When a user doesn’t even seem remotely interested in adding a product to cart, you’d wonder what was so terrible about your website.
The pressure gets worse when more people do this.
Whether you think your store is a snooze fest, there’s a technical issue behind it, or even both, the good news is that you can identify what exactly causes this.
This post will show you what the common reasons behind a high bounce rate are and how you can reduce them on your Shopify store—it'll cover:
How to Reduce Your Shopify Bounce Rate
Before you answer the above question, you'll have to look at how Shopify defines bounce rate and what it is to have a healthy bounce rate.
What is “Bounce Rate”?
According to Shopify, bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit one page on your eCommerce store and leave without taking any action.
This action could be clicking a link, checking out the products on your page, signing up for your newsletter, signing up for your store or even making a purchase.
So what your bounce rate does is tell you how often these website visitors leave after viewing a single page.
To calculate your bounce rate, you’d have to collate the total number of website visitors that viewed a single page, divide them by the total number of your website visitors and multiply the result by 100.
Here’s a formula you can use:
(Visitors who viewed a single page / Total number of store visitors) X 100
What is a Good Bounce Rate on Shopify?
Although there are benchmarks for good bounce rates, they vary based on the type of website you have. Here’s an infographic from CXL Institute showing this benchmark:
So for eCommerce stores and websites, the average bounce rate often ranges from 20-45%. This means having a bounce rate within this range translates to having a healthy store.
However, eCommerce stores with bounce rates higher than 57% mean you need to start implementing some changes immediately.
How to Check Your Shopify Bounce Rate
Since it’s almost impossible to manually calculate your bounce rate, Shopify has made it possible to find your bounce rates in the analytics section. To check the bounce rate on your current Shopify store, here’s what to do;
- Log in to your Shopify store
- Visit your profile and under the analytics section located at the left side of your screen, tap on “Reports”
- Scroll to acquisition and then click on “Sessions over time”
- Select the date you’d want to view your bounce rates and then scroll down
- Tap on “Edit column” and then select “Bounce rate” from the drop-down
You’ll get the details of your current bounce rates and then work on improving the figures you get.
Why is My Shopify Store Bounce Rate So High? (7 Possible Causes)
If you’ve calculated what your current bounce rates are and they seem higher than the industry average, here are some of the most popular reasons Shopify stores have a high bounce rate;
1. There are too many dead-ends in your store
Imagine trying to visit a new pop-up shop your friend recommended and you just can’t seem to find the street it’s located on.
This is exactly what happens when users run into too many error pages and broken links on your website.
For example, in this store, after adding items to cart, I got to the checkout page and this is what I encountered—something they should have announced on the homepage. It also doesn’t state when they’d be back.
Another turn-off could be when there are internal broken links on your page. So when they click on a link you’re redirecting them to, they get to a 404 page. We recommend running routine maintenance checks especially to link redirects.
2. Your store is chaotic from the first glance
When picking out a movie, you can tell if you’ll be sticking around to watch it through the trailer. It’s how your homepage works. Let’s take a look at this example from LingCars below:
If you’re shopping for a car on this site, there are a ton of CTAs, distracting icons and pop-ups. Where would you go from here? To be honest, most people would immediately bounce off this page and find a less distracting alternative.
What makes it worse is that 88% of online consumers will never revisit a website after having a bad experience. So you want to be sure that your store isn’t overwhelming and difficult to navigate.
3. Everyone has to log in before making a purchase
Most people would abandon their shopping carts if they had to release too much information.
In fact, 72% of users who already have an account, will attempt to checkout without logging in.
So consider relaxing this rule if you require mandatory log-ins before a purchase.
4. You play hide and seek with shipping fees
The most popular reason users abandon their shopping carts is because of unexpected shipping fees. This is why you shouldn’t be sketchy about your shipping costs and terms. Instead, give a disclaimer that there will be shipping fees like our example below:
We recommend placing them on the product page itself, however, provide more shipping options.
That way they can choose to pay a higher shipping fee for faster delivery.
