Ecommerce bounce rate — what it is, why it matters, and how to improve it

A female business professional talking on the phone analyzes her website's ecommerce bounce rate using a laptop and paper diagrams.

Not everyone who arrives at an ecommerce website is going to actually make a purchase — and many won’t even get close. A lot of visitors will bounce right after arriving on the page. The percentage of users who do this — which is the bounce rate — can be a good guide to the health of your ecommerce site.

The average bounce rate an ecommerce company experiences can have a profound impact on its overall growth and profitability. Therefore, it’s critical that you understand your own ecommerce bounce rate, including what factors influence this essential performance metric.

Ecommerce bounce rates are among the most critical statistics for gauging the effectiveness of a company’s marketing content and website design. While many ecommerce visitors may never make it past the first page of your site, you should still strive to minimize its bounce rate. Remember — the longer you can keep visitors on your site, the better your chances are of making a sale.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What is bounce rate in ecommerce?

In ecommerce, bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who arrive at a digital storefront and “bounce,” leaving before ever progressing onto a second page. Bounce rates are calculated by dividing the number of one-page visits by the total number of visits to the site.

For instance, let’s say that you have 1,000 site visitors on a given day. Of those, 500 bounce. In this scenario, your bounce rate would be 50%.

Visitors can bounce from your site in a number of ways. They can exit the browser once the page loads or hit the back button. Some visitors might interact with on-page content and read over product information before leaving the site.

Even if they spend several minutes on your site’s home page, a potential customer leaving the site still counts as a bounce unless they view a second web page before doing so.

What is the average ecommerce bounce rate?

In the first quarter of 2022, the average ecommerce bounce rate was 43%.

While it is good to know the average bounce rate in your industry, it’s arguably more important to ask, “What is a good bounce rate for ecommerce?” While the precise answer to that question will vary depending on your niche, a rate between 20% and 45% is generally considered to be a good benchmark range for ecommerce.

When calculating your bounce rate, keep in mind that you can go about doing so in several ways. The most basic approach involves calculating your cumulative bounce rate, which includes site traffic generated from all channels.

However, calculating bounce rates by channel will provide more meaningful insights. For instance, you can calculate bounce rates for site traffic derived from PPC ads, social media, and email. Your email bounce rate will likely be the lowest since this channel is more targeted. On the other hand, PPC ads might have a slightly higher bounce rate, especially those that route users directly to your home page.

Once you’ve calculated your various bounce rates, you can begin to assess the success of each marketing channel. You can implement strategic changes to generate better traffic and reduce those rates.

In the first quarter of 2022, the average ecommerce bounce rate was 43%.

What can an ecommerce bounce rate tell you?

An ecommerce bounce rate reveals how engaged visitors are when they arrive at your storefront. If visitors are highly engaged, they’re more likely to hang around for a while and view more of your site’s pages. On the other hand, less engaged customers may quickly scroll through a page and then bounce once they become disinterested.

These are just broad generalizations, though. You need additional context to determine what it is that’s causing users to bounce.

When you combine your bounce rate with data gathered from other key performance indicators (KPIs), you can gain meaningful insights about what is causing users to leave your site. Oftentimes, you’ll find that your bounce rate can be attributed to one of three issues:

  1. Your website isn’t engaging
  2. Your traffic is low quality
  3. You’re losing out to competitors

High bounce rates can severely damage your brand. First and foremost, if your bounce rate is high, it means that a large number of prospective customers are leaving without ever getting close to converting. Additionally, Google analyzes bounce rates to judge user satisfaction and page quality, which means that a high bounce rate can cause your rankings in organic search results to take a further hit.

Reasons why visitors are bouncing

While there are many reasons that could explain why your visitors are bouncing, here are five of the most common.

1. Pages load slowly

Slow page loading speed is by far one of the biggest factors that influence ecommerce bounce rates. If your site loads slowly, visitors that are not already committed to buying your product may become bored and bounce.

The good news is you can address slow load speeds fairly easily. Excessive load times can typically be attributed to one of several configuration issues, including some usual suspects. Make a few quick adjustments, and you’ll be well on your way to decreasing your bounce rate.

