Over 70% Average Bounce Rate for Ecommerce Is a Red Flag


The effectiveness of your ecommerce site can be gauged with several key performance indicators (KPIs), though bounce rate is particularly important because it indicates how much a website engages its customers. 

A bounce rate occurs when a visitor immediately leaves or bounces from your site after opening a single page, often without triggering any requests during the session. In other words, it measures “one-and-done” visits. 

If you discover your ecommerce site experiences some significant bounce rates, don’t be alarmed—it isn’t new, and neither is it something you need to obsess over or watch like a hawk. 

Moreover, while bounce rates are generally undesirable, it’s unrealistic to think they can be totally eliminated, so it’s self-defeating to aim for a bounce rate of zero. 

Understanding Bounce Rates

According to HubSpot, the average bounce rate is between 26% and 70%, but this may differ depending on the industry and the device the page is viewed on. For example, mobile devices have the highest bounce rate across industries at 51%, with desktops and tablets at 43% and 45% respectively. 

However, if the average bounce rate for your industry is higher than a certain threshold, you should investigate the underlying factors. Google says the success of your ecommerce site depends primarily on your visitors viewing more than one page. 

Therefore, if your home page serves as the gateway to other parts of your site and many visitors view it, you should be concerned if it garners a high bounce rate.

Ballparking various degrees of bounce rates

In marketing, bounce rate is crucial to understanding and gauging the effectiveness of your overall web design and content.

  • 85-100%—Alarmingly bad. This range is a cause for concern and panic. Consequently, you need to probe further by asking questions like the following: Does your channel report show that paid traffic is being sent with little relevance to your business? Is your site experiencing some inadvertent technical glitch that causes double-firing page views? 
  • 70-85%—Not good and substandard. This range indicates something technical about your site is likely broken, although it isn’t always necessarily the case. You may need to look at your strategy and the resulting traffic that’s being sent to your site. 
  • 60-70%—Requires improvement. This isn’t an unusual bounce rate and may even be normal for most websites. However, if you are an ecommerce merchant, you should strive to have a better-than-average bounce rate.
  • 40-60%—Average. This is the sweet spot for most ecommerce sites. However, you can still scrutinize for areas of improvement, like deploying more intuitive navigation and better UX.
  • 30-40%—Very good. This percentage indicates that most of your visitors are sticking around and even making it to a second pageview. This is good since the main goal of an ecommerce site is to drive conversions, and most purchases require more than a single pageview.
  • 0-25%—Extremely good. This exceptional bounce rate indicates you’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to build a well-targeted ecommerce page that receives highly qualified traffic.

How is a bounce rate calculated?

The bounce rate is typically calculated as a percentage. It occurs when a visitor leaves a site, storefront, or product page, often within seconds, without viewing a second page.

Here’s a standard formula:

(Single-page Sessions / All Sessions) x 100 = Bounce Rate

Alternatively, your bounce rate can simply be calculated from the perspective of visitor views and the bounces that ensued. 

(Total Number of Bounces / Total Number of Entrances) x 100 = Bounce Rate 

For instance, imagine your website receives 50,000 pageviews. However, suppose 35,000 visitors leave after just a few seconds without further interacting with your store.  You can calculate the bounce rate as follows:

35000 / 50000 * 100% = 70%

Keep in mind that most digital marketers use Google Analytics to calculate bounce rates, and that Google Analytics 4 (commonly known as GA4) has replaced the term bounce rate with “engagement sessions.” 

Here are the criteria for a session to be considered engaged in GA4:

  • It must last longer than 10 seconds.
  • It has at least 2 page views or screen views.
  • It has a conversion event.

What Drives the Average Bounce Rate for Ecommerce?

While high bounce rates often have a negative connotation, they are the inevitable result of how modern online shoppers surf and use the web. For instance, consider your own experience when visiting a storefront. Chances are, you typically move around from site to site looking for different offers. 

