As website owners, you need to understand quite a few terms and circumstances if you want to be successful. Understanding these terms allows you to incorporate changes in your website to correct flaws, or to modify existing pages in order to draw more traffic (as well as to encourage successful conversion rates). Part of your website’s success is directly linked to its abandonment rate and/or bounce rate.
This article pretty much assumes you don’t know what the heck that is, or why you need to know about it – but understanding these two terms and knowing how to utilize them can bring your website even greater success, so let’s get to know these two phrases and what they mean.
Understanding the Abandonment Rate
“Abandonment rate” refers to the percentage of people who abandon their intended purchases that have already been saved to their shopping cart without proceeding to the final checkout, in contrast to those people who finalize their purchase by proceeding to the final checkout with their shopping cart.
In essence, the abandonment rate refers to those people who shop, think about an item enough to actually click to purchase it, and then for some reason or another walk away from their cart in the store and don’t buy anything. They’re presented as a percentage in contrast to those who bought and checked out, successfully completing a sale. If 100 people come to your site and put a widget in their cart, and 80 people buy the widget, your abandonment rate is 20%, because 20 folks left the widget in the cart and walked away.
Although no analytic tool currently exists to determine how many of those who abandon their shopping cats will return, it is expected that at least some shoppers will return at a future date to make their purchases (but obviously not all).
A high abandonment rate impacts the success of your website negatively and the reason behind such a high turnover should be determined in order to decrease this number and increase the conversion rate. Some places to look are excessive shipping costs, shipping time, shipping options, merchandise prices, or lack of special offers, just to name a few reasons.
Understanding Bounce Rate
Bounce rate refers to the number of hits (expressed as a percentage) on a website page that end up with the website user leaving immediately without continuing on to visit another page on the site. Typically, the page in question is the index page (or home page). A visit to a webpage that leads to an immediate exit is also referred to as a “non-entrance”. The web user does not linger on the page long enough to view more than a brief glimpse of it.
If the bounce rate for your website is high, this means that many of your advertising and marketing dollars are not being spent wisely since your conversion rate is not at a profitable level.
Two individual pieces of information are needed to calculate the bounce rate for your website. You must have the exact number of visitors who enter a specific webpage on your site who leave within a specified timeframe (for example, 5 seconds). None of these individuals visit any other pages on your website before leaving.
The other piece of information that you must have is the total number of visitors to that specific webpage. The bounce rate is determined by dividing the first number (visitors who leave) by the second number (visitors who do not leave immediately.)
If this seems like a lot of work, try Google Analytics, as they will calculate your bounce rate for you.
A high bounce rate implies that the link that is driving traffic to the website might not match the information on the site closely enough. Web visitors are being enticed to the website, but they are not enticed once they arrive there. Changing the information on the link that is directing visitors to the webpage should draw the appropriate traffic to the website. This traffic should visit the webpage longer, and the bounce rate should drop.
Of course, the other potential for a high bounce rate is that you have a poor web site, or a poorly coded one. Since folks don’t stay around long enough to tell you what they don’t like, you have to look at all the factors and determine whether this might apply to you if there is no other explanation.