • Avoid using sliding banners on the homepage. They confuse the visitors and can be mistaken for an ad
  • One of the best places to use carousels is in the cross-selling section on your product page. This can help your customers review and compare products and also increase their AOV
  • If you must use sliding banners or image carousels, use an arrow or dot navigation. This helps the customer know how many slides are there. The arrows can help the customer control the sliders
  • If you must decide to use auto-play videos, ensure that it plays without a sound. While moving images capture the eye, unwanted sounds can be annoying and make users bounce. 
  • Make sure you allow an easy option for users to opt out of the video through a cross or back button
  • Don’t use auto-play for every video. Only use it for specific videos that are relevant to the customer’s journey
Example of how to use autoplay videos to reduce bounce rate

For example, Bellroy uses autoplay videos effectively on its product page. This is one of the most important pages to showcase how its product works. It keeps the video soundless and also ensures that it’s easy to switch from the video to images with the carousel below. 

A/B test to perfection

Once you’ve figured out the various areas of improvement, you can A/B test the different elements and solutions to check which work. 

Using an A/B testing software such as ConvertCart’s CRO360, you can easily conduct multiple tests and achieve successful bounce rate optimization.

Conversion rate optimization
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