Here are a few common factors that can drive up ecommerce bounce rates:

  • Attracting bad traffic—Receiving the wrong visitors is often due to poor and/or irrelevant content, though it can result from many factors. When visitors realize your page doesn’t meet their needs or is a poor fit for what they seek, they leave immediately. 
  • Misleading metadata—If you have misaligned keywords, it can cause confusing user experiences. You can counteract this by writing compelling copy that engages readers and uses targeted keywords that align closely with their search intent. 
  • Slow page loading—Don’t expect visitors to hang around if your page loads at a snail’s pace. Slow-loading pages are one of the leading causes of high cart abandonment rates, and they also negatively impact your site’s performance in search rankings. You’ll likely experience an increased bounce rate for any page load threshold above two seconds. 
  • Poorly designed ecommerce site—If you don’t keep your product pages clean, focused, and concise, users may not want to stay. Format your content properly with appropriate headings, subheadings, and suitable images. 
  • Overwhelming content—A really busy site with massive walls of text can easily intimidate users. Make the content accessible to visitors by using appropriate headers, subheaders, and bulleted lists to break up text.
  • Unclear CTAs—If you want visitors to take action, your call-to-action (CTA) messages must be obvious and unambiguous. This is because CTAs usually take users where they are expected to go. CTAs that have unexpected results can frustrate users and cause them to leave. 
  • Obscure product pricing—If people cannot easily find your product pricing, they’ll often head to your competition instead. 

How the type of a webpage influences bounce rates

  • Informational and reference pages—A high bounce rate on a customer help or support page can sometimes indicate that a user found the solution to their problem very easily and therefore bounced away merrily. Conversely, a landing page with plenty of paid acquisitions and a high bounce rate is a cause for concern. 
  • Blogs and content-oriented pages—The average blog has a relatively high bounce rate. This is because people tend to leave once they’ve gotten the information they were looking for. Furthermore, many visitors skim rather than read all the content on a page. They peruse headers and headlines to get a general gist of the content, then leave before the bounce threshold is up. 

Benchmark bounce rates by website type

Not only do bounce rates differ by industry, but they also vary according to the device used and the type of website.

Fortunately, ecommerce websites typically have the lowest bounce rates. According to Customedialabs, these are the general bounce rates based on website type:

  • 65-90% for websites that generally revolve around news, such as blogs, portals, and dictionaries
  • 35-60% for content websites that aren’t ecommerce-related
  • 30-55% for lead generation websites
  • 25-55% for B2B websites
  • 20-45% for retail and ecommerce websites

Keep in mind that the industry also influences bounce rates because it can dictate a website’s structure and overall design. For instance, websites in the food and beverage industry typically have higher bounce rates than those in real estate. 

Viewing bounce rates in their proper context

Although bounce rate is a metric used to indicate page effectiveness and success, it’s usually too simplistic to provide the whole picture. Therefore, while you should generally try to minimize bounce rates, you should remember to consider other contextual parameters as well. 

For instance, if your bounce rate is high but the average time users spend on your site is equally high, perhaps your visitors leave once they have achieved their objectives. In this case, visitors exit without exploring further simply because they are satisfied with their results. 

In the end, although high bounce rates are generally undesirable, they are a lagging indicator that typically signifies other underlying problems.

Fixing a High Average Bounce Rate on Ecommerce Sites

Your ecommerce site’s bounce rate is important because it impacts growth and profitability. Meanwhile, in order to fix a high bounce rate, you must understand the factors influencing it. 

A good practice is to try to evaluate how your ecommerce site presents itself to shoppers while using a well-rounded, holistic approach. 

Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Is it user-friendly enough to foster positive customer engagement? 
  • Is it clear and functional so that customers intuitively know what to expect when they arrive and can easily find what they need? 
  • Are products clearly labeled, accurately described, and well-depicted?

Remember to consider technical, content, and UX/design choices to ensure visitors stay long enough to complete an actionable activity—such as making a purchase. 