2. You’re getting bad traffic

When a visitor realizes they’re on a site that does not sell what they need, they simply don’t stay. If you notice your bounce rate seems unusually high, chances are that bad traffic is at least partially to blame. Bad traffic means site visitors that are only on your site because they’ve ended up in the wrong place.

There are some common ways you can end up with bad traffic, one of which is that you’re managing to rank for keywords unrelated to your industry. Alternatively, you may be ranking for words or phrases that have multiple meanings.

For instance, say that your ecommerce store sells drinking glasses, but you end up ranking for the word “glasses.” In this scenario, some of your site traffic may be searching for eyeglasses, not drinkware.

3. The page didn’t fit visitor needs

If a site visitor doesn’t find what they need or doesn’t think they can find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave your page. Once they hit that “back” button, they’ll probably scroll down to the next site listed on the results page, which means they could very well be visiting one of your competitors.

Every visitor has a specific goal in mind when they arrive at an ecommerce site. If you serve them content that’s irrelevant to that goal, they’ll leave your page. On the other hand, greeting them with quality images and informative content will reassure them that your site has the products they need — which helps keep them on your site and away from your competitors.

Bounce rate can reveal whether site visitors are engaged, whether your website design is resonating with prospective customers, and if you are generating quality traffic.

4. The experience is confusing

If your website is laid out confusingly, looks untrustworthy, or is poorly designed, you will lose visitors. Customers want to interact with pages that are intuitive, user-friendly, and fun.

Therefore, you should strive to create a pleasing site that offers a comfortable and seamless shopping experience for prospective customers, catering to the needs of visitors and funneling them to product pages or other key areas of your site.

Redesigning your website can help a lot. One company managed to decrease its bounce rate by 97% just by revamping its old site. While your brand’s results will vary, this demonstrates just how much site design influences bounce rates.

5. Bad or nonexistent CTAs

Every landing, service, and product page needs a proper call to action (CTA). CTAs give visitors clear directions and guide them to other parts of your site. If CTAs are poorly written or nonexistent, visitors will meander around or leave.

The bottom line is that you can’t let your visitors get bored. Guide them deeper into the sales funnel by targeting them with clear, concise CTAs. Make sure that your CTAs match the tone and style of the page they’re located on.

For instance, a product page can have a bolder CTA that encourages the viewer to make a purchase, while a landing page, blog, or more informational page may be suitable for a gentler CTA, such as “Click here to learn more.”

How to improve your bounce rate

If you want to reduce your ecommerce bounce rate, here are a few tips.

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Optimize product pages

Your first step toward reducing your ecommerce bounce rate involves systematically reviewing all product pages. Ensure that each page includes the following:

Product pages will make or break sales. By including the components outlined above, you can convince more site visitors to complete their purchases.

Provide a great customer experience

No matter how hard you try, you’ll never get every visitor to stay on your website. However, by catering to individuals more personally and directly, you can significantly increase the number that sticks around.

When designing your website, focus on providing a great customer experience. Make it easy for users to move to new pages. Entice them with personalized deals and product recommendations, spur them to action with CTAs, and make the entire journey frictionless.

Together, these efforts will not only decrease your bounce rate, but boost conversions and revenue as well.

Fix any technical issues

Technical issues can greatly diminish the user experience. With that in mind, it’s vital you promptly resolve any technical problems on your website. This includes slow page speeds and broken links. The longer these issues exist on your site, the more customers they will impact.

Resolving technical issues is an ongoing process. You will need to continuously invest in the maintenance of your website to keep it performing at peak levels.

Getting started analyzing ecommerce bounce rates

Monitoring what percentage of site visitors are leaving before viewing a secondary web page can provide useful insights about your ecommerce business. Bounce rate can reveal whether site visitors are engaged, whether your website design is resonating with prospective customers, and if you are generating quality traffic.

If you want to start leveraging your ecommerce bounce rate to better understand the state of your business, you’ll need an innovative solution like Adobe Commerce. The world’s leading digital commerce solution for merchants and brands, the platform helps you build engaging shopping experiences for every type of customer. Combined with Adobe Analytics, Commerce provides you with powerful tools to track bounce rates and other key performance metrics.

To learn more about Adobe Commerce, take a product tour or watch the overview video.