Ten Effective Strategies for Lowering eCommerce Bounce Rates

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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While earning traffic is an essential goal of most retail sites, there is no doubt that it is also vital for merchants to reduce eCommerce bounce rates. The fact of the matter is that if sellers are not actively working to achieve this goal, tons of money is being left on the table.

For sites that are witnessing a climbing bounce rate, this means that scores of potential customers are backing out of a brand’s conversion funnel with their money still in their pockets, thereby negatively impacting the company’s bottom line.

However, dollars are only one negative aspect of booming bounce rates. In addition to a monetary hit, businesses could also see a dip in website rankings and SERP visibility. As visibility decreases, so will traffic. As traffic tanks, sales will take another hit, thereby creating a vicious cycle.

Therefore, it is necessary for merchants to establish what is causing visitors to bounce and implement tactics that will reduce eCommerce bounce rates and boost online retail sales.

To help merchants achieve that aim, today, we will explore 10 effective strategies for reducing retail bounce rates.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Optimize Page Load Times to Reduce eCommerce Bounce Rates

Of all the potential issues that increase a site’s bounce rate, slow load times is possibly the most damaging. Not only will 40 percent of desktop users bounce from a site that takes more than three seconds to load, but 53 percent of mobile users will also do the same.

This trend can be quite troublesome considering that site speed is a ranking factor on Google. This means that it doesn’t matter how great a store’s products or content is if those offerings are not delivered quickly.

Moreover, when speaking to eCommerce destinations, pages that are slow to load are one of the most prominent reasons for shopping cart abandonment, causing a 7 percent decrease in engagement for every one-second delay in load times.

This drop-in engagement is actually a significant problem in the eCommerce industry as only two percent of the top 100 sites have mobile load times of less than five seconds.

Given these stats, there is a clear link between page speeds and bounce rates.

The first step to resolving such issues is to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and mobile speed test tool. These platforms will provide merchants with information on problematic areas along with actionable steps to remedy speed issues.

Other methods that sellers might employ include:

Lower Bounce Rates with Enhanced Content Offerings

An effective strategy for reducing bounce rates on specific pages and across the entirety of a site is to improve the quality of the site’s copy and content. The bottom line is that the more interesting, informative, useful, and entertaining the content is, the more likely it is to engage visitors.

For eCommerce websites, this means producing compelling copy for landing pages, informative product listings, and useful blog content that comprehensively covers a topic.

Not only can content help an eCommerce brand reduce bounce rates, but it will also enhance its SEO efforts via better rankings, more quality backlinks, increased time-on-page, repeat visitors, and more.

The key to producing great content is addressing a user’s needs in a concise and comprehensive manner. While it inevitably requires a decent amount of planning and forethought, it is worth the added effort.

Employ High-Quality Images to Captivate Users

Images, when used correctly, can be a powerful tool in the pursuit of lower bounce rates.

The reason why so many websites utilize high-quality photographs and feature stunning images that sell is that visuals are an extremely engaging on-site component.

Aesthetically-pleasing websites are not designed the way they are to merely look pretty. While it is true that a visually appealing site is nice, they are designed to appeal to a user’s senses as this inspires them to explore the site further.

Think of it like this: When looking at a beautiful piece of art, a person is likely to linger and analyze the elegance and artistry of the creation. Alternatively, when confronted by grisly, unseemly works of art, an individual will be inclined to quickly move on to something that is more attractive.

This same dynamic can be applied to websites, and images play a major role in the aesthetics of a site.

Therefore, merchants should utilize stunning images whenever possible, including destinations such as:

  • The homepage
  •  Landing pages
  • Product pages
  • Blogs and articles

Introduce a Clear Call-to-Action to Help Diminish Bounces

In addition to crafting content that speaks to a user’s wants, merchants should also consider what action they want them to take on the page and employ a clear call-to-action that drives consumers in that direction.

Some merchants might be tempted to send visitors to various parts of a website from a single landing page using a variety of CTAs. However, this strategy is a mistake as multiple CTAs can overwhelm consumers, ultimately giving rise to a phenomenon known as the “paradox of choice.” This idea dictates that the more options a consumer has, the more likely they are to feel overwhelmed and the less likely they are to make any decision.

Therefore, limiting the number of pathways a user can take increases the chances of them taking a specific action. For this reason, retailers should include a single, yet ultra-clear CTA. With a single CTA in place, consumers clearly understand the next step to take.

When employing CTAs on your site, consider the user intent of each page, what the visitor wants and what you want them to do next.

Reduce eCommerce Bounce Rates by Revamping Product Pages

Striking the right balance on product pages can be a tricky endeavor, and many merchants struggle with this aspect of their site.

If a retailer provides too much information, it bogs down the user experience and could send a prospect to another site for more concise details. If a product page doesn’t contain enough information, then consumers are just as likely to seek knowledge elsewhere.

Assess your site’s product pages to ensure they include pertinent details about the product, manufacturer information, user reviews that speak to the product’s effectiveness or customer satisfaction, along with anything else potential buyers might want to know about an item before making a purchase.