Technical issues that cause visitors to leave

Technical problems often arise before shoppers have a chance to visit the page. Here are some of the technical issues and questions you need to address:

  • Is your page loading slowly? A slow site is a turn-off for online users who have many options at their disposal. Consequently, online shoppers will likely be bored, frustrated, and hastily leave due to slow page loading. Although studies by Akamai state that less than two seconds is ideal for the best ecommerce platforms, Google insists you aim for half a second. 
  • Do you have broken links? While you should remove outdated and irrelevant pages, you must ensure those removed pages don’t result in broken links. These can severely degrade user experience and negatively impact your website. 
  • Does your site display blank pages or technical errors? Server errors that display blank pages will hurt a website’s reputation. Either immediately fix internal technical errors or divert users to helpful alternative pages while you are resolving the problem rather than having them stare at blank pages.
  • Are your external links undermining site performance? If your landing page has external links—such as affiliate and social media links—they may be driving visitors away, corresponding to high bounce rates. 

UX/design issues that cause visitors to leave

Most technical issues require optimizing your site’s functionality. Be sure to address some highly impactful UX and design questions, such as the following:

  • Does your site have poorly formatted pages? Your ecommerce page should help users discover what they are looking for in a timely and effective manner, with minimal friction. Therefore, using large walls of text and lengthy paragraphs is a bad practice. Instead, you can clearly display top deals and emphasize important content with headers and emboldened highlights. Try to balance crucial elements like margins, headings, graphics, and video to make your site more palatable. 
  • Is your UX badly designed? Optics are important, so websites should be visually appealing and easy on the eyes. A webpage with a poor graphic design reduces your product and its apparent value to visitors who are less likely to stay. To improve engagement, incorporate search and navigational structures, especially if you offer many products.
  • Is your site design accessible? The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines provide excellent guidance on making your content accessible for people with disabilities. You want to follow these tips to make your website navigable for as many visitors as possible. 
  • Do you limit distractions? Users have grown to detest activities that cause upheaval on a page, such as pop-up ads and auto-play content, especially when they occur as soon as the webpage opens. While there’s nothing wrong with advertising, these elements can create an invasive user experience, thereby accelerating bounce rates. 
  • Is your site optimized for mobile? The ubiquity of mobile devices means most people view online content from mobile devices. Thus, if your ecommerce site isn’t mobile-friendly, you may boost bounce rates for a gigantic segment of your audience. 

Content issues that cause visitors to leave

Don’t forget that content is still king. Here are some ways that your content can lead to trouble:

  • Wrong or irrelevant keywords—While poor-quality content is a turn-off for users, mismatched content doesn’t satisfy their search inquiries. Therefore, ensure your product is a good fit by providing important information and using keywords that align with search intent. Otherwise, shoppers can feel misled and leave. 
  • Low-quality posts—Relevant content can still be substandard, which can drive users away due to a sheer lack of interest. 
  • Poor user experience—Bad user experiences can be exacerbated when there are too many options and too many directions for a user to take. Therefore, optimize your ecommerce product page to improve your UX. 
  • Nonsensical categories/subcategories—Categories and subcategories allow you to drill down deeper into niche products. However, if you are experiencing high bounce rates, you must evaluate whether your categories/subcategories resonate with visitors. Run a heatmap to see if there are options people aren’t selecting and try to determine why.

In Ecommerce, the Average Bounce Rate Is Just a Symptom

In summary, here are some of the things you can do to improve your average bounce rate:

  • Optimize your product pages, especially with sufficiently detailed product descriptions to encourage action.
  • Add personalizations to make the customer experience more user-friendly
  • Include a table of contents to break down and segment long-form content.
  • Satisfy visitor search intentions with well-targeted keywords.
  • Use proven online platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce as your merchant store.
  • Create internal links to keep visitors tethered to your ecommerce site. 

Remember that these activities are not meant to be incorporated only when things aren’t going well. Rather, they should be actions you continuously implement to optimize your ecommerce site. 

At the end of the day, bounce rates are a single data point in a larger ecosystem of how visitors interact with your site. Therefore, you should try to take a closer look at what users are doing on your site to understand their behavior. 

Our heatmap tool gives you a more holistic view of this, revealing which parts of your website attract the most attention so you can learn what visitors want most. 

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