5. Your store is riddled with mobile errors—even after optimizing
A popular one is when you use incompatible plugins on your Shopify store. Once it’s not supported by a mobile browser, you’ll start having issues like distorted navigation links, and the images not fitting the screen.
Of course, they wouldn’t stick around to figure out how to navigate your site from there.
6. No one can reach you
83% of customers agree that they’ll be more loyal to a business that responds to their complaints.
Your website visitors will always have questions, no matter how detailed your FAQs are. Physical stores have the edge here because they can walk up to a sales rep to ask questions.
So if you don’t have a phone number, live chat or email for people to directly reach you, they’d likely bounce.
7. Your CTAs don’t stand out
Unfortunately, while many stores realize the importance of having a CTA, they don’t work to ensure that it stands out from the rest of the page.
Here’s a comparison between John Lewis and B & Q below:
You can clearly identify the primary CTA on the right in one glance. For the other one on the left, it just blends in with the rest of the page. With an uncompelling CTA, you’d have visitors bouncing off your page to find another option with a more obvious CTA.
11 Ways to Fix a High Bounce Rate on Shopify
Your store might be experiencing a combination of the issues addressed above or even other reasons. Irrespective of what might be causing your store to record high bounce rates, here are ten sure ways of reducing your bounce rates on Shopify;
1. Give your category section a revamp
There’s nothing a makeover can’t fix - especially when your categories seem cluttered. Be sure it’s easy to find sections in one glance. In our example below, you can easily see all sections to find the exact items you want.
2. Optimize your in-store search
Oftentimes, many visitors won’t have the patience to look through your categories. Instead, they’ll search using specific keywords.
You want to be sure that they can easily get items that match their query. See how Pretty Little Thing uses images and contextual search to highlight what the user might be searching for:
Don’t forget to account for typos and alternative items for when you don’t have a particular item in stock.
3. Let your CTAs stand out
Don’t just use hyperlinks or plain buttons. Use distinct colors and sizes to highlight the action you’d want them to take on that page.
Similarly, check text legibility as well as how you can personalize the CTA text for the right audience.
4. Offer an express checkout option
Instead of making a mandatory signup option, enable express checkout on your Shopify store. We recommend using popular checkout options like PayPal and Google Pay. This way, they won’t have another reason to bounce.
Also, add a progress bar so they know how many steps are left to complete the purchase.
Here’s a relevant example from Kirrin Finch:
5. Make it easy to contact support
We recommend investing in chatbots that provide answers to preset questions. Be sure to make it accessible everywhere on the website.
If the user has more questions, they can leave a detailed request that’ll be picked up by a live agent. You can also ask them to leave their contact information so you can contact them directly after that.
6. Be upfront with your delivery, payment and shipping terms
Most eCommerce stores share how much you’d have to purchase to meet the criteria for free shipping.
However, you can also share exactly how much they’d be paying for shipping before they get to the checkout page.
We recommend regularly updating your terms and conditions page. That way, you can link to it like our example above.
You can also go the extra mile by creating a shipping calculator so users can get an idea of how much it’ll cost without them filling out a long form at the checkout.
Check this out: How to Customize your Shopify Checkout Page: 23 Proven Ideas
7. Strategically place social proof across your store
99% of users read reviews before making a purchase online. It just goes to show how important having social proof on your page is.
So you should strategically place the reviews on your product pages along with the ratings and any particular tags the product has like our example below.
Another way to do this is by asking users to share real-life photo reviews. This way, intending consumers would be less inclined to ditch your store.
8. Use Shopify themes with an adaptive layout
Contrary to popular opinion, you can still get free Shopify themes that will improve your store’s metrics.
These adaptive themes are easy to edit and come with predictive search, alternative currency options, automatic discount applications and so much more.
Some of these free adaptive Shopify themes include; Spotlight, Origin and Sense. You can browse more here.
9. Support popular payments
In your checkout and guest checkout sections, use popular options like Apple Pay, Google Pay and more.
Also feature more conventional options such as credit/debit cards as well as PayPal.
Be sure to add the icons of these payment options so they are easily recognizable.
10. Take advantage of trust signals and badges
Remember that prospective shoppers would bolt at the thought of your store being a scam.