Cut Bounces by Augmenting Internal Linking

Internal linking is how eCommerce sites link pages to other pages within the same website. Internal links help guide users through a website and pass SEO “juice” from one page to another. However, for the purposes of lowering bounce rates, merchants should pay particular attention to two different areas:

  • The relevancy of anchor text
  • Older content that still receives traffic

Naturally, linking anchor text should be highly relevant to the page’s content. As for older content that still drives clicks, revisit these pages to update them (if necessary) and include links to newer pages to encourage visitors to click around your site.

Moreover, ensure that your site has employed internal links strategically in the header and footer of the site because this is where visitors anticipate finding the site’s most important pages.

Ensure Navigation Is Intuitive to Reduce eCommerce Bounce Rates

When a user can’t figure out a site’s navigation scheme or how to get where they want to go, they will almost certainly bounce. For this reason, navigation elements should be as clear and intuitive as possible. This is particularly important for eCommerce sites that often boast a vast number of pages.

Users should be capable of immediately understanding a site’s navigation structure to have a seamless experience for exploring other pages. Consumers should never have to guess where to go or be forced through a sales funnel in an unnatural way.

Retailers should analyze their current navigation structure to designate opportunities for simplification.

Curtail Bounces by Projecting Credibility

In the era of cybercriminals and constant high-profile hacks, it is vital for retailers to inspire confidence in shoppers to reduce eCommerce bounce rates.

Plainly put, people are not inclined to browse or buy from websites that seem potentially dubious or duplicitous.

The reality of the current paradigm is that sellers must go above and beyond to instill confidence in shoppers. There are a variety of ways that sellers can go about achieving this aim (thereby reducing eCommerce bounce rates) such as featuring user-generated content on the site, implementing HTTPS protocols, highlighting user reviews, minimizing broken links, and the like.

However, one strategy that seems to be particularly effective is the usage of trust signals and security shields. Supporting this claim is research on checkout flow security from the Baymard Institute which revealed that:

“Generally, we see during testing that adding any visual icon will help increase the user’s general level of perceived security. However, we wanted to look a little deeper into which seals and icons inspire the highest level of confidence in users… The 2020 test results tell largely the same story as our 2019, 2016, and 2013 results. The SSL seal from Norton dominates as the seal that establishes the best sense of trust, followed by three trust seals, with several of the SSL seals performing rather low. Looking at the results, it’s very interesting to note that the seals from well-known consumer-facing brands, like Norton and Google, perform very well… This suggests that it’s at least to some extent possible for e-commerce sites to leverage the recognizability of these brands.”

By showcasing trust seals on the company’s homepage, checkout pages, and other important destinations, merchants are highly likely to provide shoppers with peace of mind and effectively reduce eCommerce bounce rates.

Improve Your Mobile Experience to Minimize Bounces

Even with Google’s mobile-first index and mobile eCommerce sales skyrocketing, there are still a staggering number of retail websites that have not been optimized for small screen devices.

In 2017, nearly 35 percent of all eCommerce sales in the U.S. were made using a mobile device, which accounted for $157 billion in revenue. This incredible sum clearly indicates that mobile is not an option, but a necessity.

When looking to bounce rates, eCommerce stores that have failed to provide a top-notch mobile experience are needlessly harming their SEO performance and sales figures.

Unfortunately, creating a genuinely mobile-friendly site can be a costly, painstaking process for many larger websites. While responsive designs have helped to simplify the process, this approach does not equate to mobile optimization.

That’s where Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool comes into play. Additionally, retailers should also consider a site’s load time (as mentioned earlier).

Outside of these basic necessities, eCommerce mobile experiences should tout a flawlessly intuitive checkout process with guest checkout options, no popups or intrusive adverts, as well as other mobile eCommerce optimization best practices.

A/B Test Everything for Minimal Bounces

When aiming to reduce bounce rates, retailers should not tweak things based on “hunches” or “gut feelings”– only cold, hard data should guide this process.

eCommerce stores can sift through Google Analytics to gain insights into user behaviors so that they can evaluate the data for essential takeaways about where they are losing visitors. Split testing various page elements will help improve the user experience

Try testing copy, call-to-action, headlines, types of offers, button text and font, images, and anything else you see fit.

Be sure to really drill down into the site’s data. The better a seller understands their audience, the more effective they will be at creating an experience that keeps consumers on their website.

Final Thoughts

Reducing eCommerce bounce rates is critical to the success of online retailers. If users continue to bounce from a seller’s site, this will ultimately cost the brand sales, SERP visibility, rankings, and more sales, thus creating a tailspin that could be hard to pull out of for many retailers.

Before that event comes to pass, it is vital that sellers do everything they can to reduce eCommerce bounce rates and optimize their site’s performance. By implementing the strategies listed in this article, retailers can effectively enhance their website and SERP performance by minimizing bounces.

That said, successfully carrying out all of the tactics covered here is easier said than done. If your business could use a helping hand in reducing eCommerce bounce rates, then reach out to Visiture’s eCommerce SEO specialists.

Our team of skilled SEO professionals can help your site to ensure your site’s bounce rate is successfully reduced and, as a result, conversions are increased substantially.

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