This is why you need certain logos and badges reassuring them to continue on your website. You can start with badges that address their major concerns.
For example, is there a return policy? How safe is the production process? Use badges like the ones below to send a trust signal.
You can also address the more obvious issues like returns, shipping and site security. See how the same site does it below but with additional reference text.
11. Optimize your overall load time
Our last tip is to improve your website’s load time. Half the time, it could just be that your pages take forever to load.
So, check this off your watch list by reviewing all your plugins, themes and installed apps.
If you already use a responsive theme, you can be sure to have a faster load time by default.
We also recommend replacing the sliders on the hero section of your homepage with a high-resolution static image in the background instead.
That way, your visitors only have to wait for one image to load instead of multiple.
Of course, the best way to fix your load time is by knowing exactly what to fix.
We recommend starting with PageSpeed Insights to get specific improvements for your load time.
The Connection Between Bounce Rate and UX
If you walk into a massage parlor and the ambience is great, you’ll be excited to have that massage.
But if it looks creepy, you wouldn’t hesitate to bolt out of that door.
Think of your website as a massage parlor. It should be inviting and offer a pleasant experience.
There shouldn’t be unnecessary wait times or confusing paths. When users enjoy their experience on your Shopify store, they’ll be willing to stick around and even make a purchase.
So a better user experience automatically equals lower bounce rates.
You might like: 18 UX hacks to reduce cognitive load in eCommerce
5 UX Hacks to Reduce Shopify Bounce Rate
Research says it takes just 5 users to round up 85% of your website’s issues—reason enough to take UX seriously and work on it to reduce your Shopify bounce rate.
1. Limit the use of pop-ups
True that pop-ups drive sales and help you grow your email list.
But use too many of them, and you’ll have people bouncing off your Shopify store at an alarming rate.
What we’re trying to say is: ask why you want to use a pop-up at a certain juncture and if you could deliver the same message in some other way.
In a single visit, show no more than one pop-up to reduce irritation and friction.
Based on the customer’s journey, decide where you’d want to show this pop-up.
You might also like: 18 ways to make Shopify popups less annoying (+ examples)
2. Update content to help the user’s journey
If your content isn’t helping a user move through the conversion funnel, then your Shopify bounce rate is likely to become high.
Examples of badly optimized content? Lack of USP or UVP on the homepage, no expectation setting on what a category is about on a category page and little or no info on product pages.
3. Set the layout to the F scanning pattern
Though it’s been 17 years since it was first discovered that web audience read in an F scanning pattern, the observation still holds true.
And if you want to keep your Shopify bounce rate low, you’d optimize for this scanning pattern.
Ways to do it?
Keep the most valuable information above the fold.
Reduce the use of text for later scrolls and instead use more images.
Highlight the most important words and phrases.
4. Add social proof across the site
And when you’re trying to reduce your Shopify bounce rate, you also need to focus on what kind of social proof would work best for which page.
For example, while detailed reviews are ideal for product pages, for the homepage it’s ideal to either pick logo mentions or quote snippets from press mentions.
5. Keep your forms short
Up to 8 form fields is what’s mostly acceptable for eCommerce forms.
However, when you’re attempting to keep your Shopify bounce rate in check, you’ll also have to use autosuggest and autofill wherever necessary.
For mobile, apply HTML mobile input types instead of form fields to make keying in dates and numericals easy.
How A/B Testing Can Improve Shopify Bounce Rate
Making drastic changes overnight can significantly affect your conversion rates—especially if they don’t sit well with your existing users.
A/B testing is a safer way to identify what works and what doesn’t.
You don’t have to compromise on what already converts in the hopes of reducing your bounce rates.
After testing with a select few, you can choose to launch it for the whole store if it works or revisit your hypothesis if it doesn’t.
Before you go…
98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything.
Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors.
And this is the problem ConvertCart solves.
We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions.
How we can help you:
Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions.
**This post was written by Moses, a digital entrepreneur who geeks out on online marketing and write about it for B2B SaaS companies that appreciates blog content borne out of hands-on experience.